Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankful November - Days 11, 12, and 13!

Back again for Part Two of catch-up lol :) Without further ado....

Monday, November 11, 2013:
Monday I chose to be thankful for legs, especially my legs. I may have problems with my hips and knees from the RA, but I have been able to continue to build the strength in my legs through walking. My legs allow me to walk between 6-7 miles a day right now. Without my legs, life would be so much harder. I think we should all take the time to be thankful for what our bodies DO allow us to do, even if they are not perfect.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013:
Yesterday, I chose to be thankful for television. Now before you chew me out.....we all need to relax and unwind. I love watching my favorite shows and movies, it helps me relax at the end of the day. Life wouldn't be very enjoyable without time for ourselves, would it!? Well, I think we all would agree that TV is one of those things :) What are your favorite shows? Here are some of mine....

Grey's Anatomy - They celebrated their 200th episode this season!

This is......THE VOICE! Lol

Wednesday, November 13, 2013:
Today, I choose to be so, so thankful for my kitchen! Mine, well it's my mom's truth be told lol but it's in our house, so it's mine too :P Anyway, especially since the beginning of this year, I have kind of taken over the majority of the cooking. I get to cook up all sorts of stuff! Usually things turn out yummy.....sometimes we have our flops lol. Today I made Stuffed Pepper Soup courtesy of Gina at I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll have to show you maybe tomorrow. Some of my favorites recently have been Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Rosemary and Olive Oil Quinoa with grilled chicken and carrots, and Ground Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili - YUM :D Lol

Until tomorrow!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thankful November - Playing Catch-up!

Yes, yes, I know, I know. I've been bad :/ What can I say? I'm a busy college student who's had quite a bit due recently. Feeling frazzled, so I had to set this aside for a bit. Back now with a vengeance though bwahaha ;) On that note.....

Tuesday, November 5, 2013:
Though it stresses me out, frustrates me, sends me running around looking like a chicken with my head cut off.....I love school. I love learning. I have a great appreciation for the human mind and its' potential. I think probably that's one of the baseline reasons I want to become a teacher. As the story goes, I knew that I wanted to teach as soon as I started preschool. From there, I wanted to teach whatever grade level I was in up until middle school. As soon as I went to 6th grade, I knew I wanted to teach elementary school!

Though my college experience has not been normal by any means at all and I've truly struggled with it, I am grateful for the journey I have been on. I spent two years at Colby-Sawyer College which were good only because it pushed me to find something that re-lit my fire for teaching. Also because I met, who I anticipate will be a life-long friend, Cat and I'm eternally grateful for that friendship. However, moving to the Community College of Vermont was the best decision for me. I absolutely loved it! Now, I'm getting by just fine at Granite State and I know that I will fulfill my goals within the next couple of years. I am thankful for my education.

If you haven't, you need to learn about Malala Yousafzai. Malala is a young girl who believes in women's education. Last year on October 9, the Taliban stormed the bus she was riding to school and shot her in the head in an attempt to stop her campaign. We are so fortunate to live in a place where education is a priority for all people alike. I encourage you to read about Malala's courageous actions today.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013:
Today I choose to be thankful for animals, pets! Growing up on my grandparent's dairy farm, we were surrounded by cows, cats, dogs, oxen, fish, etc. So I think it's only natural that I would feel so comfortable around animals. We currently only have our dog, Maddie, because we had to put our cat down almost two months ago. It's amazing how much animals become a part of the family. They're so important :)

Mostly Buster, but Maddie in top left too

Thursday, November 7, 2013:
The seasons. I love, love, love living in New England because we get to experience every single season. How lucky are we? I guess I feel like each season is so special and unique, we should appreciate it. People always ask what's your favorite season and I find that difficult to answer....Spring is a fresh start. Every is new! Summer is usually too hot for my taste, but it brings around it's own taste of relaxation. Next comes Fall which just has change in the air. The trees are a wonderful example of the beauty of New England as well! Lastly, Winter (dun Dun DUN! Ha!) which though once again fresh. That perfect beautiful layer of snow seems to recreate the world. I love it :) Then right back into spring. When everyone is standing around complaining about the about we try to see the unique beauty in all of them because they are!

Friday, November 8, 2013:
Similarly, I am grateful for the flowers of the world. My gramma has always had gorgeous gardens. She passed that green thumb down to my mom. I have so many memories spending hours and hours out in the garden, weeding, planting, even plant shopping! Plants are one of the amazing things that our Earth provides us that can actually soothe the soul. It's not the best time of year for them now, but when you can, take the time to appreciate flowers. I guarantee you'd miss them, if they were all gone.

