Friday Night on the Couch

I'm a sniffly mess up in here. Wish I could say it was a happier (healthier) Friday. I'm determined to be healthy for the wedding (just 3 weeks away), so I'm laying low tonight with my orange juice, soup, and jumbo-sized box o'Kleenex. The plus, a new disc of The Good Wife just arrived via Netflix, so it's shaping up to be a lazy night in. Not bad.

Fave links from around the web...

+ pumpkin spice churros - Y to the UM!

+ DIY preserved lemons (must try this!)

+ Ever been to a neon wedding? Me neither, check it out!

+ Darling whale bookends

+ Uber cool modern farmhouse

+ Love this new food blog

+ DIY cell phone case - how chic!

+ New trend: vertical gardens

+ Remember the "MOVE" video? Now check out EAT & LEARN!

+ Lovely winter fruit & summer fruit prints

Have a healthy weekend!


Salad Savvy: Flank Steak with Plums and Bleu Cheese

My sweetie made dinner last night for us - flank steak salad with plums and bleu cheese, with breadsticks on the side. It was delicious! Enough said.


New Fave Beauty Product

My new favorite product is this - Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. I was a little skeptical of the "gel-cream" concept, but this little jar of moisturizer is amazing!! It's the texture of a gel, but is not sticky in the slightest with a smooth texture. The fragrance is light and not overpowering and really adds that *oomph* of moisture to my skin.

Trust me, I don't endorse beauty products very often, I only endorse what I truly believe in!


Coffee Perks

Are you a coffee drinker? While I'm not a caffeine junkie, I do rely on my morning coffee to perk me up on the drive to school. I don't have a "usual" drink, I try and mix it up to keep things interesting.

And now, I have even more reason to continue drinking my morning coffee...according to a recent study, coffee cuts the depression rate in women. I knew I always felt a little better after that first sip of my morning brew! Pass the pumpkin spice latte please!


Dinner Last Night: Green Curry

I've never made green curry before, but once I had the ingredient green curry paste, it was so simple! I used a recipe from Martha's Everyday Food magazine. I couldn't find a link to the exact same recipe online, so I'm sharing it below. Delicious!

* 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons green curry paste
* 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed (halved if large)
* 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
* 4 heads baby bok choy (6 ounces), halved lengthwise
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
* cooked jasmine rice, for serving
* 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, green beans, bok choy, and bell pepper and cook until beans are bright green, 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer until beans are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve over rice, topped with basil.


Cider Tea

I just heard about this fantastic autumn trick. If you're a tea fan, try this, rather than brew your tea in the usual water, try brewing in hot cider instead. I can't wait to try this! It'll add a kick of apple spice to my usual chai tea in the evenings!


Split Decision Pie Pan

I soo need this! The split decision pie pan. When you can't decide what pie to make - compromise an make both! In my family, we often encounter the Thanksgiving dessert dilemma of - apple pie or pumpkin pie? Sounds like we may have a new solution, and it's a crowd pleaser!

Why didn't I think of this??


My New Fave Show

One of my new faves is a show I recently discovered, The Good Wife. Have you seen it? It's a lawyer show of sorts, but more intriguing than most. There's drama, romance, plenty of unpredictable twists and turns - all in all, it's addicting! I've been watching Season 1 via netflix, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next season to arrive. Anyone else a fan?

P.S. If you're a Sex & the City fan, Carrie's "Big," (Chris Noth) plays Juliana Margulies' husband.


Thank Goodness for the Weekend

So excited for this weekend, not for any one thing in particular, just to sleep in! Heading to a local Oktoberfest festival, running a bunch of wedding & school errands, and just kicking back and relaxing (hopefully). What's on the agenda for your weekend?

Some of my favorite links from the week:

+ The coolest DIY oven mit apron!

+ Get credit for your homemade cookies with this stamp.

+ Loving this capelet.

+ Halloween cards I've got my eye on.

+ Pretty art.

+ Can't wait to make this for dinner.

+ Everyone needs a stackable chair throne, right?

Happy Birthday Katie!

Happy Birthday Katie! It's my sister's birthday today! I wish we were able to celebrate together but we're currently 2 states apart. Guess we'll have to same our birthday celebrating and double up at the wedding! Happy Happy Birthday, go out and live it up! I love you!

P.S. Your present should arrive by Monday!

