Thursday, April 30, 2009

where did april go?

Not much to say today...

I am feeling more nervous each day with our upcoming high stakes state tests. And sadly, I think my little fourth graders are feeling the stress. June will be so nice so we can just sit back and have FUN!

Some questions I've been meaning to answer on here...

Jennifer, NCF, and Emily asked about how this recipe turned out, and my answer is summed up with two words: simply delicious. It was so easy to make, and so yummy. And best of all, it was pretty healthy since I used all no fat yogurt. But don't be fooled. It still tasted so rich and creamy. Yogurt is one of my favorite substitutes in recipes. I rarely use mayo or sour cream unless it's totally necessary. Plain, fat free yogurt is my friend! And if you go to make it, know that chicken breasts work great too!

Laura and Taryn commented and asked about Rachel Getting Married. Here are my thoughts so stop reading if you have any interest in seeing the movie and don't want to feel biased. I thought it was good (gave it 3 stars on my netflix), but it let me down. It was very real, and Anne Hathaway was wonderful in it. She's such a fine actress. And this movie brought that to the surface. let me down. Mainly the ending. Which, I suppose not all stories in life work out the way we want, but in a movie, it wasn't what I wanted in an ending. If you've seen it, please share your thoughts. I'd love to know what others thought.

Off to make some veggie pizza for a shower for a coworker tomorrow afternoon. And maybe some Office if I can fit it in!

love story & viva la vida

Yesterday, a friend shared this with me. And I think it's beautiful. Give it a listen...

And the bull terrier at the beginning? That would be my favorite dog in the world...only after Laylas.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

more beach shots...

Here are some more photos from our afternoon at the beach on Sunday:

Maybe one day in the distant future I'll have a baby or go on a cool trip or buy a home. And then maybe I'll have more things to photograph and I'll stop posting so many pictures of my dog. In the meantime, enjoy her pictures or stop reading. She IS my baby right now, and the pictures will continue.


A conversation from class today...

Me: C is absent again? Does anyone know where he is? He's been out all week.

E: I think he has the swine flu

(rest of class erupts into chatter)

: E, there are no reported swine flu cases in Virginia. I don't think that he has swine flu.

: we know he hasn't turned into a pig.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

we've got talent

Confession...I feed my dog table scraps.

I know, I know. My vet yells at me. My husband complains. Oh well. She's not overweight. She's happy.

In the past few months, she's become incredible at catching food in the air. I was eating popcorn a week ago and she caught 17 in a row. That's insane. I tried throwing one in the air for myself and it landed on my elbow.

As proof, I forced J into taking some photos. This dog is incredible. Here she is catching the ends of green beans. You know, when you chop off the ends? This is one of her favorite treats. Please excuse the big pile of recycling in the background!

Yes, that is a green bean, mid air, that is sitting between her jaws.

Now it's off to watch Biggest Loser...the highlight of my day! Hope each of you had a lovely Tuesday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

sunshine day

Spent the afternoon at the beach. I got too much sand all over me, have a sunburned chest, and came home smelly. But I don't care. It was still the perfect afternoon.

I'll share some more photos tomorrow! Off to eat THIS for dinner (it's smelling wonderful!) and watch Rachel Getting Married.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

tweet tweet

Well...I did it. I joined twitter. My computer savvy husband has been on for awhile and I'd been thinking about it, but I kept saying it wasn't worth the time, and I didn't really get it. Well, that has all changed. After watching Oprah last Friday when she joined, I decided to join the twitter world. And, there' s a few blogs I read that have given some excellent reasons for joining twitter. As an educator, I love all the technology resources I can find through certain "tweeters" (is that what I call them?), and I appreciate the ability to keep up with people who I don't see as often through twitter. After joining last night, I may or may not have spent the rest of the night just looking around on twitter for people to follow. I lead such an exciting life! If you have twitter, you can follow me by looking on the left side of my blog. For those without twitter, you can still read my updates on here, also on the left.

The lovely Brittany tagged me to do this a few days ago...

8 Things I Look Forward To
1. Eating at Five Guys today with J!
2. Fish Tacos that J is making for dinner with the fish he caught on the Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday!
3. This gorgeous weather. It's gonna be 90 here at the beach and we're hoping to enjoy a nice walk this evening. We have too many errands to run during the day, but we're hoping to actually hit the beach tomorrow.
4. June 18, the last day of the school year! Only 38 more school days left!
5. The 4 summer weddings we have to attend this summer. So nice going to weddings when you know you never have to go through the planning again.
6. Getting a new car...possibly in a few months?
7. Our summer road trip we have planned.

