Friday, December 16, 2011

Tis the Season

December has brought so many wonderful things already, and I can't wait to see what else is in store the rest of the month! Here is a brief re-cap of this eventful and happy month thus far:

1) 2 of my dear friends have gotten engaged! Whitney and Kristen are two of my Phi Mu sisters and I absolutely could not be happier for them. I am so excited to celebrate their engagements and marriage in the coming year, 2012 is already shaping up to be a great one!

2) I had my last evaluation of the semester and got ALL 4s and 5s (even got a couple more 5s :) ) I cannot express how great of a feeling that was. My evaluator had nothing but great things to say and it really made me feel good and more confident in the job I am doing. It was definitely a good way to end my first semester as a teacher.

3) I SURVIVED MY FIRST SEMESTER AS A TEACHER! While there have been good days and bad days, I made it. I am really starting to get in a routine and establish my own foundation for my classes. I know it takes a solid 3 years if not more to truly build up the right teaching program for you, but I feel I am making good progress toward that. I survived scheduling mayhem, 13 IEP meetings, 3 evaluations, and everything else that comes with teaching. It was a lot of work, but now I have a nice 2 weeks of nothing to look forward to. Come January 2, I will be ready to finish up my year just as strong as I began it.

Here's to December and the Holiday season. I hope everyone is feeling as blessed and joyful as I am and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 Day Challenge : 5 Foods

As I am sure most of my followers know.. I love food. I love cooking it and I love eating it. Here are 5 of my either go-to foods, or foods that I am always having a taste for.

5. Sushi: Now, when I say I love sushi, I don't mean the legit stuff. You know, the raw fish and all that jazz. I love COOKED sushi. Anything with crab, shrimp, lobster, salmon, avocado, cucumber, and so on is absolutely delicious, so long as the meat is cooked (or smoked). I can pretty much guarantee that I am always up for going to get some sushi, no matter how much I have had it that week. (not such a good thing for my bank account)
4. Pasta: Any pasta dish is fine with me. I cook a lot of them because they are just simple and fairly inexpensive. I have also found that most recipes I come across to try, all seem to be pasta related! When in doubt, I have 2-3 pasta dishes I can eat pretty much any time.
3. Steak: I really like  LOVE, OBSESS OVER, MAY HAVE A SLIGHT ADDICTION TO... steak. It is just so wonderful. For those who know me well, you know how much of a carnivore I am. If there is red meat, I am a happy girl; but steak.. steak is the way to my heart. I don't have it often, but when I do, I can assure you, I am the happiest girl alive. (sorry my love may be a little out of hand)
2. Hamburger: Hamburger- it's red meat, of course I love it. Hamburgers are just one of those things that are always good and always seem to hit the spot. Especially when you get a good one! One of my favorite burgers is the Belmont Burger at Belmont Grill. I used to be a loyal Huey's burger girl, but they haven't impressed me as much the last couple of years, but Belmont's are thick, juicy little pieces of heaven.
1.Grilled Cheese/ Deli Sandwiches: My #1 go to food is a grilled cheese sandwich or a grilled turkey/cheese etc. They are quick, easy, and inexpensive. Cheese (if you can even consider it a food) is probably my second favorite food next to steak. So anything with cheese is great. Add some bread, butter, and melt them all together and I am good to go. 

Those are some of my favorite dishes, and after writing this post, I think I may just need to consume one of the aforementioned foods this evening!

Happy Friday Eve, everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

10 Day Challenge : 6 Places

I really want to travel, but here are just a few places I would love to visit and/or places I just love :) (in no particular order)

6. Spain - I would love to go to Spain one day. For no particular reason really, just think it would be a pretty exciting place to visit!

5. Chicago - I have never been and I have ALWAYS wanted to! Fortunately, I get to go in March for my cousins Bachelorette party and I cannot wait!

4. Africa - I think it would be pretty awesome to go to Africa and explore all of it's natural beauty.

3. Bora Bora - This place just looks awesome. Gorgeous, relaxing, romantic. Perfect honeymoon place!

2. Denver - I love cold. I love snow. I would love to visit Colorado in general, and even potentially live there one day. Guess we will just see where life takes me!

1.  Memphis - I have lived here my whole life, and while I definitely want to get away a lot I still think Memphis is a beautiful place.