Saturday, November 9, 2013:
I am thankful for modern transportation. This may seem kind of strange lol but I spent a ton of time in my car this past weekend. Friday I drove to pick-up my sister at school in Burlington. Saturday we drove to Barre for our dad's family's Thanksgiving dinner and to Waterbury to the Ben & Jerry's factory before driving home. Sunday we drove Alicia back to school and this coming weekend we will be doing the back and forth from Burlington PLUS driving to Manchester. If we still had to go by horse and buggy.....we wouldn't.

Alicia and I joke that planes are our second home. No matter if it's an updated form of transportation like trains, cars, even planes or something new like the Chunnel in France, I appreciate all of it. We are so lucky to have access to these resources!

Sunday, November 10, 2013:
I am grateful for photographs. They keep all memories alive. As you've heard, a picture's worth a thousand words. What is better to be thankful for than that??

Now, I am going to leave you with this for today because I think that's enough! Lol almost  caught up :) If you're doing Thankful November, please let me know, I'd love to see!
Thanks for reading, beautiful people!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thankful November - Days 2, 3, and 4

Welcome back!
How was everyone's weekend? Hopefully good. I was working hard on a couple big projects that were due so I didn't end up getting to write my posts. Instead I'll catch up on the two I missed and complete the daily one for today as well!

Saturday, November 2, 2013 - Day 2:
I have been incredibly blessed with two wonderful grandparents. They are both 87 years old and keep on truckin'! Lol I love it. My gramma will always be one of my greatest influences and inspirations. Likewise, my grampa has been the best grampa/dad I could've ever imagined having. My memories stem from a very young age of helping Grampa milk the cows at the barn or plant the tiny pink corn seeds for the garden and helping Gramma bake up something scrumptious in the kitchen! From pool parties and afternoons spent playing Rummy and Trouble to travelling the world and having afternoon coffee dates, my grandparents are one of the best things in my life. I will forever be grateful for the experiences they've provided, hard times they've comforted me, and lessons they have taught me.

(L to R: Great aunt Alice and Margaret, Gramma, Grampa)
Sunday, November 3, 2013 - Day 3:
It would only be fitting to stay along with the family theme and recognize my mom. She's a little crazy lol....I have to be honest! We certainly have our moments when we butt heads and I'll never completely understand her ways lol, but regardless she's my mom. She's done the work of two parents for the majority of my life and has done the best she could. For being a single mom working full time as a teacher and part time for a catering company, she has provided Alicia and I amazing opportunities, experiences, and memories that will certainly last us a lifetime. Though we never know what the future holds, I expect many more wonderful things to happen for her. I appreciate all that she does for both of us and can't imagine life without having the one stable parent still in it. Thank you so much, Mom.

Oh and as a side note, she gave up being able to join Weight Watchers because she wanted to pay for me and couldn't pay for both of us. Nonetheless, she has still joined me at home both with our healthy eating and walking and has lost 25lbs so far! Super proud of her for being strong enough to do that :)

Mom and I in Times Square, NYC January 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013 - Day 4:

Today, I am choosing to be thankful for books.

Books can be your best friend when no one else is there. The alluring look of so many words on a page woven together creating a story like no other. They carry you to magical lands far, far away or maybe the small, old New England town reminiscent of so many you've passed through before. Accompanied with a hero and heroine, imaginations take flight while romance blooms.

Ever since I was young, books were my escape from reality. My love for it is what sparked the premise for Hannah's READ Program which is how I started this blog. I believe that, especially for low socioeconomic children, reading can bring them to places they will never be fortunate enough to see. I am proud and feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to bring this theory to life with so many children at my elementary school. Anyway, books really do bring us to new heights. I think they are critical to so many things and it deeply saddens me to know how many people just don't even care about reading. I am thankful that my family finds reading important and my mom read to me since I was a baby fostering my love for this past time.

Until tomorrow, my friends,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thankful November - Day One

I know, I know, you're all thinking *grooooooan* another one of these things?? Well, I've never done one before. I'm thinking it might be fun to do. I also think that, you know, it could really be worthwhile to recognize thirty things I am truly thankful for. goes nothing! :)

Friday, November 1, 2013.
Today I am extremely thankful for my friends. Near and far, I have friends all over the country and even in other countries! I hold them all very close to my heart, but some I admit that I hold just a little bit closer. These people have been to Hell and back with me, know me at not only my best but my worst and have stayed by my side nonetheless. I love them to pieces and would do anything for them. My beautiful, talented, amusing, magical friends :)


I've known her since 6th grade. We've had our moments, boy, have we! But we always come back as if we couldn't imagine life without each other lol. She has excelled at college and will be graduating early this year - I'm so proud of her! Beautiful from the inside out, she is one of the best tennis players I know and a great confidante too. She's moving to Texas after graduation, which even though we don't see each other often, will be really hard. I definitely cherish all our time spent together.


