Sunday, December 19, 2010

We ate a lot.

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys, we BAKED yesterday. (no, no...not me and the mister! silly. He doesn't bake. Me and my friends!)

Let me back up...
This weekend has been excellent! Friday night- we made burritos and watched The Incredibles. ...And that was it. haha! It was a relaxing, stay-in Friday night.

Yesterday! I was gone for 12 hours, off doing fun and awesome things!
First, I tutored. For 3 hours. One of which hours was the last for one of my clients! He's out-smarted us and is moving on to bigger and better 4th grade things.
Um. Look at this bad boy that one of my clients got me as a holiday gift:
Are you curious about what's inside?? Well, if you can see the tag, it says Artisan Dark Chocolates with caramel...
Blamo! TOPPED WITH SEA SALT! This is literally the BEST chocolate I've ever ever EVER eaten.

After tutoring I headed over to my girlfriend, Alyssa's house to work out! We went to her gym and I sweated out 3 miles on a treadmill + 10 minutes on an elliptical. It was a great workout!
Then we headed over to her sister's house for our baking night and gift exchange! As much as I love baked goods, I decided to make chex mix to share with my coworkers. 
CHEX it:
MMMMM mix it mix it mix it!
Look at ALL THAT CHEX MIX! Seriously, 3 huge batches, for like 12 bucks. So cost effective, and SO much better than the store-bought bagged kind. It smelled delicious!
I filled up these cute little dollar store buckets with chex mix! I can't wait to give them out at school tomorrow!

Look at all these beautiful babies! The girls (and I, I helped do bits and pieces of theirs) made: a TON of chocolate chip M&M cookies, chocolate macroons, a brownie/mint layered THING, brownie mint chip cups, peanut butter reese cups, and my favorite peanut marshmallow bars (not pictured). We baked for 4 hours! 
And then we did our gift exchange! I got some amazing gifts from the girls, including 2 pairs of earrings, a travel coffee mug, a candle, some perfume, an awesome zip-up hoodie, and the best:
My very own teacher carry-all basket! I feel like such a dork, but these baskets are PERFECT size for toting things around, like my grading basket, books, baking supplies, gifts, etc! A bunch of teachers at my school already have them and I've been eying them enviously.  The coolest part is that it is has 4 braces that just pop out and you can fold it down for handy storage. I'm in love. :)
The girls know how much I love my "danglies". :) I got this beautiful pair from Sarah, and a cute round pair with a nice pink-ish stone from Alyssa! Can't wait to wear them!
Now it's Sunday (duh) and I'm on the couch with Izzy, watching The Family Stone (one of my favorite xmas movies), trying NOT to eat all the xmas goodies I brought home, and waiting for Ben to wake up for our Sunday morning breakfast out!  Other plans for the day include: a trip to the gym, maybe a TEENY bit of xmas shopping for stocking stuffers for my family, and then at 3:00 we're going to the Apple store in the mall to learn about our iPhones! Haha we love to learn! And I'm going to casually ask Ben/Santa for a new case for my phone, as mine fell on the floor at the gym and cracked. Boo!!

Happy Sunday!


Friday, December 17, 2010

good grief.

Oh you guys. I'm sorry it's taking me so long to blog! The thing is...I don't have very much to report!
Let's see here...Tuesday...Wednesday...Thursday! Thursday was memorable because it snowed and then freezing rained JUST enough to close down all the schools in my area! So I had a day off, which I spent relaxing on the couch, having lunch with the mister, and then CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!
...did I mention that I hate shopping? Ok, that's a partial lie. I don't hate ONLINE shopping, but I do hate in-store, mid-season, Target holiday shopping. It was awful. I was so queasy by the end of the day. But, as much as I hated spending my entire snow day Christmas shopping, I'm sure glad I didn't have to do it on a weekend!
Here's how Thursday went:
Oh, wanna snuggle do ya? Little furbaby nugget. 

So...I tried on these boots at Target, and didn't get them...but now I'm having wish-I-bought-them remorse...I think I want to go back and see if they have my size!