Happy traveling :) At least one day, I hope!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

10 Day Challenge : 7 Wants

7. I want to travel. Anywhere and everywhere.
6. I want this entire outfit. Feel free to make that happen. I really love the whole look, it is cute but comfortable. I love LOVE love the accessories!
I already have the boots, but I will take the rest please :)

5. I want to start reading more. I have a list of books I can't wait to read, but I just don't have the time right now!
4. I want another puppy... but that won't be happening anytime soon (don't worry mother)
I miss that sweet little puppy face!

3. I want/NEED some new shoes (especially flats)
2. I want this semester to be over so I can have that boyfriend of mine back. Our schedules are completely opposite so we don't get to hang out nearly as much!

1. I want my friends to move back to Memphis so we can hang out all the time. I miss them!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

10 Day Challenge : 8 Fears

8. Spiders
7. Roaches
6. Being jobless
5. Being robbed/mugged
4. Rubberbands - I hate having those things shot at me
3. House Fires - couldn't imagine losing everything
2.Awkward run-in's (may sound stupid, but I wouldn't know what to do!)
1.Letting down my family/friends

Monday, October 31, 2011

10 Day Challenge : 9 Loves

9. I love music. I am always looking for new music and love searching and finding something great on youtube or other places.
8. I love to eat! My favorite food, without a doubt, is steak. That is one thing that will make me happy no matter what!
7. I love to cook. I think of cooking as a stress reliever in a sense. I am not the best cook by any means, but I love experimenting and trying new recipes. I am trying to put together a cookbook of recipes that I really liked and that were tasty. I have a stack of almost 30 recipes right now that need to be tested out to see if they make the cut. That is my plan over Christmas break!
6. I love my job. While it is very stressful and/or frustrating at times, I am so glad I get to do something that has a direct effect on our future and is such an important part of life. I am so blessed that I have known I wanted to teach since I was 5 years old and it never changed, and it never will. I am a very lucky girl!
5. I love quotes. I like all kinds of quotes - funny, serious, sad, happy, etc. I feel like quotes are a good way to help someone having a rough time as well. If you can't find the words to say, I can guarantee that there is a quote that will suffice.
4. I love sweatshirts. They are just so cozy :)
3. I love cold weather. Cold weather means hot chocolate, spiced cider, fires, blankets, cuddling, and snow (on rare occasions) :) I wouldn't want to live somewhere where it was cold year-round, but I wouldn't mind moving somewhere that had a little more snow!
2. I love my friends. I have some of the best friends in the world, and no matter how far they are, I know I can always count on them.
1. I love my family. I have such a great family surrounding me. They are beyond supportive and always make sure to tell me how much they believe in me. I am very grateful for that :)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

10 Day Challenge

This looked like a fun way to try and update my blog a little more frequently... at least for the next 10 days :)

Day 1: 10 secrets

1. I despise tea. Sweet tea, unsweet tea, cold tea, hot tea, any tea. I just hate it, everything about it!
2. I am the worst shopper ever. I am not able to come up with cute outfits and figure out what looks good together. I just don't have that gift, but I really wish I did!
3. To go along with the last one, I am not only a bad clothes shopper, I am horrible at shopping for house decorations as well. I just don't know how to coordinate things :(
4. I have a SERIOUS addiction to planners/agenda books. I love them and will go through 10-15 a year. I am extremely OCD about them, so if the slightest mistake is made, I will go buy a new one and rewrite the entire thing. Weird - I know.
5. I love music. I don't just listen to music and like it because it is catchy (most of the time). I really like getting the deeper meaning behind the song, the lyrics, etc. I can relate a song to almost every event in my life and to every one of my friends.
6. I count my steps when I walk. I only count to 7 and start back over until I get where I am going. OCD? I don't know.
7. I know the entire alphabet in sign language. I learned it in 7th grade when I rode the bus and met a peer who was deaf. I would love to take a sign language class and become fluent, I really think it is such an amazing thing.
8. I love sports. I love watching them and playing them, even though I am not very good at most.
9. I have never been out of the country, but hopefully it will happen in 2012 :)
10. I love to clean. My apartment is not always spotless, and goodness knows my room isn't either by any means... BUT when I get in a cleaning mood there is no stopping me. I love the feeling of a clean space. My favorite time to clean always seem to be after I have had a few cocktails... makes no sense, but it is what it is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hello/Goodbye October!

