Tuesday, December 30, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: 10 Favorite Foods

10 Favorite Foods

These are the 10 Foods that I can eat over and over:

1) Chocolate
2) Chicken--favorite is Fried Chicken, but I'll eat it pretty much any way
3) Mac & Cheese
4) Spaghetti
5) Salad--but it has to be equipped with all the goodies--cucumber, tomato, cheese, croutons, etc.
6) Green Beans
7) Apple Pie
8) Pasta--I can pretty much eat any pasta. In fact I know I eat way to much pasta.
9) Cheese--I love cheese! I'll eat it pretty much any day any time.
10) Cereal--Every morning this is my go to breakfast. I usually choose between Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Sometimes I get Captain Crunch and I did try a Kelloggs cereal that was just the flakes and chocolate bars that was quite tasty. 

Share your favorite foods in the comments. I'd love to hear what everyone else likes. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Best Trip of Your Life

Best Trip of My Life

I'm going to be honest, this one is actually a tough one for me. I don't travel very much and I've gone a few fun places. With Girl Scouts as a child I went to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania and Savannah, Georgia. My family has had some fun camping trips to Natural Bridge, VA and Luray Caverns, VA and Fairystone Park, VA. As a child we always went to Crabtree Falls, VA. I've been able to go to Topsail Beach, North Carolina with my best friend as well. Every year my family goes to the Outer Banks, North Carolina on multiple trips. My grandmother has a house down there. I will truly miss that house, so I hope it's later rather than sooner that we lose it. So, for my best trip of my life I'm going to go with visiting the Outer Banks. There isn't one particular time that was way over the others but I have definitely had some amazing times during the summer at our beach cottage. We usually spend a lot of time on the beach, but I have enjoyed visiting the Hatteras lighthouse and the Wright Memorial. If you are planning a trip to the Outer Banks, make sure that you visit Duck Donuts. They are a Donut shop that is now expanding to other areas, but you'll want to visit the Outer Banks locations. Jockeys Ridge also has an amazing view! The fishing down there can be nice as well. The Outer Banks is like a second home to me and I would recommend it to anyone that wants a nice beach to travel to during the summer. Sure it can be crowded, but there's still room for everyone to have a great time with their family. Here's my brother's dog Troy enjoying the deck!
Where are your favorite places to travel? Comment in the comments.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays

I hope all of you had/are having a wonderful holiday season with your families and loved ones! I apologize for being a couple days late, but I was spending my own time with my family and loved ones! We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday and enjoyed our Christmas holiday. I made sure to watch some of the holiday classics Frosty, Frosty Returns, The Grinch (Cartoon), Charlie Brown Christmas, and Rudolph to name a few. If you do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. If you want, share how your family spent the holiday in the comments of this post. I'd love to hear your stories! Looking forward to the new year! I'm going to try my best to post more often going into 2015! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: What's in My Bag/Wallet

What's in My Bag?

I love my Butler Bag from AVON! I always try to keep the basics in my handbag: wallet, keys, loyalty cards to various locations (grocery stores, drug stores, etc), checkbook, pen, notepad, business cards, Avon Brochures, hand sanitizer, lip balm, sunglasses, glasses. Right now I also have some hand cream in there. When I go out my cell phone goes in there too of course. Here's what the inside of the bag looks like in case you were curious. My wallet has the usual as well: loyalty cards, money, credit card, debit card, library card, insurance cards. What's in your bag? What do you consider a staple? Comment on this post to tell me your thoughts.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

On this Thanksgiving I have to say I'm thankful for quite a lot. I'm thankful to be in overall good health, for the people in my life, and for where I am at in life right now. I am also thankful that my loved ones are in overall good health as well and that we have shelter and food and all of the basic needs and so much more. I've had a lot happen in my post college life and it definitely hasn't all gone as planned, but now I finally feel good about where I am and look forward to the future. I'll be spending today with family and pets and eating some great home cooking from my mom and grandma. I wish everyone reading my blog the best and I hope you have a wonderful holiday and holiday weekend. I started a 30 Day Thankful challenge on Facebook and fell behind and didn't get all of the days to this point posted, but truthfully there are probably more than 30 things I am thankful for and it all can be summed up by saying I'm thankful for where I am right now in my job, personal life, and businesses. What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: 5 current goals

  1. Reach President's Club in My AVON Business
  2. Reach Unit Leader in My AVON Business
  3. Successfully complete my gifted education courses and get my gifted education endorsement added to my teaching license
  4. Expand my Kitcheneez and Jewelry in Candles businesses
  5. Finish one of the many book series I have been reading