So many gifts! That big red bag is full of little candy gift bags for my students...the others are for co-workers, my tutoring kids, and the big bags are for my girlfriends. Thankfully, all my parent's gifts are being sent to MI via, and Ben's parents asked for gift cards (THANK YOU, so easy)

'Scuse me, while I get FANCY with my nail art. Thanks Sarah for the great inspiration! :) I can't wait to try some other holiday designs!
(P.S. Dear sweet baby Jesus, I hope you can tell that it's a snowman sequence.)

Speaking of snowmen, check my sweet snowman earrings out! I did, in fact, get plenty of rude stares at the gym while wearing said earrings. Lots'a haters. 
  • last Saturday tutoring session of 2010 tomorrow morning!
  • gym with a girlfriend, hoping to get in a 4-mile run!
  • Christmas gift exchange with girlfriends tomorrow afternoon! and cooking making!
  •  packa-packa-packa on Sunday for.....
  • MICHIGAN on Thursday!
  • (with 2.5 days of school in there for good measure...complete with lots of sugar, ornament-making, music-listening, and party-having)
Happy weekend! See you back here ASAP! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

the couple that iPhones together, stays together.

Hi friends and family! I'm sorry I haven't been 100% on my game with's been super busy around these parts, getting ready for Christmas and working a mcbillion hours a hang tight with me, I'll get better!

Well, the big news for our little household was that we got iPhone 4s for early Christmas gifts! We went to AT&T on Friday night, and 3 hours later, came out with new phones!
Look at that beautiful baby. I love it SO SO SO much! It's literally the coolest piece of technology I've ever had...I'm in love with the great apps, awesome internet, and the iPod function! 
Ben loves his even more than I love mine...he's been downloading all these ridiculous apps and telling me all about them...haha he's a techy guy at heart. And he loves my old pink comforter from college. But that's just a side note. 
Saturday I tutored for a few hours and then headed out to my gilfriend's son's 1st birthday party! It was Yo Gabba Gabba themed...which was mildy outrageous, but pretty fun. 
This is on the way to their house...Ben was playing around with the "Bump" app, which allows you to share files with other iPhones by tapping the two phones together! He was taking pics and bumping them to my phone...which I think is so awesome! Greatest app ever. 

On Saturday night, Ben and I spent several hours uploading c.d.s into iTunes, and then loading the music into our phones. Izzy got really sad and jealous of her lack of attention, and hermited away in our bedroom, squished between my slippers.  Such a baby.
And then she reminded us that she's a precious gift, sent from above...who still likes to stick her head into the tree holder, even though it's covered in aluminum foil. *sigh* She's such a stubborn little nugget. 
Breakfast on Sunday= brown sugar and cinnamon oats mixed with dried cranberries and cherry preserves. SO GOOD! I don't have any more food pics to share...last night we had mac and cheese with was not one of my prouder meals, but Ben needed a BIG pot of something to hold over for leftovers for lunch today, and that won the vote. 
Last pic of the TEENY nail polish collection! I'm inspired to do some fancy holiday nail art, like my friend Sarah, aka Banksyface. My collection is sad, and I'm not sure where to go from I think I'll just stare at the bottles for a bit until I have an idea.

Oh! I ran 3.1 miles tonight in 32 minutes! Not entirely speedy, but it felt good after taking a week off running! I ran with the iPhone/iPod, which was awesomely excellent. I quick-quick made a "runnnnn" playlist before I got into the gym, and it really helped to have some bouncy music to run's a sample of my playlist:
  • "Birthday"- KOL
  • "Break Your Heart"- Taio Cruz
  • "Dirt off your shoulder"- Jay-Z (I LOLed when this song came on, such an oldy)
  • "I Like It" -Enriqqqqqqque
  • "Love Me"- J.Beib
  • "Not Afraid"- Eminem
  • "OMG" -Ursher
  • "Persuit of Happiness"- Kid Cudi
  • "Right Above It"- Lil Wayne
  • "Strawberry Swing"- Coldplay
  • "Teenage Dream"- Katy Perry
Fun, right? No comments on my Justin Beiber's legit running music! For me! Haha! :)

Time to snuggle in and paint my nails watch t.v. for a while. Happy Monday! Last full week of school, then a baby 1/2 week next week, and then MITTEN TIME!!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

There is ONE present under my tree.