It has been quite some time since I have updated this bad boy, but I have been busy SWAMPED at work the last month or so. I had 6 IEP meetings and my first evaluation all within a 10-day time span. I was unsure if I was going to get through it, but I did and now feel a whole lot better about everything. I felt as though everything got piled on all at once, and IEP meetings take a lot of time and practice to really do right, but I now feel like a pro. I made it through my first eval with two 4s (above expectation) and one 3(meets expectations). That was such an awesome feeling and I am glad to have it out of the way. Now I get to look forward to my lasy 2 evals of the semester, which will both be unannounced (joy). I also finished up my class webpage this last month. It is a way for parents to get on and see what their kids are doing and I also try to keep it updated as far as what we do each week. I haven't updated for this week due to some network issues at school, but if interested you are welcome to check out the cute kiddos in my class!  My Lovely Class

After my hectic month, I was greeted very nicely by fall break, which I decided to spend in New York with one of my best friends and my brother. I really had a blast. It was such a relaxing trip since I have done most of the "touristy" things already. We did A LOT of eating and drinking, so there is really nothing to complain about there. We had perfect weather as well - definitely a plus. Here are a few pictures to recap my lovely break :)

My brother and me inside the huge light up cube at The Creators Project.

Beautiful view

Dinner at Char No.4 They had delicious steak and every type of whiskey there is!

We got to go to The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. It was tasty!

Just enjoying a couple of cocktails while people watching in Brooklyn

That's all for now, Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Delicious New Recipes

I tried out a couple of new recipes tonight, and I think it is safe to say they turned out quite delectable! I figured I would share the recipes in case anyone wants to try them out :)

#1 - Hot Spinach Dip

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs Skinnytaste . I have mentioned this site before, but I have so many recipes I have found on there that I am still dying to try. The best part of these, like I said before, is they tend to be a little less "bad for you" and give all the nutrition facts, which is nice too. Here is the link to the recipe and a picture of my final product :)

Hot Spinach Dip Recipe

The next thing I made, the main course I guess I could say were these tasty little things called Creamy Chicken Pot Pies. They were super easy to make and turned out PERFECT! Here is a link to the recipe ( I found it on Pinterest) and of course a picture of my final product!

Chicken Pot Pie

September Updates

Hello, blogworld! It has been a while since I have updated this thing, but so far this month has been a pretty fantastic one!

To kick September off, I went to watch my beloved (and rather pathetic) Tiger football team play. I booked it after school to get to David's so we could head out to tailgate. As always, tailgating was wonderful - and much better than the game itself, which is pretty common.

Labor Day weekend, my dear friend Lindsay came to visit! We met up Saturday afternoon, went shopping, got some dinner, and then went out with some of her friends. I really enjoyed having her in town, since her along with my 2 other best friends all moved away!

This past weekend, David and I spent our time celebrating the marriage of 2 of our wonderful friends Sam(antha) and Jimmy. Friday night we went to the rehearsal dinner and Saturday we went to the wedding and then off to the reception, which took place at the Peabody. It was a beautiful wedding and the reception was equally as nice and an absolute blast! It was nice to see so many people and just be able to have a good time with good people.

Rehearsal Dinner

Reception with my handsome date :)

My beautiful little and me at the reception!

That is my update and I hope everyone has had as wonderful of a September as I have... I mean how could you not with this beautiful weather we have been getting little spurts of :) Wish you all a wonderful rest of the week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life of a Teacher

     Here I am, sitting at my kitchen table putting together this dreaded thing known as the "Subfolder". This is basically a folder that outlines every last detail of my day, in the unfortunate incident that I am absent (it is weird to me that I will forever have the ability to be considered "absent"). Anyway, that is the first of many things on my to-do list for this evening- so what do I do? I decide it is time to update my blog!

     I have officially been a teacher for 1 week and 3 days, and I can honestly, without a doubt in my mind, say that I absolutely love my job. Not only do I have the luxury of almost 30 pre-determined days off (NOT including summer break). I have a group of absolute sweethearts to work with each an every day. I have the opportunity to help mold these children into effective citizens in our society. This opportunity is present for any teacher of any grade, but I honestly believe that elementary school is the most influential time for kids. They are going to get either a good, or a bad taste in their mouth for school - almost all based on the experiences with their teacher(s). All it takes is one bad teacher to really mess things up. One teacher, who is only teaching for those glorious days off (especially summer) and/or because they figured it was an easy profession. I'll give them this- it is an easy profession, IF you're a bad teacher. I say this because if you are a bad teacher you don't work outside of the hours of 8-3 (or whatever the schools hours may be) M-F. You don't go home at night and think about what great activity you could do to help the kids understand something better while having FUN doing so.  You don't take time out of your day to simply smile and make your students feel like they are the most important kids in the world to you, which is one of the most crucial things you should do. Some of these kids don't get that kind of attention and support at home and school may be the only place they really feel loved and feel like they are good at something.  But that is enough of my rant on BAD teachers... I will go on to tell you about my class!