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1. Joined twitter!
2. Worked out at the Y
3. Had a catered lunch thanks to the office at school
4. Laughed at J as he watched a zombie movie
5. Received a million kisses from Layla!
6. Made Pasta alla Vodka (PW recipe here)
7. Slept too late
8. Drank a Brooklyn Summer Ale...we need to get more!

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Eat Five Guys for lunch everyday!
2. Go back to the Oregon Coast for a week
3. Work from home
4. Cook in a kitchen that has more than one square foot of counter space...see here!
5. Play piano
6. Stealing this one from Brittany...get paid to blog for a living
7. Play Quidditch
8. Have more puppies! One day..

8 Shows I Watch:
1. LOST...we're obsessed in this home
2. Biggest Loser. DUH.
3. The Office
4. 24...for thos eof you who quit, you're missing out. This season has been excellent.
5. Dexter
6. Big Love
7. Friday Night Lights
8. How I Met Your Mother

8 Bloggers Who I Am Tagging To Do This:
I feel like so many of you have done this! Really, anyone who still wants to do it, I'd love to read it :)

Friday, April 24, 2009


This is what I come home to each day. And I love it.

And for all who were concerned from the last post...all hiccups have stopped!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

3 things

1. I worked for 11 hours today. My paycheck will only account for 7.33 of those hours. Oh the life of a teacher. How I loved the science fair tonight.
2. Came home to Chinese food and (beer snob alert!) some Bell's Oberon. DELICIOUS and just what I needed! The greasiest food that I was craving, with the perfect summer beer. I love that the label reads,

"Oberon, a summer ale. An American wheat ale with color and scent of a summer afternoon."

Siiiigh. Summer shall be here soon. In the meantime, I'll just drink summer ales!
3. Layla has had hiccups for over an hour now. They started during The Office, continued through 30 Rock, and they're still going strong. And every time she hiccups, she licks. She licks her chin, the carpet, the wall, my face, J's shoes, the sofa. Pretty much whatever she's closest to. Poor (weird) puppy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

happy earth day

A picture of one of my favorite places on Earth, in honor of this special day...

Monday, April 20, 2009

my kitchen testimony

This is our kitchen. Our teeny, tiny, poor designed kitchen. There are few things I like in this kitchen, but even I can't be a total hater. It has a few (a very small few) redeeming qualities.

Things we hate about this kitchen:
  • The appliances. The oven is so small that it doesn't hold some of my pans. It sparked and sort of caught on fire once. The stove. This is probably my second least favorite part of the kitchen. Many of the burners don't work. It's also electric which I hate. And it's filthy. I guess I could work on that last part...And then there's the sink. It is an off white color and stains terribly. You must rinse out the sink immediately after dumping any thing dark down the sink, or it will permanently stain in minutes.
  • The size. As you can see form the picture, our kitchen doesn't have much room. J and I have become better at working in here together, but, as you can imagine, it's tight. The small size also limits our counter space. We have one decent size space where we do most the work. The rest of the time, we're storing prep items in all kinds of funny places (on top of the microwave, in the sink, on burners that aren't being used).
  • The floors. They're nasty, gross, dirty, and UGLY. And we really do clean them. J is a great mopper, but nothing can totally clean these floors. Oh, and did I mention they're cracking in a few places? We're high class with floors like these!
  • The number one thing, I hate more than anything else about this kitchen...the counter tops. We have light pink marble linoleum counter tops. And oh. my. goodness. They're hideous. If you go back and look at some of my food or recipe posts you may be able to get a better picture of these terrible counters. And like our nice floors, they are also cracking. We joke about how when we move, the first thing we have to do is figure out how we can bring these counter tops with us.
Things I actually have found to love about this kitchen:
  • The window. As you can see from the photo, our kitchen gets pretty great natural sunlight, which is something I love in a room. I take a lot of pictures here because of the great lighting. It's also nice to open this window while cooking. I love a great breeze to flow through the kitchen, especially when I happen to burn something!
  • The time I've spent in here. Despite the crappy conditions that we have been given to work with, I do love spending hours here. Before moving here, I had a few things I enjoyed cooking, but since August when I moved here, I have become a pretty decent cook! Through all of my time in this kitchen, I've come to love it and all of its downfalls.

One day I will have a kitchen like Pioneer Woman (she has my dream kitchen home), but for now, I will be happy for the little kitchen that we do have. It may be pretty pathetic, but it sure does have character! And if I can make delicious meals in this kitchen, I can't wait to see what I'm capable of in a real cooking space with appliances that actually do what they were made for!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

busy weekend

Great weekend! We were busy with a shower, an actual wedding, and then an engagement party all on Saturday. A fun day to celebrate with lots of people we love! And best of all, it was in the 80's most of the weekend! I loved wearing a dress with sandals and no jacket! Spring looks like it is officially here in VA.