HI! Sorry I took a few days off from blogging! It's been a busy week, and I've been gone each evening until 7ish with tutoring and whatnot...first night home in a few days!

WEEE tomorrow's Friday! Thank goodness! AND 2 weeks from right this second I will be in the mitten state with my family! <3 I can't wait!!

Here are some pics to share from this it seems this is turning more into a photo blog than anything else, and I do love to share my life in photos with you folks...

I wore this on Tuesday...and my school custodian asked me if I had ridden my horse to school. Hahah! They're not even cowgal books, just scrunchie Steve Maddens! :)
Also, I should note I got disgustingly cat-called at Walmart at 6:30am in this outfit. HMPH.

 This was my breakfast YESTERDAY (no bfast today...7:20 am meeting and then SUPER busy morning teaching...not healthy, but oh well!) Anyway, I had THIS yummy bowl of goodness for breakfast on Wednesday. It was: plain greek yogurt + cherry preserves + kashi go lean + banana chips + almond slivers. MMMMM so filling, I didn't even need a morning snack!! Yum. 

Last night the nugget spent about an hour under the xmas tree...and at one point I looked over and she had her HEAD in the tree stand, slurping water! So that's why there's aluminum foil looking extra janky under the tree...but better safe than sorry. She's not too mad...she's a gift. <3
This is what I wore today...SO a good way! It's been in the 30s here this week, and in the high-teens when I leave for school, so I've been layering for extra warmth. I need to get a new white button-up oxford; the one I have on in this picture is tunic length and I had some serious bunching going on from tucking it in. 
New earrings! 2 dollars! Such a good deal. :) The kids get so excited about things like xmas earrings and I do what I can to be festive!
Speaking of school counselor set up an adopt-a-family type thing for holiday gifts. She hung mittens on a tree that each have a piece of paper with a gender-item-size listed. I picked a 16-year old girl, and got her the CUTEST shirts! I got her a couple different tops from the juniors section at Walmart, which were inexpensive but very cute and decent quality. I think I'm going to choose another mitten; I love shopping for others at Christmas time, especially someone I don't know who is I know the gift will be wanted and used! Love it. 

Oooof, it's been TOO cold for running outdoors this week, and I've had a very odd tutoring/meeting schedule, which has made gym/workout time hard. It's supposed to warm back up a bit tomorrow, so I'm hoping for another Friday afternoon run in my neighborhood tomorrow!!
Happy almost-weekend! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

let's talk Mondays.

Mondays are rough for me. I usually get to about 12:30 (just after lunch) and then it's a struggle to remain productive for the remaining several hours of the frustrating! Maybe I need to start having a cup of coffee around 1:00? Or a 5-hour energy? haha nah, I'll stick to the more natural forms of pick-me-ups.

I got home around 4:00, and had an internal discussion with myself about working out. Thankfully (?) my inner skinny girl won, and convinced me to pop in Chalene's cheery self for a 45 minute Turbo Jam Cardio Party workout.

Oh my gosh, I just spent 20 minutes on the Justin Bieber Facebook fan page...and I have no memory of how I got there or why...

Moving on.

So I did a 45 minute Chalene workout, which was okay...but I wish I had just gone to the gym. I mean, I did want to run, but it's SO COLD OUTSIDE. Oh well....tomorrow!


I made dinner...squash half-moons again! Here's the recipe for curious readers...
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut a squash (I use delicada, but anything will work!) in half lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds.
3. Slice your halved squash into half-moons.
4. Spread over a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season how you like! I used a little salt and some McCormicks Mediterranean seasoning.
5. Cook for 15 minutes, flip, then cook another 15 minutes.
6. Scoop those babies off and eat them UP!

I also made these, as appetizers while my squashies cooked:
oh glorious cheese celery boats...
That Laughing Cow chipotle queso cheese is amazing. I could eat it straight from the little foil packages...the celery is really just a vehicle to get the cheese to my mouth. But Izzy's always watching, so I like to be a good role model for her little nugget self.