Dinner Last Night: Pasta with Roasted Vegetables & Bacon

There's something about cooking, it helps me unwind. After a long day, with its own share of stressful moments, the last thing I want to do when I get home is open my laptop and continue working. I usually save a handful of recipes to try on my fridge, and once home, I begin making whatever sounds most appealing.
Last night, as I was feeling "fallish," I went for a sweet potato pasta, pasta with roasted vegetables and bacon with sauteed mushrooms with herbs. The recipe has you roast sweet potatoes, onions, and cauliflower until they caramelize. But, since I've never been a big fan of cauliflower, I subbed asparagus in instead, which worked just fine.


Lumina Pumpkins

I'm officially all about lumina pumpkins. Aren't they cool? The bright white is a lovely contrast with the traditional orange pumpkins of fall. Can you believe it's pumpkin season already?

Apple Picking

Have you ever been apple picking? I keep seeing blog posts around the web weaving tales of apple picking adventures and now I'm inspired. In my life, I've been pumpkin picking, blueberry picking, and blackberry picking, but I have yet to pick my own apples. And I think it's about time I start!

Many bloggers have recommended this website where you can scout out local farms or orchards in your area to "get picking," so that's where I'm going to start!

Have you ever been apple picking?

Let the Countdown Begin!

I know it's not official yet, but I can feel fall in the air. The wind feels a little chillier, the air is slightly crisper, and the leaves, they are a-changing.

My fiance and I had a fabulous fall-feeling weekend back in Michigan for his sister Kristyn's wedding. The wedding was beautiful and everything went off without a hitch. I flew in at 6AM Friday morning for a 3:00 PM wedding (which lasted until 12:30 AM the next day). Fueled by coffee and champagne, we danced the night away and had a fantastic time.

Before flying out for the wedding, many people had suggested that attending a wedding so close to our own might be stressful. I had totally disregarded this thought since I LOVE weddings, and in reality, everything was totally fine. In fact, the excitement of partaking in the wedding festivities made me even more excited our wedding is NEXT! I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are that our wedding is just around the corner!

Weekend Wedding

Tonight I'm off to Michigan on the red eye for my future sister-in-law's wedding. She's getting married Friday night! It's a busy wedding season for my fiance's family, can you tell? Both my fiance and I are doing readings in the wedding, and we're looking forward to dancing it up with his family.

Here's some of my favorite links from the week:

I'm intrigued by this cake flavor.

Love this lace vase.

Stylish cuff.

Sweet Target bike.

Aren't these wooden envelopes cool?

Have a great weekend!

Dinner Last Night: Chicken Tostadas with Avocado Dressing

This Chicken Tostadas with Avocado Dressing recipe was fabulous on so many levels! Wanna know why? Well, together all the components of this dish tasted delicious, but even better, they could thrive separately.

#1 The chicken, sauteed in garlic and jalapeno was delicious and could stand to be its own dish.
#2 the "avocado dressing," was creamy, tart, and lemony, and would be fab as a sauce for a smattering of dishes; baked potatoes, french fry dipping sauce, salad fiance and I were brainstorming endless possibilities already.

The gist: this recipe's a keeper.


Back to School Snooze

Oh man, for some reason, every year I forget how crazy and tiring the first few weeks of school are! Yesterday when I arrived home from school, I literally cast all my bags into the corner, and leapt onto the couch where I happily sprawled for an hour doing absolutely nothing. The first time I sat down all was heaven!

The beginning of the school year has lent me to be a bit delayed on my blogging. Whenever I miss a day, I usually hear a "what happened to the blog today?" from my sister, mom, or fiance, and I hate to disappoint. While it's no excuse family, trying to grapple with preparing, planning, and teaching a new literacy curriculum have had to take precedent, but I'm happy to report my class is lovely, and we're off to a great start!


Dinner Last Night: Stir-Fried Chinese Egg Noodles

I was craving Asian food last night, but didn't want to spend more money on take-out yet again. Instead, I opted for this Cooking Light Recipe, Stir-Fried Chinese Egg Noodles. Aside from the Chinese egg noodles, I had most of the ingredients on hand, but I found them at my local specialty market. The final product was delicious, and I have a feeling it will reheat well for lunch tomorrow - always a plus!



Our wedding rings just arrived! I tried mine on just for kicks and it fits perfectly. All the pieces of our wedding puzzle are starting to come together. :)
Can't wait!

10 Years

I can't believe it's been 10 whole years since September 11, 2001. That day was a whirlwind. I was 18 and just about to embark on a life changing new experience - starting college.

