Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Family

 Collin and I had a little bit of fun with my new MacBook! I am pretty lucky to have a brother and a friend all rolled into one.

One of my very best friends and I at a wine tasting in Ft. Worth. We discovered that we actually like some red wines! 

Christmas Eve in Mansfield
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed spending a little extra time with their families. I know that sometimes with the hustle and bustle, I forget that my family is made up of some pretty cool people.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Clean Slate

Howdy friends!

Today was a HUGE day because I got to set foot in my very first classroom!!! Last night, I asked my department head when she thought I would be able to get into my classroom and she said whenever I like! I was shocked because for the past few days, it has felt like I have just been sitting around waiting for things to happen. Needless to say, I was very excited/nervous...basically I was a rollercoaster of emotions this morning while I was on my way to school.

When I walked into the building-things felt different. After all, this was the first time I walked into the school as a true blue teacher! My department head took me to my room and as I walked in the door I couldn't help but think that this room was all mine and that amazing things were going to happen inside.

It took about an hour and half to unload all the materials and supplies from my car. Crazy how my car looked like a clown car, stuffed to the brim, then when it was in the room it didn't seem like enough. So I sat down for a second and looked at my pile of stuff wondering where I should begin. My department head some work to tend to so I was left alone in my room for awhile. If you have never set up your own classroom or helped a friend set up theirs, it is a lot of work and it is really overwhelming.

I decided to start with the shelves I bought for behind my desk. All of a sudden, I felt really helpless-like I had no idea what I was doing. This is when I finally broke down and cried. I had so many emotions running through me that I didn't know what to do with myself. I called my Dad and he promised to come down to College Station and help me get everything together. This calmed my nerves a little bit and I was able to finally put together the shelves (which is a feat in itself because I am terrible with tools). I stood back and looked at my work. After two hours, all I had to show for my hard work was some wobbly, uneven shelves. Great. This is going to take wayyyyyy longer than I thought.

From this point on, I decided to start small and be as optimistic as possible. So, here are a few pictures of what my classroom looked like before I touched anything and a sneak peek at what I have done so far...

This is the view from standing at the back of the classroom:

This is the view from standing in front of the window (I am so excited to have a window!!!):

This is the view from the door:

This is my door after I added some flair-shout out to Kendall for helping me paint the letters!:

Like I said, the room is NO WHERE NEAR finished but I am very excited about what little progress I made today. This process is very overwhelming, as my fellow teachers know. More pictures to come!

On a different note, here are some pictures of my precious baby, Hank. When I first brought him home from the shelter-I wasn't sure if adopting a dog was the right decision. I still really miss my first dog, Molly, and I wasn't sure if I was up for the responsibility. Ohhh how I was wrong. This little guy has stolen my heart.

Thanks for reading-more pictures to come tomorrow!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What a whirlwind!

So many people have asked me just how I got this wonderful, amazing, exciting teaching job. Well, here is the story.

Several months ago, my mentor teacher from student teaching texted me asking me if I would be interested in a long term sub position. Since I did not have any other job offers, I thought the long term sub position would be a great way to get my feet wet and network a little bit. A few weeks later, I brought my mentor teacher her favorite coffee and chit-chatted for awhile. We talked about her new baby girl and my first semester in grad school. Then, she started telling me the story behind the long term sub position. At the exact moment we started talking about the position, the principal walked into the room. He delighted us with the new that he was not only going to post one job, but two! I was SHOCKED. My mentor teacher introduced me to the principal and reminded him that he already had my resume. I could hardly speak because I was literally frozen.

