Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I just had such a fun post written, including lots of pictures!  And then I hit a button and lost it. SO, now I'm going to eat a few skittles and go make a bulletin board.

2 days until Spring Break. OHTHANKGOD.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

who AM I?

Well, obviously I'm a lady.
I'm also a daughter/sister/wife (not a sister wife, though...just to be clear).
I'm a teacher.
I'm a best friend.
I'm a cat mama.
I'm a runner.
I'm a reader.
I'm a food LOVER.
And apparently, I'm a cook. Not an amazing one, by any stretch of the imagination. I don't make up my own recipes, but I sure know how to find some winning recipes online!
Today, I cooked 2 seriously awesome meals, and I couldn't be prouder of myself. :)

Let's start with lunch.
Breakfast kind of got away from me, as I headed out the door at 7:30 to work out with Alyssa at her gym. I had a Chobani pineapple greek yogurt on my way, and a small bowl of Kashi Go Lean (the original, not crunch or's my FAVORITE, in case you want to shower me with any gifts of cereal.).
After a sweaty session at the gym (30 minutes on an Arc, 30 minutes on a treadmill, 10 minutes of abs/stretching), I was itching to make Rachel's Friday Night French Toast! It has all the makings of a seriously amazing breakfast-turned-lunch, including french toast, bananas, and EGGS!
carefully following Rachel's recipe!
Look who helped me cook...he's so mad that I took that picture! Gotta document that fine kitchen help! ;)
nice camo pants, husband.
We mixed up a batch of eggs and milk and cinnamon, then dipped several slices of wheat bread in it, and fried them on the griddle.
full stove top!
While the french toast slices were sizzling away, Ben sauteed two small bananas in some margarine, with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  I fried several eggs, to go into our french toast sandwiches!
Ben's open-faced sandwiches, not quite ready!
my french toast egg and banana sandwich! topped with syrup! SO GOOD!
Our breakfast for lunch was amazing. We both really enjoyed these french toast sandwiches that contained a good serving of protein and fruit! I can't wait to make these again.

*Insert several hours of lounging, lesson planning, and light cleaning*
good helper.

Fast forward to about 5:00 pm, when I decided to marinate some chicken in a McCormick's Mexican Fiesta seasoning packet, and started thinking about dinner plans.
I knew I wanted to have something spicy with the chicken, and my mind popped to NACHOS! But, we have no chips! What's a girl to do with no tortilla chips and a hankerin' for nachos?!
Make them, of course!!!!!
I googled "baked lime tortilla chips" and up popped The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen website with this easy and fast recipe!
I love how easy it is to find recipes online!
We simply cut up two tortilla chips, brushed them on both sides with olive oil, then brushed them on both sides with a mixture of salt and lime juice, and baked those babies!
all juiced up and ready to cook!
After baking at 350 for about seven minutes, I pulled the pan out, flipped each chip over, and slid them back into the oven for another 8 minutes.
I wish I had only baked them for about 5-6 more minutes, because as you can see, they're a little brown....
crispyyyyyy goodness!
But my gosh, these chips are WONDERFUL!
They are crispy, salty and full of delicious lime flavor. Though they browned farther than my liking, I really like the taste! They don't taste burned, just...cooked!
all ready for dinner!
These chips are seriously SO good.
I can't wait to have them aside a pile of spinach, chicken, black beans, and salsa! :)
Happy Sunday evening to you all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday, Tuesday...

Hi, friends! Happy Tuesday! 
(I'm RIGHT in the middle of watching Intervention about a married couple that are alcoholics on I'm sorry if this is a bit choppy and incoherent. I randomly find this show on t.v., and forget how engaging it is!)

I started my day with oats! And coffee, duh.
MY day was rushed.
As in, I woke up at 6:30 and should have been walking out the DOOR at 6:30.
Dang it!
So, I was uber-thankful that my breakfast (and lunch, snacks, etc) were pre-packed and waiting for me in the fridge when I came hustling down the stairs at light speed, stumbling over Izzy, trying to find my rain boots (Hi, monsoon in Raliegh last night? rediculous), and hurtling myself out the door.