Friday, November 21, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: 5 Favorite Songs

Okay this one is definitely a tough one. I like a lot of different music and my favorite songs come and go. Here are my current five favorites:

1) Sarah Blaine--Never Get To Heaven
2) The Script--Hall of Fame
3) Pharrell Williams--Happy
4) Taylor Swift--Shake it Off
5) Jason Mraz--I Won't Give Up

Thursday, November 20, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: What are you afraid of

I have to be honest there isn't very much I'm afraid of. I don't really like the obvious bees, mice, and spiders but at the same time when facing these things I tend to be fine. I was the only one of my roommates when I had roommates that had no qualms about setting a mouse trap and then and disposing of the mouse. I just walk away from bees and other annoying insects. Spiders I will catch and put outside if possible. I don't really have phobias of these "scary" animals. The main thing that I would have to say I'm afraid of is being older and feeling like I didn't do what I needed to in life. If you know me personally you may be surprised that this would be a fear of mine, but it is definitely a reality. You never know where life will lead you and I just don't want to regret anything when I am older reflecting back on my life. What are you afraid of? Comment on my blog to share...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Proudest Moment

This one is a tough one as well as there are several moments throughout my life so far that I have been proud of myself. At this moment, I would have to pick my college graduation as my proudest moment. It was a long five years and to come out graduating Magna Cum Laude with my undergrad degree and a Masters in Teaching was such a big accomplishment and just gave me such a huge feeling of success. Sometimes It doesn't feel like I should have graduated college already (even though we're coming up on three years out...so crazy). I had an amazing experience at VCU and I wouldn't trade it in for anything different. I may not have begun at VCU, but third time was the charm and at least I didn't miss any semesters in between transfers from Longwood University to John Tyler Community College to VCU. I definitely made some memories that will last a lifetime from my three years with my roommates, to my time with Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, to VCU Basketball games (Final Four season forward). I met some great people and sometimes I miss it all like crazy even though another part of me is happy to have moved on into "adult" life. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Dream Job


Hello all! At this point, it is hard for me to find the time to keep this updated, so I am updating as I can with this 30 Day Blog Challenge. Hopefully, I will be able to start posting more often. The next topic for this challenge is my dream job. I am one of those people that has been saying since I was in second grade that I would be a teacher when I grew up. Come high school and deciding what I wanted to go to college for, I still wanted to be a teacher. I ended up deciding on the Elementary age level because I knew that I loved working with children and I felt I could be most successful at the Elementary level, plus I could not decide on just one subject to teach and Elementary lets you teach it all! I therefore went to college and graduated Magna Cum Laude with my Masters in Teaching for Elementary Education. One of my student teaching experiences was with a center based gifted class (i.e. a homogeneous class of identified gifted students). I loved that experience and decided to add a certification in gifted education to my teaching license. I am still working on that endorsement. I have taught fourth grade and while I enjoyed those jobs, I am enjoying my job as a preschool teacher more. I love seeing young minds develop. As for the gifted endorsement, I'm not sure where that will lead me, but I am willing to continue on life's journey. On another note, I also love my direct selling businesses and the network marketing opportunity. I love teaching, but I love my businesses as well and would love for one or all of them to be successful (in particular my Avon business since I give most of my focus to that one as that is the one I've been doing the longest). So to sum it up, my dream job is one that I can enjoy myself in, one that I don't dread going to every morning, and one where I feel I am successful and making a difference. My current job as a preschool teacher allows me to do all of those things. Ultimately in 40 years when I'm nearing retirement age, I will consider a dream job one that allows me to live financially secure and retire feeling comfortable about the fact that I will be leaving the work force (at least the traditional work force). 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

30-Day Blog Challenge: Favorite Quote

This one is such a tough topic for me because I LOVE so many different quotes. It is really tough for me to just pick one. I think I'm going to have to go with this one from the writers of Grey's Anatomy:

Merideth Grey:"Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow." 

This was from a season finale a few years ago, but it has stuck with me. For me it's not just about love. It's about life in general. You don't want to have regrets in life. You don't want to take things for granted. This has really applied to my life in the last couple of years. I've always been a goal setter and I try to work towards meeting those goals. I also try to take time to take a look at what is happening and reflect on it. Make sure you're living the life you want to live and that you don't have any regrets.

Friday, October 24, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2: 20 Facts About You

Day two of this 30 Day Blog Challenge is to share 20 Facts about You so here are 20 facts about me.