We were best friends from kindergarten on! Where one was, the other couldn't have been far. Brittany and I have been through so much together, both the good times and the bad times. We're both a little....erm....hard headed lol and I can remember a couple times where neither of us wanted to back down to the other so we just wouldn't speak to one another! We always found our way back though. A part of me has always admired her undying faith in God. We aren't as close since college, but I'll always love her and she's always got a very special place reserved in my heart.


Boy, I miss this kid. I really and truly do! He was so good for Alicia and I appreciate everyday that he was sent our way. She's lucky to have seen him a few times since he left here. I know she's his best friend, but that doesn't mean that I don't miss him too lol Gui has a magical way of making you forget your worries for awhile. He's laid back, easy to talk to, funny, and sincerely kind. He taught me to remember to RELAX.


Man, I know that you spend all the time behind the camera, Mallory, but you could easily be a model yourself. You're gorgeous! You're a gorgeous person as well. It seems to come so easily for you too, I've always envied and admired that quality of yours. I could probably write a short novel and still not be able to quite put into words what your friendship means to me nor all you have done for me. I am certainly lucky to call this strong woman my friend. We've been through the wringer together, though we've never met in person, and someday we owe it to ourselves to at the very least give each other a hug lol! I am so, so very thankful for you from the bottom of my heart.

Laura, Alicia, Hannah

LOL I love this picture of us!! Describes the three of us perfectly. I'm really pointing out Laura in this. She was always "Alicia's friend", but somewhere along the way she became our sister as well. Laura hasn't necessarily done much for me, but I love that kid just the same and I'm glad to have her in my life. Sometimes it helps just knowing that someone is there.

Cateroni and Bananer

Last, but certainly not least is my lil Cateroni! I know I've shown this picture before and for some reason....I just love it. It reminds me of all the fun we used to have at school together, I miss that. In all honesty, I miss my friend a lot! We don't keep in great contact because it's just hard when you're not actually together. It's no excuse from my end, but it is hard. Cat and I have had many late nights, laughing so hard we were crying, intense conversations. She gets me. I like to think we get each other. We've been through some of the same things that both of us know others wouldn't necessarily understand. I will always appreciate her constant support and though I tell her this sometimes....I am eternally grateful for her friendship! Forever and always <3 p="">

Until tomorrow,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


You know that feeling when everything seems to be going for too good for too long almost? You just feel it lol. I feel like I hit a high and then I know SOMETHING will come crumbling down on me. I've been trying to get my positive thinking better than before since before I kind of scoffed at that type of I know there's something to be said about it.

Anyway, I try to reason with myself. In the grand scheme of this going to matter in a month? A year? 10 years? No, not really probably. There are millions of people in the world, don't let that ONE person get the best of you. They're not worth your time. Everything happens for a reason. Every little gonna be alright. Okay, so why doesn't it always help? Lol who knows....who knows!?
So I try to take deep breaths (it really does work!).....

immerse myself in a good book (currently reading a Julie Lessman. 'Nuff said.)....

and probably throw myself further into my Grey's obsession.

I admittedly love my Calzona girls :)

Basically at this stage in the game, I try to do anything other than eat because that's all I really want to do when I stress! Lol yes, old habits die hard. This week has certainly been one to write in the books and I'm struggling on keeping on my good eating train. But I'm trying, I'm not giving up, and I've accepted the fact that 60lbs is not going to just hop back onto my body in one week's time. 

Tonight has been an exceptionally emotionally tough night so I turned to YouTube of course. I think you've heard the story before of the Song for Sarajevo, but I'll summarize again. I was fortunate enough to sing it with Judy Collins at our local opera house in a children's chorus I sang in. I remember it moving me then and it still has to somehow be a favorite of mine because I find myself craving the dramatic, sweeping notes and heartbreaking lyrics. So I dug it out yet again for another time.

Anyway, at the end of the day, sometimes you just need something that's going to make you laugh. In that case, I visited Colleen Ballinger's YouTube site today and luckily....she did Colleen's Corner today! She's funny, gorgeous, plays Miranda Sings whom I adore. Love it. So enjoy :)

On that note.....good night!

Seriously though....don't tell me they don't make THE perfect little TV family <3 td="">

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hello World!

Hello....hello? Anyone there?

Anyway, hello! I've decided to tiptoe back into blogging, shall we say? Not sure how it's going to go, but I have high hopes to start journaling of some sort again and honestly? Blogging is my all-time favorite way to journal. So here goes!