That morning I was at home, enjoying one of my last few mornings of sleeping in, when I awoke to my clock radio and and a voice explaining "The first tower was hit by a plane..." I remember thinking groggily, this has to be a dream. I continued to listen, and when the sobering voices of the radio deejays didn't waiver, I rushed upstairs to turn on the TV. It was there I found my mom, sitting close to the TV in our kitchen, watching the footage, equally stunned and horrified.

It was a day I'll never forget, and people always say when something like this happens, you'll always remember where you were and what you were doing. It's true.

The crazy thing to me is that my second grade students were not even born when this happened. Their reality of this event will be forever be different that ours, because we lived it. No matter how removed by proximity or connections, we watched it happen in real time rather than just reading the sequence of events in a history book. It's a hard idea to grasp in a way.

I pray for those families who were directly affected by September 11th. I hope they have found some form of peace in the past 10 years.

Dinner Last Night: Summer Vegetable Curry Soup

I'm always looking for a way to eat a healthy meal full of veggies without the same ol' heaping plateful of veggies every time. And then, voila I found this, summer vegetable curry soup. This soup was delicious! Full of veggies, vitamins, and with a pleasant kick of spice. And to make matters even better, aside from dicing and chopping, it was easy to make!

To make this dinner stretch into lunch for the next day, I made some jasmine rice and poured the remaining portion over it, creating a simple next-day curry.


Friday Night Lights

In an effort to save money and make a conscious decision to watch less TV, my fiance and I recently cancelled our comcast subscription. No more cable, no more DVR, but it hasn't been all that bad, honestly. Instead, we bought a Roku, a small device that enables streaming from netflix, hulu, and the like. This is how, during our commitment to watch less TV, my fiance and I discovered Friday Night Lights.

The first episode is good, then the second, third, fourth...and while I haven't been a fan from the beginning, we quickly joined the Friday Night Lights cult. This show is truly addicting, I tell you! I mean, who couldn't love Eric and Tammy Taylor? Matt Saracen, Jason Street, and Tim Riggins (insert girlish swoon here), if boys had looked like that at my high school!

Truth be told, we've emotionally invested in this show, you'd think we'd been to Dillon, Texas! So despite our ploy to watch less TV, I think we've ended up investing more time following this series via roku. I guess our plan backfired, huh? All in all, I'd say it was worth it because it's now one of my all time favorite shows. You'd be surprised how many conversations we still have about the Taylor's, Buddy Garrity, and the panther gang.
Texas Forever.

image 1/tvgorge
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PB & J

I brought PB & J for lunch today, I am such a teacher. But it's nothing compared to these PB & J ice cream sandwiches, sweetened up by a layer of raspberry sorbet. Can you spell YUM?

First Day of School!

It's that time of year again, the first day of school! I'm amazed how quickly the beginning of the school year snuck up on us. It feels like we just celebrated the first day of summer! Phew, how time flies! Everything is ready to go; name tags printed, bulletin boards repapered, desks aligned, first day scavenger activities it's just time to wait for my new class to arrive! The first day always flies by in a fit of craziness, but so far it looks like it's shaping up to be a great year!

Happy first day of school!

The Hunger Games

The start of the gripping trilogy is officially now a movie. Can't wait!

Happy Friday

Happy Friday! I've been readying my classroom for the first day of school all day, everyday this past week, and phew I'm exhausted already (and the students haven't even arrived yet!).

This weekend, my fiance and I were scheduled to take a trip to the lake with friends, but had to opt out! With the wedding a month and a half to way, we've got a million and a half wedding errands that take precedent - on top of painting our living room! Should be a busy busy weekend! Happy Labor Day weekend y'all!

image via padgetthoke

The Kind Thing

Do you pay it forward? You know, when you receive a random act of kindness, you pay it forward to someone else - spreading positivity and kindness like wildfire? For all you Seattleites out there, Do the KIND Thing follows the pay it forward model, empowering people to make the world a little kinder and the local community in the process. Pretty cool, right?

Here's the scoop: each month, KIND challenges a new city to carry out a specific act of kindness. The Seattle challenge is to pass along a book, newspaper, or magazine they've enjoyed to someone else on Tuesday, September 6th (our first day of school, how fitting), so that another person may enjoy it too! That's pretty easy, don't you think?

Then, if enough people sign up to complete this mission, KIND pays it forward with one BIG KIND Act for the local community, teaming up with Whole Kids Foundation - which in Seattle is building a sustainable garden for a Seattle school, meant to educate and empower children to make more nutritious choices.

So check it out and if you're able, do the KIND thing, pass on a book to keep the spread the kindness going!