  1. My birthday is April 14
  2. I grew up in central Virginia and still live in that area.
  3. I went to three different colleges my first three semesters of school.
  4. I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, Magna Cum Laude, with a Masters in Teaching for Early and Elementary Education.
  5. I am currently a Preschool teacher
  6. I teach Sunday school every Sunday to the Nursery Infant to two year old class at a local church.
  7. I am currently pursuing an endorsement in Gifted Education to add to my current teaching license.
  8. I have been an Avon ind. Sales representative for three years and am still one.
  9. I just recently became a Kitcheneez Consultant.
  10. I also just recently became a Jewelry in Candles Representative.
  11. I have a cat that lives with my parents.
  12. I have a younger brother.
  13. I have two fish and a snail at my apartment.
  14. I have a family dog, A chocolate lab named Kodiak.
  15. I love reading.
  16. Some of my favorite television shows are Grey's Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, The Originals, Hell's Kitchen, Masterchef, and Bones.
  17. I enjoy playing The Sims from time to time. (I currently have The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 as well as The Sims Medieval). 
  18. I still have my copy of The Sims 2 and it's expansions. I started playing The Sims with the original, but I have since donated my original copies to Goodwill.
  19. I also like playing the Nancy Drew computer games.
  20. My favorite color is red. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First 30-Day Blog Challenge: Day 1: Why Amanda's Alcove?

I found a 30-Day Blog Challenge on a Facebook page I follow. I've decided to start it and this is the first post. This challenge starts with your Blog Name. I decided to discuss why I chose the title that I did for this blog. I chose Amanda's Alcove because I wanted something different so I decided to think of synonyms for corner and alcove came up and I decided that would work perfect. I also wanted something that would work for a variety of blog posts, and I felt going with the corner/alcove idea would work well for that. This blog will be for multiple purposes. I look forward to connecting with you. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tasty Turkey Tetrazzini

This is my second dish since documenting my cooking journey. What I've decided to do is to document recipes I've made and tried as I'm learning how to cook by teaching myself. This one was another good one. I'll probably only share the successes since nobody wants to read about the failures. So, here is another Pampered Chef recipe I tried. I really only started with recipes from there since I wanted to get some use out of some things I bought from a Pampered Chef consultant. Not all of the recipes will be Pampered Chef. To get this recipe and others it is from the Weekday Dinners--Done! collection (so is the Savory Salisbury Steak). Available from your Pampered Chef consultant or if you don't have one then get it from the one I bought from here!

Tasty Turkey Tetrazzini--Yields 6 servings

8 oz uncooked spaghetti noodles
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup), divided
1/2 cup 2 % milk
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 8-oz slice oven-roasted deli turkey (1/2 in. thick), diced
1 pkg (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen cut green beans, thawed

1) Prepare all ingredients before starting.
2) Combine noodles and broth in a 12-in skillet. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook 5-6 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add mushrooms and 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, 5-6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.
3) Prepare soup mixture while step 2 is cooking on the stove by combining the soup, sour cream, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, milk, onion, pressed garlic, and black pepper; mix well.
4) After step 2 is complete, then add the turkey, soup mixture, and beans to the Skillet. Cook 5-7 minutes or until noodles are tender and soup and beans have had time to heat up.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Savory Salisbury Steaks

I am not much of a cook at the moment. It is rare that I will go ahead and cook something. I made this recipe I got from The Pampered Chef Weeknight Dinners collection and it was very simple. It also tasted yummy. Since I made it for myself and it has six servings, I was able to have some tonight and have leftovers for tomorrow and will probably still have some extra. The six servings is if you have one steak per person/serving. Below is a link to the recipe on my Tumblr. account.

Read the recipe on my Tumblr. Account

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Thoughts on The Sims 4

Okay, so I admit it I do play The Sims from time to time. I started playing regularly when I was 13 with the original The Sims and now after having all of The Sims, The Sims 2, and most of The Sims 3 I decided to go ahead and get The Sims 4. I have to say I was skeptical. I almost didn't get it. I'm still unsure of all of the features as I've only played for a couple hours between yesterday's USA launch and tonight, but I will say that I do like playing it. I think avid Sims fans will like the new version even though it is missing some fan favorites. Here is what I like so far:

  • Build mode seems to be much easier and quicker
  • Create A Sim makes it possible to truly customize your Sim's looks
  • The loading seems to be very fast (much faster than previous games)
  • Love some of the objects (tablet, phone is smartphone that allows you to do much more than before)
  • Love the new skills
  • The emotions seem cool
  • I like how easy it is to play
  • Love the multitasking capability!
  • There are some goals associated with careers and the aspiration you pick and it's laid out nicely
  • I like the goals for parties (even though I've only done one party so far)
  • You can spend aspiration points for awards like in previous games
  • There are achievements for your game if you wish to go that route
  • I do miss the open neighborhood, however this game makes up for it because The Sims 3 would truly take forever to load sometimes and this game is very fast in comparison, the loading screens you encounter between lots are much faster than The Sims 2 and The Sims were so it really isn't that bad. Also, it is a partial open neighborhood. There are sections of each neighborhood that are opened based on the lot you are on at the moment. You can still walk out your front door and interact with neighbors that are walking by in your immediate area. 
Overall, I'm so far in love with the game and look forward to exploring more and seeing what happens. I will say that with real life I don't have as much time to play as I used to play, but I will keep everyone updated on my thoughts and I may even start a blog specifically for my Sims in The Sims 4.

Here is my Sim I've been playing :-)

Multitasking is my favorite feature so far. Here she is watching a video game livestream and watching television at the same time. Multitasking is TOTALLY me! I do stuff like this all of the time. Usually on my computer and watching tv at the same time. :-)


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Loving My New GloFish

So I'm kind of obsessed with my new fish! I decided to get some fish for my apartment because I wanted an easy pet to take care of and I found the GloFish Tetras at Walmart. They are freshwater fish. I ended up buying a tank on impulse...lol...and then did the research. I set the tank up and then I got the fish this last weekend after having the tank set up for a week. So far so good on my fish staying alive. I hope they survive the first water change as at this point, I'm thinking they're doing great and I don't want that to get them when I do it in the next couple weeks. Here's my pics.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Review of Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones

Hello. Is classroom management something you struggle with? Do you not struggle, but want to become a better classroom manager? Are you a new teacher? If you said "Yes" do any of these questions, then I recommend that you read this book by Fred Jones.

I came to know the book, because I took part in a professional development workshop in my county. Our workshop was six meetings long and allowed for us to watch videos you can get to supplement the book, as well as talk about the book and what Fred Jones meant and share our own stories, strategies, and advice. It was awesome doing it in this format. If your school system or school doesn't offer such a thing then after you read the book see if you can get something going.

Now onto the book. This book is great! It's a funny read and an easy read! I'm sure most teachers will definitely relate to what Fred Jones talks about in each chapter. The book gives great strategies and tips on how to setup a classroom, how to set expectations, and how to maintain classroom management in the classroom. I loved it! I'm even using some of the strategies in a Preschool classroom, so it's really for ALL teachers. I wish that my professor's had shared this book with me when I was a student. Now is the time to read it before the new school year begins! I WISH I had this at the beginning of my teaching career!

Amazon has more GREAT reviews for this book. Definitely a must read for ALL teachers!

Also, he has a companion website with some more great resources: http://www.fredjones.com/

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review of the Movie Safe Haven

Since I wrote a review for the book and finally watched the movie the other night, I wanted to write a review for the movie too. I have to say normally I always say the book is better than the movie. In this case, I think both book and movie do the story justice. I enjoyed the actors in the movie and the movie did a good job of keeping you engaged. Even though I had read the book and knew the story, I was still able to get into the movie and wonder what would happen next. I had been waiting to watch this movie for quite a while and I wasn't disappointed. I would definitely recommend it to people that enjoy the so called chick flick, and also to people that just enjoy a good drama filled suspense movie. Looking forward to my next Nicholas Sparks story. :-)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review of the book Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

I'll be honest this is only the second book I've read by Nicholas Sparks. The first was The Lucky One. I first got into his books when I watched The Notebook. With both The Lucky One and Safe Haven I made a promise to myself to read the book before seeing the movie. Now on to the review for Safe Haven. I haven't watched the movie yet but it's on my to do list. As for the book, I'd say it's a pretty good read. It did start out a little slow, but by the middle it got interesting and at the end it was very suspenseful. Overall, it was a good plot line and good characters to follow. It was definitely different than your average romance book. There were parts to it that were very dark given the plot. I would recommend it to others especially those that enjoy Nicholas Sparks and his other books.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Ten Reasons to Become an Avon Independent Sales Representative Today!

  1. Three Starter Kit Options--Pick the best one for you
  2. Free Training & Mentoring (in person/online)
  3. ONLY $50 minimum order required to make $$$$--soon to be no minimum order size!
  4. Keep no stock or inventory
  5. Take orders, when, where, and how you want.
  6. Great incentive programs, recognition, and fun!
  7. Be the first to see & get new products.
  8. Too Busy? Don’t change your lifestyle, just give an Avon brochure to the people you already see.
  9. Earn up to 40% in earnings or discount for your own products.
  10. New representative program is BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE!!! Earn $1,010+ in your first 90 Days when you Kickstart your Avon business!