Snack time happened in the midst of a serious computerized NCExtend2 test item tryout that I administered to a few of my students.  This Larabar was one of my Sunday Whole Foods purchases, and it was the PERFECT mid-morning snack. So many yummy flavors mixed into this super-clean bar!
oh hello, delicious.
The day hustled along until lunchtime smacked me in the face.
Seriously, I was so involved in the writing lesson I was doing with a 4th grader, that my co-worker called me and asked why I was 10 minutes late for lunch! Whoops! My hunger hadn't cropped up yet, thanks to my filling mid-morning snack.
Lunch was a spinach salad, topped with sliced carrots, a bit of feta, and an AMAZING turkey burger. When I got home from tutoring last night, I thew two frozen turkey burgers on the George Foreman grill. They took about 10 minutes to cook (flipping once about half-way through cooking time). I had one for dinner a top a bed of spinach, with sliced carrots and feta. The drizzle of mustard really jazzed it up!
Having the second turkey burger for lunch was yummy. I ate about half of the pictured tomato, but it was kind of squishy and I couldn't focus on the taste, with the weird, soft texture issue happening. With  my lunch I also had two whole (unpictured) carrot sticks, and a small red plum. And of course a Tervis Tumbler full of ice water!
Monday dinner on the left, Tuesday lunch on the right!
The afternoon flew by at rapid-speed, including lots of kiddos, an assessment-tool training, and a few less-than-optimal parent phone calls.
Thankfully, I made it to 4:30, and headed home! I knew I need to stop at Walmart for pencils and erasers for my classroom.
Look what I found!
HEY little guys!
(confession: the dark chocolate pb tastes like...paste? I can't taste the chocolate, and yet it doesn't taste like peanut butter. bleh. I had a taste on a slice of apple, and threw the rest away. Bummer that I bought 2 packets! I also got 2 packets of the "Smooth Operator" plain pb, for use in oatmeal, etc.)
Another find:
Eat 'em like JUNK FOOD!
Perfect, perfect, PERFECT packaging! I have been on a bit of a junk food binge the past few weeks, so these little babies are going to be perfect for replacing Chex Mix/Bugles/Cheezits!
One last "find":
travel-sized sleeves!
This is an ironic find, because just about 2 hours earlier, I was discussing my love for Saltine's with a friend at school...but we were complaining that our lack of self-control often led to us demolishing an entire sleeve of Saltines in one sitting. So, to randomly find these "Fresh Stacks" in the cracker aisle was a total coincidence. Each sleeve has 16 crackers (or 18? I can't remember exactly what the package said...I didn't buy any!) which seems much more manageable than the usual 30 or so.

I finally made it home around 6:00, and set to work creating a quick and tasty dinner.
I thawed a frozen tuna steak in the microwave (60 seconds on low- flipped halfway), then popped it under the broiler on a piece of foil, topped with salt and pepper, for about 10 minutes (flipped halfway!)
While my tuna was sizzling away, I sauteed some zucchini and mushrooms in soy sauce. 
Finally, I plated my meal with a side spinach salad, and sat down to enjoy dinner!
This dinner was HUGE, and I ate the whole thing. I didn't have an afternoon after grocery shopping and preparing this delicious dinner, I gobbled it up hungrily while watching t.v. and snuggling with Izzy on the couch. 
Mom...I can SMELL that tuna!
What a day!
I'm snuggled in on the couch, ready to watch Biggest Loser and relax for a few hours. 
See you later!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One year.

Today is our 1st wedding anniversary!!

April 3, 2010 was a family and friend-filled day, full of love. It flew by faster than I ever would have imagined!
first dance!
April 3, 2011, our 1 year anniversary, has been much calmer and more mellow.
pre-lunch :)
oh you husband <3
It has been a wonderful first year of marriage! There have been lots of laughs, minor upsets, and everything in between. I couldn't ask for a better year.