How the heck have you all been? It's been almost a year since I've even logged into my blog, looked at it at all, and even thought about it really. Occasionally it crossed my mind, but it's a sore spot. I'm so disappointed I let it go, but I wasn't feeling the creativity or passion for it that I had. Really that wasn't even the blog (sorry blog), it was all me, stuff I was going through. Now though, I think it's really important for me to get back to this :)

The blog needed a facelift, so I gave it one! She's looking pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself LOL I like the freshness of this new background. And....and.....AND I GOT THE BANNER CENTERED!!! The anal part of me is doing a super happy dance today baha.

So a whole year basically huh? Let's see.....what have been some highlights?
~ Gave my sister the best Christmas present ever - trip to was awesome!
~ Saw The Book of Mormon for my birthday (hysterical!) and Wicked this past August in Boston :)
~ Saw THE Sir Paul McCartney in July. Felt like I was seeing a legend, no regrets about the money.
~ Had some pretty serious elbow surgery about three months ago.
~ Graduated from CCV! I now have an official Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education!
~ Started at Granite State College, the next step to have my Bachelor's in both ECE and Early Special Education.

The biggest decision I've had this year was the recommitment to myself I made in February 2013. That was when I officially chose to take back control of my life and truly become the me I have always known I could be. I now know that I definitely owe myself that much. So I joined Weight Watchers, yes, I really did lol :P it's been the greatest roller coaster I've ever been on so far!

June 2012 - October 2013

January 2013 - August 2013
The numbers on the scale say I've lost just under 60lbs (maybe this is the week I'll hit it!) in the last eight months. In the last six months, I've shed over 40 inches from all over my body. I'm healthier, I'm definitely happier, I feel stronger, more capable, more confident. I feel like who I always thought I was and yet....wasn't. In January (right after that picture above was taken actually), my PCP gave me last chance hope to try to do something about my weight because I was basically already diabetic. However, I hadn't been offically diagnosed and I know the next time I saw her, my status would have changed. Now though, I'm happy to report that I am no longer even "At Risk" at all for diabetes! I am SO proud of that!!! My dad was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago because he's overweight. He chooses to do nothing about it and I do mean nothing. He's to the point where he has feet problems and yet, he still doesn't even see a doctor about it. I am in control of me, I am in control of my health, I am in control of this body! I didn't want to be another statistic, so I changed something.

I'm finally able to say I am proud of myself. I feel I've done something in my life that's truly commendable lol and I'm proud! I'm going to just keep on chugging until I get where I need to be. I'm becoming the best me I can be because the world deserves to know her like I do! So in the meantime, I'd like to officially reintroduce you to me, Hannah!

Until next time,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Reading Challenges 2013

Happy Saturday!
I have a side note from our regularly scheduled Christmas posts haha I wasn't planning on participating in any reading challenges again this year because well....they're A LOT of work. However, I had a few that really caught my eye and I just can't pass them up. So here we go, my list of reading challenges for 2013:

Auntie Spinelli is hosting the 2013 Sequel Challenge on her BLOG this year. It really convenient because you get to set your own goal for this one! I'm not exactly how many to do....I'm thinking I might set my goal at FIVE for right now, I can always add to it!

You can read the official rules and sign up HERE.

Isn't this one cool looking? Reminds me of all the museums I've been to lol :) I'm going to plan on doing the Victorian Reader level: 5 books. Once again, aiming low to make sure I make my quota! I don't get nearly as much reading time in college as I did before.

You can read all the guidelines and sign up HERE.

This button is GORGEOUS!!! Isn't it beautiful? I read Casey's list of her top 10 books read this year and I believe three were from debut authors so it pushed me to do this one :) Once again, you get to choose your goal for this one. The host has 59 books on her list :O Crazy, right!? I think I'm going to put down a simple 6, just to change things up ;) 

Read the official rules and sign up for this challenge HERE

I AM PSYCHED FOR THIS CHALLENGE!!!! I have to admit that this sounds absolutely terrific! There are so many books that are being made into movies right around now and many good ones that have recently been turned over. I'm choosing Movie Lover: 9 books and movies which will include:

~ The Hobbit
~ Anna Karenina
~ The Help
~ Eat, Pray, Love
~ The Perks of Being a Wallflower
~ Beautiful Creatures

And I'm not sure the rest yet, but I very well may go over my 9 quota! I hope some of you may join me on this one because we could have some fun comparing :)

Read the official rules and sign up HERE.

This one looks like something a few of you would love to participate in :) The first thing I thought of was Melanie Dickerson's newest book, The Fairest Beauty! This is the PERFECT excuse to read it ;D Lol I'm choosing the Lady in Waiting level: 4-6 books because I'm not aware of that many books like this. Will have to do my research.

Find out all the details and sign up HERE.

Okay, I think that is PLENTY to be trying to take on, at least for now :P Heading to update the Reading Challenge tab right after posting this, so you will be able to find all my updates in one concise spot there until this time next year :) 

Are any of you participating in any reading challenges this year? I'd love to know which ones!