     I have a grand total of a whopping 7 kids. I have 3 kindergartners that I see twice a day for reading and math, and 4 2nd graders, 3 of which I pull twice a day for Reading and Math, and the 4th for Math only. These kids are wonderful and hysterical. In fact, right before leaving my class yesterday, one of my kindergartners ran up and gave me a big hug and said " I love you!"-- that was cute, but the best part was, as he was walking out of the door he turned and said " I'll see you later cutie-baby!" I almost died from laughing so hard. It may not seem that funny to you, but I am telling you this kid is full of comments like that. All of my kids are great and my only goal and hope is that I am able to leave a good impression of school with them. I want them to enjoy school and enjoy learning, and I will do anything in my power to make that happen.

     With all of that being said, even with the absurd amount of paperwork I have to take care of due to being a  Special Ed teacher, and all of the other random assignments and papers I have to get done for the administrators - I would not trade my job for anything. It is quite the feeling to know that I have chosen the right profession for me and that it is something I love so much. I just wanted to share a little update and some feelings about this new chapter of my life, and I will leave you all with this quote that I am sure you have heard a million times but is perfect for me:

If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life"


Friday, August 5, 2011


     Hello fellow bloggers! This past week has been spent doing in-service, working registration, and setting up my room. Of course, my favorite part thus far has been setting up my very own classroom! I am extremely excited about school starting and can't wait to meet my kiddos. Speaking of kiddos, it looks like I am only going to have about 6 kids TOTAL. Two kindergarten resource and four 2nd grade resource. It is going to take some getting used to, but I know it will be a wonderful experience; and like I have said before, I am so glad to have familiar faces around to help guide me through my first year. Here are a few pictures of my classroom up to this point. It is about 85-90% complete, but there are a couple of things I still need to add and I am sure as the year goes on I will add little odds and ends.

This will be the pick-up and turn-in table. The 3 bins on the left are labeled by grade, the 2 small are sharpened and not sharpened pencils, and the 3 flatter bins will be used to turn in math and reading work.

My wall shelving where all the textbooks, games, and craft supplies are. This will soon be more organized once I get all matching containers. Yes, I have a problem :)

This is one side of the classroom. Still have to add some sort of "Behavior Chart" sign above the bear paws that will be used for conduct.

Here is the other side of the room, my SmartBoard, and the table has all of my Math program materials on it, separated by grade level.

This is near my desk, just filing cabinets and then a "mailbox" type system to help separate student work at the end of each day.

If anyone has any other ideas they think I should add in my room, let me know :) I am always up to try new ideas! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time to Grow Up!

     Hello, blogworld! As you know, I accepted a job as a k-2 resource teacher this coming school year at Ellendale Elementary. I attended New Teacher Induction last week, and in-service starts tomorrow! Tomorrow is the first day of my first big girl job and I could not be more excited, I can't believe it is finally here.  While I am overcome with excitement, my nervousness is right there with it, just hanging out. I know it is going to be ok and I will be surrounded by incredible teachers and leaders, as well as some pretty fantastic peers who are more-or-less in the same boat I'm in as first year teachers. There are 4 "new" teachers at Ellendale, and I know they will really be nice to have around to get through this first year together. I am beyond thankful for this amazing opportunity to impact my sweet students' lives and I can only hope I don't let them down! Wish me luck, and I am sure I will be blogging soon about my first week, soon. Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

I finally got around to trying another recipe. My dear friend Whitney came over last night so I tried it out on her. It was nice having someone to eat dinner with and very nice catching up as always! I would say these turned out pretty wonderfully, I will definitely be making them again.

Spinach Lasagna Rolls
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese ( I used low fat)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 32 oz spaghetti sauce
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Italian seasoning 
  • Minced or crushed garlic  
** I do not have measurements for salt, pepper, italian seasoning, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, or garlic. I love cheese so I just put as much as I want :) and as far as seasonings, I just season to taste!**

-Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl.
-Ladle about 1 cup spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

-Cook lasagna noodles. Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry.
-Spoon out ricotta mixture ( you can be pretty generous) and spread evenly over noodle. -Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

-Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with mozzarella cheese.
-Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

That is all there is to it. It was actually pretty simple to make, and I am sure you could make the rolls and freeze them so you would just have to pop them in the oven for a little quicker meal :)

The filling for noodles.