I started my personal holiday with a trip to the gym...cardio is a great way to start any day!
I hopped on a bike, getting ready for a solid hour of biking.
I really wanted to read my Kindle, but it was dead-dead-DEAD when I pulled it out of it's case this morning. SHOOT! So, plan B was to watch t.v. on my phone. I got into, and was shocked that I couldn't watch any shows! I'm not sure if I was unable to watch t.v. shows because I was on my phone, or because they've changed their format...but every show I tried to watch was unavailable unless I was a "Hulu Plus" member...aka a paid member! OK. Plan C: watch an episode of NCIS on This worked for about 5 minutes until I received a text, and when I got back into the webpage, the show started itself over. GAHHHHH! So, I listened to music. Laaaaaame. I love biking, because I can read/watch shows while working out! 
Oh well.
I completed 60 minutes of biking! I rode 17.25 miles! Strong legs. :)
 After the gym, I drove over to Whole Foods to grab a few things. My biggest grocery goal was to find some organic, free-range chicken breasts, so that I could make Julie's buffalo chicken sandwiches! I bought 2.2 lbs of chicken breasts, along with a few other goodies...
highlights: Larabars and portable Justin's almond and hazelnut butters!
After getting groceries, I headed home to shower and see Ben!
We received a gift card to T.G.I. Friday's from Ben's parents (Thanks, family!!!!!), so we decided to head out for an anniversary lunch date.

I haven't been to T.G.I. Friday's in years. In fact, I remember the last time I was there was the day I bought my car, which was sometime in late January, 2009! So, today I was excited to see the menu and try something yummy for lunch.
We started our lunches with drinks...a mojito for me, a long island iced tea for Ben!
I decided to try the 3-course meal, and shared the appetizer and dessert with Ben. He chose a big burger, topped with cheese, fried onions, and veggies!
We started with an order of green bean fries. They were SO good!! I had about 1/2 of the plate of fries, dipping a few in the wasabi-ranch sauce.
And now, you all can see my bad-blogger pictures of my Key West shrimp skewers, served with really yummy broccoli. I liked this entree; the shrimp were grilled and topped with a citrus-y marinade, and the broccoli was steamed to perfection. I ate one whole skewer of shrimp (about 6 shrimp), and all of the broccoli. Ben helped me with the second half of my lunch, which is typical. :)
My lunch came with a dessert course, for which we chose peanut butter pie (also undocumented...sorry!) This dessert was SO sweet and rich...I had about 3 bites, and Ben ate the rest.

Now we're back home, relaxing and enjoying the rest of our Sunday. I have a bit of school work to do, and we've got the t.v. on for background noise. The windows are open, because weather is beautiful...70 degrees and bright blue skies! Izzy has been channeling her inner Dora the Explorer, sniffing around the back yard and eating grass. She loves to be outside!
wild child.
See ya later!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Good things come in "threes"

Hey you guys!
I'm back! 
I'm sorry that I've been completely MIA the past few weeks.
There's no really great excuse like that I was on vacation or getting married or something...just busy with school, tutoring, and LIFE!
I won't try to catch you up on EVERYTHING that has happened as of late...but I do have a few pictures and tidbits of three good things let's get at it, shall we?

1. My husband and I have discovered a frozen yogurt heaven...I'm obsessed.
oh yes. 

and again...
AND AGAIN! his and hers :)

2. Last weekend, my sister came to visit! We had froyo, obv. We went to school for a workday, and Katie helped me grade papers! We went with a girlfriend to get her tattoo! We had a CHILLY (45 degrees and rainy) bbq with friends. We went for a few walks. And we ate a lot of junk foods.

She brought her mini schnauz, L.B., and we did a LOT of cuddling.
I like your fuzzy dome.

We had dinner at a cool Irish pub in Raleigh with some friends and co-workers.
besties: (sister) Katie and (pal) Alyssa 
Izzy hated our visitors...specifically the 4-legged one. She didn't come out of hiding for days.

3. I've been eating some seriously veggie-packed meals!  And I'm back into my exercising routine! Phew! Being unhealthy is exhausting and dreadful. I'd been eat a lot of fast food, snacks, and junk. Now, I feel a ton better, having gotten back to my healthy meals and regular gym-visits.
today's breakfast! egg beaters topped with Franks, and 1 whole zucchini + 2 cups of spinach!
pickle chips for a salty afternoon snack. :)
tonight's dinner: turkey burger + mustard, HUGE veggie, almond, and goat cheese salad!

 I was gone all morning and into the afternoon...tutoring, gym, groceries! So, tonight we're staying in, watching "P.S. I Love You", snuggling on the couch, and maybe running out for a Saturday evening cup of frozen yogurt. :)

Tomorrow is a holiday! Here's a hint...April 3, 2010 was a family and friend-packed day of LOVE. <3