Spring break is officially over and I have a few more things to get ready for a busy day with my kiddos tomorrow. It won't be fun to go back after such a relaxing week off, but I do miss my friends at work. And, I got an email from our principal tonight reminding us that we've only got 43 work days until summer vacation. I can do it!

Hope you have had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

layla cakes

This would be my poor little mutt who has a big gaping hole on the top of her head from trying to squeeze under a bed that only has about a foot of clearance. This would also be the same dog we took to the vet this morning to make sure she doesn't have mites around her eye. She is also the same cute little dog who has messy ears due to allergies and too much itching. This is also the same animal who is now on antihistamines to help her allergies. And you may surprised to know that this not so little dog has gained 10 pounds since September (oooops....too much table food!).

But what you probably already know is this is the dog who I love and loves me back unconditionally. She is the crazy little girl who brightens each day and makes me laugh more than anyone. Lucky for her, we've had lots of time together this week thanks to spring break. We can't wait for summer vacation together!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

biggest sap

One of my biggest guilty pleasures is The Biggest Loser. I love it.

I never make plans for Tuesday nights, as I have dedicated my whole night to this show. And I sit here now tearing up as I type this. I am such a baby. Good thing J is in class Tuesday nights, because I know for a fact that he'd be sitting on the other sofa laughing at me cry as I watch people run and sweat on a treadmill.

Now back to my some more tears and eating leftover peeps! A great combo for this show!

Monday, April 13, 2009

croutons from your kitchen

A few days ago I was cleaning up the kitchen and found some rolls that had gone stale. Instead of throwing the rolls away, I did what I always do in this scenario...I made croutons! I know some of you are super chefs in the kitchen, and if that's you, feel free to skip this post! But for those of you looking to add a few new tricks to your cooking, keep reading. Homemade croutons are easy, a good way to keep stale bread out of the trash, and SO much better than any store bought croutons you're going to find!

Step 1, find your stale bread. These were sourdough rolls. J likes to make homemade bread, and I also love using the ends of that to make croutons. Step 2, chop your roll up with a sharp knife. I only ended up cutting one roll tonight, since I only wanted enough croutons for just J and myself.
(sorry fonts are so small in the picture on the photo to enlarge)

Step 3, take your chopped up bread and put it in a pan. I covered my pan with foil to help with the clean up. I love using foil in the kitchen. Reynolds could hire me to do their commercials. Drizzle the pieces with olive oil. I did two big swishes around the pan (swishes....that's a real me). I also sprinkled them with salt and garlic power. Step 4, broil for 3 minutes. I used my toaster oven, but any broiler is fine. At about 2 minutes, I took the tray out and flipped the pieces around. And finally, step 5! Take out of oven and enjoy on your salad! Once you make these, you will not want to go back to croutons from a box!

easter baskets

I've never made an Easter basket before, as it's always been my mom's job to make me an Easter basket full of jellybeans and fun things (thanks mom!). This year I decided to make J an Easter basket. Being the self proclaimed beer snobs that we are, I went to our local wine shop where they sell individual micro-brews, and picked up six for the basket. And then of course I had to go by Target for some Reese's peanut butter eggs and some Cadburry eggs. Essentials! I gave it to him on Friday night, because as you can see below, it's more of a Friday night basket than a Sunday morning basket!

J has class from 4-7 on Friday nights, so I had it waiting for him in the fridge when he got home. I am pretty sure he was pleased with the treats the Easter bunny left for him.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

bought with the precious blood of Christ

This song has been on my heart all day. I remember singing this in college when I'd go to weekly large group on Thursdays, and at that time I felt chills as I'd sing it aloud. I still tear up today. Each time that I get to the verse below, I feel this wonderful sense of peace. Peace that can only come from the Savior of this world. The words are so powerful and bring me to my knees with praise.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

spring break '09

Spring break has finally begun here in our neck of the woods, and boy oh boy, it's a wonderful feeling! Sleeping in this morning followed by watching the season finale of Friday Night Lights was the perfect start to my lazy week off!

Spring Break To-Do List:
  • Get my oil changed. J was not too happy with me when I mentioned I was 1,500 miles PAST the point where I should have had the oil changed. Oops.
  • CAR WASH - this pollen is driving me crazy. Is it bad where you live?
  • Visit with a few friends. I have a few friends who also teach in this area, and I've got a few meet ups planned.
  • CLEAN!! This is a big one. Our apartment needs some TLC. In many ways and in many rooms. Here's to hoping for a new and improved home at this time next week.
  • A wedding shower for a special college friend who has been living out west for the past year. It'll be so nice to see her and a few other friends at her shower next weekend. She's also getting this, except in stripes, as I picked it up at Williams Sonoma on my way yesterday. I got one as a shower gift from a friend of my mom, and it's one of my top 5 favorite things in our kitchen. Be looking for a post with the other four!