Noodles with filling spread.

Almost finished product, before baking.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

$5 DIY

     A few posts back, I mentioned a project I wanted to try out once I was moved and settled in my new apartment - the picture frame jewelry holder. Well, since my month of July consists of a lot of nothing, I decided to start this project. It was really easy, only took about 15 minutes to do, and the best part.. it only cost me about $5 to make!

The picture frame I chose looks a little worn, which I kind of liked. I got it at Hobby Lobby in the 80% off section for a whopping $4. It originally had some random picture nailed in it, but I popped that bad boy out and got started. The picture hanging wire was about $1, and I already had a hot glue gun so I was set. Here is how it turned out:

The frame I bought to use before the wire.

The back after I hot glued the wire in place.

Front after wire.

The finished product!

I am pretty satisfied with how it turned out and I plan on making another one using screen door wire to put the rest of my earrings on. I'd say for $5 and 15 minutes of your day, this is a fun and unique way to store jewelry!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Italian Spinach Meatballs

Yummy, yummy, yummy! I finally tried one of the many recipes I have been collecting to try. It was pretty easy and turned out really good! Thought I would share the recipe in case anyone else wanted to try this out.

* 1 lb lean ground beef
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of all liquid
* 2 slices whole wheat bread
* 1 large egg
* 1 clove garlic, minced (season to taste.. I used a little more garlic than what this called for because I love garlic!)
* 2 tbsp fresh parsley
* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese -- I used this and then added a small handful of Kraft Italian 5 cheese shredded cheese, made it even better!!
* salt and pepper
* 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
* half an onion chopped

Meatballs: Wet bread with water then mash up with your hands. Add to large bowl and combine with chopped beef, chopped spinach, egg, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients well until thoroughly combined. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, measure meat, then divide in two so that each meatball is 1/8th of a cup. Roll into little meatballs.

Sauce: In a large pot, add olive oil and heat on medium. When hot add smashed garlic. When garlic is golden brown, add sauce, onion, salt and pepper and cover, reduce heat to low.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil on low heat. When oil is hot add as many meatballs that will fit, cook on low, turning often so that all side get browned. Cook until the centers are cooked through. When finished, place on a dish lined with paper towels to blot any excess oil.
This is one step I didn't do, it is optional--Drop meatballs into sauce and continue cooking the remaining meatballs, repeating the process. When all meatballs are in the sauce, simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes

That is all there is to it!! I also cooked some noodles so it was more like a spaghetti and meatball type dish. I will definitely be making this again soon!

Noodles with the meatballs

Topped off with sauce

For dessert we have homemade Angel Food Cake with strawberries and whip cream!

Happy July!

Well, so far July has been about as wonderful as I had hoped. I have a month of freedom - meaning no work, no school, no nothing. I literally have to play with Maddie and lay by the pool. Hard life, I know! Here are some pictures from my lazy July so far:

Maddie is the newest Monster drink model haha

Maddie enjoying her lazy July - no different than any other month!

Dave and I went to the casinos for the first time! It was fun even though I lost money!

Maddie's first 4th of July. Relaxing with her pops after lots of swimming!

First 4th of July :)

Where I am spending most of my month

So far, I have no complaints, and this weekend will make it all even better! Like I have mentioned in my last couple of posts, I am going to Nashville to visit my friends this weekend and I can't wait, it'll definitely be a lot of fun. Hope every one else is enjoying July as much as I am!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

1- I am loving my new apartment :) I am finally moved in! I have a few odds and ends to take care of but all in all, I am all settled.

2- All the recipes I have been finding lately to try. I cannot wait to start cooking, just have to have people come over and help me eat it!

3- The fact that I will be in Nashville with my best friends in just a couple of days!

4- That I get to spend every day by the pool for the next (almost) month. I have been working on campus for 4 summers in a row. That means I spent my summer days in my little cubicle, so this is a nice change!

5- I am going to be starting my first big girl job in 25 days!!!! I still need ideas for a classroom theme though, so feel free to comment and give me some cute ideas of a theme and for decorations!

What are you loving today?