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?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Half-Way There

Well, tomorrow will mark my half-way point of Insanity! I will have successfully completed 26 days of the program and not died. I am very proud of how well I have kept up with doing it, I have only missed 1 day (due to moving, which is a workout in itself!). So once I complete tomorrow's workout, I will have 1 week of recovery consisting of low-impact exercises and after that week, I will have 4 more weeks of some really intense workouts :/ Originally, I thought I was going to be doing this workout alone, but then my wonderful little sister in Phi Mu, Jessica Shemwell, decided she wanted to take on Shaun T. with me. It has made a huge difference and it has definitely helped having someone to hold me accountable. We meet up Mon-Fri at 4 and do the workout for that day. Saturdays are a little more difficult to meet up on, but even if she can't meet me, I still get it done somehow!
With that being said, one month into this program, I have already seen results. I have lost an inch or a little more from each - my thighs, hips, waist, arms, and chest! I have also lost about 10 lbs. Another thing is that I just feel better in genereal. I am very happy with these results! I know the 2nd month is even more intense so I am hoping to lose even more during those workouts. Some people may not think that is a lot to have lost for such an intense workout, but that is about 2-3 lbs a week and that is without changing my diet. I can only imagine what my results would be if I had a stricter diet regimen. The thing about me though is that I love food. I cannot diet in anyway, like cutting out sweets, or carbs, or things of that nature. The one and only thing I will do when it comes to my diet at this point is control my portions, which is all anyone really needs. I find I do much better just eating less of things I enjoy than just cutting them out totally, because eventually I end up craving that something so badly I end up going overboard!
Just wanted to update the blogworld on my 60 days of hell Insanity program. Wish me luck for the next 5 weeks :)