Ok, this video is actually pretty neat: Pray. Don't hate me. Izzy really likes it.
Bieber Fever.

Happy Monday evening! xoxo

Sunday, December 5, 2010

baby it's coldddd outside

...and so I've decided that I need this. Or this. Or this beautiful baby...but that one's a little expensive.
It's 30 degrees outside, and blustering in a bad way. It's sunny! But cold.
Ben's been outside putting up the lights around the front of the house...he's a champ! We got our TREE yesterday!!!!

we got a good one! it's from our local supermarket.
crooked and skinny, but REAL! :)       
mmmmmm hot chocolate 

"how many marshmallows do you want? 30?"

We didn't get any farther than getting the lights on last night...our tree is awfully lopsided, and so we had to do some extra drilling and balancing, and then I put the lights on and Ben told me I did them ALL wrong, so by the time the lights were on CORRECTLY, it was time to get ready for dinner with friends!
We went to the Cleveland Draft House in Garner, and met up with two couples for a delicious dinner and a few beers. I didn't take any pictures, but we had a nice time. :) I had a yummy french dip wrap with a side salad, and 2 beers: a Bell's Amber Ale (brewed in Kalamazoo, MI!) and a Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat...both were SO good.

This morning I woke up and did some SERIOUS cleaning, finally unpacked from last weekend's trip to Philly, and had breakfast. Again, no pic (silly me), but I had a yummy yogurt bowl with plain greek yogurt, a spoonful of cranberry apple butter and a spoonful of cherry preserves, a sprinkling of kashi go lean, a sliced kiwi, and a sprinkling of sliced almonds. Very hearty and filling!
I wanted to go for a run (it LOOKS nice outside, sunny and blue skies...) but checked the weather online and found that it's in the low 30s and super windy...I don't have any cold-weather running gear (yet), so I opted for an indoor workout with my pal Chalene...

I did a 30-minute Turbo Jam video, a 20-minute ab video, some stretching and such...and then called it good.

Delicada squash half-moons with olive oil, salt, and McCormick Mediterranean seasoning generously sprinkled on top...
Salad! Mix of spinach and romaine, topped with tomato, carrots, celery, herbed goat cheese, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts.
AWESOME lunch today! It's seriously amazing. The squash half-moons are AMAZING. I can't wait to make those again...maybe for dinner! :-D
For the rest of this cold and windy INDOOR Sunday:
-finish decorating the tree
-watch Harry Potter marathon on ABC fam
-put away laundry
-snuggle the cat :)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Ben says it's snowing. I bet it's probably that fluffy stuff from trees blowing around. I'm certainly not getting up from my cozy spot on the couch under a blanket to check. I don't like to acknowledge the fact that it does, at times, snow in North Carolina. Being a Michigan girl at heart, I've seen my fair share of snow, and would be happy to live the rest of my natural life in a warm climate with no white precipitation.

Moving on.

GOOD LORD it's cold outside. And inside, since we're trying to live frugally and keeping the thermostat set at 67. I'm snuggled under a massive blanket, bundled up in a huge hoodie, leggings, and smart wool socks. I probably could put a hat and gloves on, but that seems ridiculous. I'll just wait until my fingers turn blue and go numb.

Ahhhh Saturday. I do LOVE you. :)
I love waking up and seeing this little chicken nugget right at the bottom of my feet. She's precious. <3

I tutored for 3 hours this morning, and came home to make lunch with the mister! I have been LOVING paninis this week, so here's what we made for lunch:

 Sweet potato chips! Sprinkled with olive oil, salt/pepper, and cayenne pepper!

Ben's made two paninis. Both were made on a flat out wrap, both had sliced deli ham and turkey, and both had cream cheese. One had cranberry apple butter, Laughing Cow herb cheese, and white cheddar...the other had pinenut hummus, Laughing Cow chipotle queso cheese, and white cheddar. Lots of CHEESE!

My panini  (post cooking) contained: cranberry apple butter, a teeny bit of cream cheese, a few slices of sharp white cheddar cheese, and some sliced deli turkey. 
Ohhh myyyy GOSH it was delicious! The cranberry apple butter was tart and tangy, the white cheddar was sharp and the extra cream cheese helped make it nice and rich.  With a side of crispy sweet potato chips, it was a perfect lunch! 