You have what it takes to sell Avon! It's more than selling beauty. It's earning money by simply making connection and letting your personality shine. 

 I absolutely love being a Representative. It's a lot of fun and I've met some great people along the way. This is truly a great opportunity and I'd love to have you join my team.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why did I become a teacher?

Lots of times in my teaching career, I've run across people that either asked me this question or they said something along the lines of, "Wow. I could never be a teacher." Let me tell you this, teaching is not for everybody. Teaching is a very difficult job. Even after five years of school, in the class experience, and receiving a Masters in Teaching, teaching is a difficult job. It can also be a rewarding profession. Sometimes you have to weigh the positives versus the negatives. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching or I wouldn't be doing it. It's more than a love of children though. You have to be able to adapt and learn continuously in order to be successful in this profession. I have continued my learning through reading books for teaching as well as talking to other teachers and being a part of the National Education Association which connected me with some useful information and people.

Now to answer the original question. I became a teacher because I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in second grade. I have always said that I would be a teacher someday and it's always been my dream. I chose to stick with younger kids because I have always enjoyed working with younger children versus middle school or high school students. I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. I felt that the way I could make a difference was to be an educator. When I see the light bulb go off in a student's eyes, I just get this feeling of joy and success. I know that being a teacher is what I am meant to be doing. I have enjoyed teaching my first couple years and look forward to what the future brings.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Growing up just isn't the same...

Working with children both fourth graders and preschool (4 and 5 year olds) I notice more and more how things today are truly different then they were 20 years ago. When I was growing up I did have a computer and I did have television, however, my time with that technology was limited. There were times that I was forced to find something else to do...play with toys, read a book, play a game, make up a game to play. Growing up my brother and my cousins and I turned my grandparents house into everything in the world. The house would be a hotel, a restaurant, a barn with horses, a park, a school. My grandma had an office and that office was every office imaginable hotel office, park office, school office, doctor office. We used our creativity to create things to play. I remember the couch being a fishing boat, making rods out of sticks from the yard and string and a paperclip as a hook, and then punching holes with a hole punch into paper fish and then one person was the "fish" in the "water" and the other(s) would be fishing from the "boat". We also used to put on plays and newscasts for my grandparents and we'd get them to videotape us. I don't see this as much today from the children that I've worked with in the classroom. Plus, many children even the small ones are aware of things that I wasn't aware of at their age because of the new technologies. Now don't get me wrong I do see the benefit in technology when it's used appropriately. In fact I am a strong advocate in a 1:1 ratio for computers in the classroom especially from Kindergarten forward. I don't think kids should be on all the time, but there is definitely a benefit to putting them in front of something appropriate to let them learn on their own as opposed to listening to a lecture. However, kids still need to be encouraged to be kids and to be creative and to go outside and out there in the world from time to time. Just my two cents.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Let me introduce myself...

My name is Amanda Davis. I am currently 25 years old. I grew up in a small town in Virginia. The great thing about my town is that it isn't too far to get to the nearest city or anywhere else you'd want to go. My parents have 30 acres of land and a pond and this allowed me to grow up in the country without necessarily being in the middle of nowhere. I enjoyed growing up on that property and go to visit every weekend. At my parent's house, I have a chocolate lab named Kodiak, hunting dogs, and two cats (Bob and Tiger). Tiger is my cat and she came to me at the house when I was in about 7th grade. Bob also just showed up at our house and we took him in too. I have a younger brother and he is 22. I went to VCU and have a Master's in Teaching for Early and Elementary Education. I am also currently pursuing my Gifted Education endorsement from the same university. I have had many ups and downs since graduation, but am now a Preschool Teacher and I am enjoying that position. I enjoy working to grow my home business, reading, playing The Sims, researching, spending time with friends and family, and watching television in my spare time. Just about every Sunday I am the Sunday School Teacher for the Nursery at my church and I love working with those toddlers as well. I'll be posting some more about me and other things on this blog. Happy Reading! Here's a picture of my cat Tiger.

How to connect with me...

This first post is for you to be able to connect with me on Social Media and my other blog. I would love for anyone reading to follow my Social Media pages as well as read my other blog. :-)

My Beauty Tip Blog: http://amandadavisbeautytips.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/smallville1689/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/adavis0493

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandabeautytip

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/adavis5

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoD-7bBkzC3Qx_udsep2iNA