  • And last but not least, have a fun day out with J and Layla one day. He's planning on taking a day off sometime this week so we can (most likely) go to the beach or hiking for the day.
So, overall, no big plans. Just a good solid week at home to get caught up and relax. While a trip to the Caribbean would be nice, this will suit me just fine for the week!

Happy Easter to each of you and your families!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

easter eggs and cupcakes

Two things I love about my job:

1. Easter Egg Cupcakes from my room mom. So precious and delicious and I am pretty sure she has some sort of Martha Stewart hook up, as this is the 6th set of cupcakes she's made our class this year.
2. When wet cat girl brings me a hard boiled egg that she has dyed my name on. That's right folks. I now have a half puke-green, half orange hard Easter egg which reads, "Mrs. W". Life is grand.

Oh, and totally not related, but I need to gloat for a minute. I was a winner on Ali Edwards' blog this morning! What an exciting thing to wake up to. If it weren't for my monogrammed Easter egg, this may have been the highlight of my week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

30 day shred/i feel like i'm dying

After reading Caitlin's post HERE about her review of the 30 Day Shred, I decided to go in and give it a try. Her pictures and chart were enough to win me over. And, let's be honest, I am very devoted Biggest Loser fan, and while Jillian scares the crap out of me, I'd pick her as my trainer in a heartbeat if I were ever a contestant. I am totally on Team Jillian. She's a machine. A crazy, screaming, beastly machine. But I think it's all a part of her charm.

Anyhow...I got my DVD from Amazon yesterday (which, btw, is cheaper with shipping than it is in Target), and O-M-G people. My butt has been kicked. After two days of this workout ( only level 1), I now know why it works if you follow it. This 20 minute workout is so intense. While I ache all over, I'm glad I'm doing it. I can feel so much growth. The next few days are gonna be rough as my body adjusts to this type of exercise. But it will be worth it. I may groan and make funny noises as I walk down the stairs, but I keep telling myself how much it'll be worth it!

Any other readers out there who have tried it?

Monday, April 6, 2009

rain and sunshine

Remember when I posted about these sandals here? I now have them in my possession and love them. They've only been mine for a few weeks and you can already see the outline of my foot in the sole.

It's been a rainy day. But by the time I left school at 4:30, the sun was out and the sky was blue. I'll take that! After a trip to visit a friend from college this weekend, I was pretty tired from my busy weekend away. Good thing I told school I had to go to the "doctor" this morning. Arriving to work at noon made for a short and relaxing day. I could get used to a schedule like that. And just so you all know, the "doctor" went well. So well that I slept in and watched Rachael Ray as I ate my breakfast. Ahhhh spring break...just 3 more days and then I can sleep in all of next week!

One question for all of you before I go...what do you like to give for wedding presents? Do you prefer registries or do you like to be a creative gift giver? Any great gift ideas you'd like to share? We have 7 weddings to go to between April and November, and I am looking for some fun/creative ways to give to our friends. As the bride, I loved getting registry gifts. After all, it's exactly what I wanted. But some of our friends gave us some really thoughtful and fun things that we didn't register for. Please share any and all ideas and thoughts you have. I'd love to hear 'em!

april fool's follow up

In my last post about April Fool's Day, many of you inquired about the little joke my kids played on me. Here is what I wrote on my class blog for the parents to read...

In our lunch the room, the lunch monitors use a color system to show me how the kids behaved in lunch. Green is good, yellow means they need work, and red means it was a VERY bad day. Up until today, our class has never received red. But that all changed today! As I walk in, I see a red cup on the table, and our lunch monitor looks very upset. I walk over and see some smiles, and I say to the class,

“There is nothing funny about this! You shouldn’t be laughing about a red cup!”.

At this time, the class stands and shouts “APRIL FOOLS!”

So there you have it! Either my kids are great jokesters or I am just very gullible!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

no joke.

I was fooled by fourth graders today. My entire class pulled a good one on me. I felt like an idiot, but it made them feel like the coolest kids in school. I guess that made it worthwhile.

And then I come home, see a ticket on J's car for parking on the street on street cleaning day. Call and tell him and get asked if this is an April's Fools Joke. No, honey. You actually owe the city $35. I am not actually smart enough to come up with my own prank for this jokester's holiday.

And in very serious matters, check out THIS blog. Made me laugh for about 10 minutes, as I am probably the most mature 25 year old you know.