Plans for today:
-Christmas tree?!
-outdoor Christmas lights?! (I can see my neighbor putting up his...he has on a big down jacket and boots and this probably WON'T be happening for me)
-run (again, it looks SO cold and blustery and gray outside, we'll see if this happens)
-dinner with a few couples at the Cleveland Draft House! MMMM beer. Can't wait!

*Shout out (baha I'm so lame) to my M&F in laws Linda and Charlie! We miss you! Can't wait to see you in 3 weeks!!! xoxo

Friday night, part 2.

Alright, be good and I'll let you stay. If  not, you're sleeping in the garage, and I mean it!

Friday was a great day! I was given the opportunity to be trained in a new edition of the reading program I teach, which is called Language! (with an exclamation point...we get really excited to teach reading). I have been teaching the 2nd edition for the past few years, and the 3rd edition has come out and now the 4th edition is out. My school district is slowly adopting the newer editions, so on Thursday and Friday we were trained in the 4th edition! It's really similar to the 2nd edition, with all of the same reading, spelling, grammar, and writing activities...but the 4th edition has new and more high-interest reading books for the students, and it's organized SO much more nicely than the 2nd edition. SO, we got to play with the new materials and try our hands at teaching the new edition. I'm SO pumped to receive the materials at my school; the kids are going to love it!

We got out of training at 2:15, which never EVER happens at school, so I took advantage of the early-dismissal and hustled home to go for a run.

I was greeted by this little duckling, and we had a nice snuggle that I narrated aloud:

"Hello, and welcome to Planet Isabelle...population ONE. I know you must be thinking 'How do I get my hands on a one-way ticket to this paradise?' Well, membership is exclusive, and the requirements for joining include: speaking fluent siamese, being able to stay balanced on your back with all four limbs in the air for extended periods of time, being able to snort water out your nose, and of course being able to do your BIZ in a box."

...don't judge me. She's my fur-baby and we have fun together. :)

I went on my run, did about 3 miles in 40 minutes, most of which I ran...I did walk a bit. It's been TOO long since I've run outside; the treadmill has been so easy and handy at the gym...and I usually don't get home early enough to run in daylight!
Got home and let Izzy outside...

She's such a backyardigan. :)
post-run smile! I was glad to throw on my down vest when I got home...BRRRRR it was a cold afternoon!

It's about time to get out my long tights!

The mister got home, and we showered up and got ready to go out for our traditional Friday night meal.
Bundled and ready to brave the dark and cold to have Greek!

Well we got to our favorite Greek restauraunt, and the lights were off, the CLOSED sign was up, all the signs on the front windows were taken down, and the chairs were stacked on the tables...I think they might be closed for good! :( Such a bummer...I LOVE Greek food, and they had amazing food.
So we continued on our search for a decent alternative to Greek...and landed at Carrabas! But they had a HUGE wait, so we (again) continued on our way, and stopped at a taproom and a steakhouse which were both packed before finally finding Yo Ho Asian Bistro.
...JACKPOT!  The food was GREAT, there was no fact, the restaurant was only about 1/2 full...which we were skeptical about for a Friday night...but it turned out to be a wonderful choice!

Celebrating making it through the week...watermelon martini for the lady, long island iced tea for the mister.

Oh hey, you. <3

We started with a little teeny bowl of miso soup, which we shared, because we ordered a few different entrees to share, one of which came with soup.

 Had a yummy Alaskan roll for another appetizer, dipped in soy/wasabi sauce.

OMG YUMMMM Pad Thai! My favorite! The item didn't have a description on the menu, and turned out to contain both shrimp and chicken! So well-rounded. :)

Also delicious: scallops in a yummy sweet and sour-ish sauce...with steamed veggies, white rice, and lovely plate garnishes.

We left feeling so full and content!
Headed home to make some hot chocolate and blog in bed...which you know ended in frustration, as blogger was being a real pistol and didn't save my post.
Bedtime at 9:30, per usual. It was a great Friday! :)