A few days later, the application showed up on the Bryan ISD website. 26 pages later....I had officially applied to my first teaching job. I said a quick prayer and knew that the rest was out of my hands. The next week, I received a phone call to set up an interview. I scheduled the interview for the next day in an attempt to not have enough time to get nervous. I was running around town like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get copies of my resume together, cleaning out my student teaching binder, and trying to find something to wear. I ended up going to Chico's and to my surprise, the lady working that night used to work at the same school that my principal used to work at. She dressed me from head to toe in a skirt suit set and was sweet enough to go through some practice interview questions with me. Here is a picture of what I looked like right before I left the house for the interview:

The next day, I showed up to the interview a few minutes early. The interview lasted about 30 minutes and before I knew it, I was walking out the door back to my car. Now, all I could was wait. Great. Patience is not my strong suit.

My interview was on a Tuesday so the next day, Wednesday, I was offered the job. I somehow kept my emotions under control during the phone call but once I hung up I was crying so hard that I could barely speak! Collin was at home and he was the first to get the good news. Next, I called my mom and then my dad. My poor dad that I was crying because I didn't get the job-in fact, he was beginning to say he was sorry when I could finally choke out that I actually did get the job and I was crying because I was so happy!

So, there you go. That is the story about how I got my very first teaching job. It's been crazy and my living room looks like a classroom exploded in it but I am so excited. Get ready for before and after classroom pictures!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Things are changing around here!

It has been awhile since I updated and a lot of things have been happening...

First of all, I have completed my first semester of graduate school. AMEN!!!!Somewhere between working at H-E-B and sleeping, I found the time to study and write 20 page papers.

I am a MOMMY! I now have a canine child named Hank. He is a red merle heeler and is precious. He likes to eat ice cubes and peanut butter and loves to nap. He is nosy as all get out and chases his tail constantly.

Last but not least, I GOT A JOB!!!!! I am finally a bona fide teacher. 6th grade Language Arts to be exact. I am so excited about this new stage in my life. I am also a little bit nervous to be honest. I am currently in the process of trying to find cute things to decorate my classroom with. Anddd I have a feeling this blog is going to become a daily account of my life as a new teacher.

Hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather! Bring on the hot chocolate and Christmas cookies!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kitchen Gadgets

I have been eating relatively "clean" for about a week now and I can already tell a huge difference. I am not as tired throughout the day and I just feel better. I haven't weighed in so I cannot tell you how much weight I have lost so far. Anyways, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some of my favorite kitchen gadgets that help me to eat better, cleaner, healthier meals.

1. Food Scale-I bought a Weight Watchers brand food scale about a year ago and I cannot tell you how much I have used it. I still remember the first time I measured out the correct portion of chicken for dinner one hit me how GINORMOUS American portions are (a correct portion of chicken is about 1/2 of a chicken breast-relatively the size of your palm).

2. Measuring Cups-Measuring cups are very helpful especially when you buy food in bulk.

3. Ninja Food Chopper- My mom bought me the Ninja brand food chopper/blender and I love it! It is easy to use and easy to clean. This little gadgets helps speed up food prep-who doesn't want that?

**As I am composing this blog, I am watching my little brother play Black Ops. I never realized how realisitic this game is-very disturbing. As I was watching my brother play this incredibly violent game, an interesting thought came to my mind-how many people play this game on a daily basis? And of those people, how many of them would actually go to the front lines? Probably not many. It is also weird to watch my little brother stab and shoot people without blinking an eye-I know it is just a game but it is still concerning. I would personally never play this game but watching it gave me a little glimpse of what it must be like to be a soldier...which makes me appreciate things just a little bit more.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eating Clean

I am going to be completely honest-the past few weeks I have been eating and drinking like there is no tomorrow. School is out, summer has begun, and all my friends were still in town. Who wouldn't take advantage of all that extra time?

Basically I have gained back all the weight I lost last semester and feel like complete poop-as in a prego Buluga whale. The insanity had to stop and while I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day, I stumbled across the idea of "clean eating".  I decided to go pick up this book from the local Barnes and Noble:

The book has some interesting tips and a full meal plan for 2 weeks. I think I am going to try the complete plan starting next week. The plan calls for fresh fruit and veggies, lots of lean protein, and healthy fats in moderation. Plus, the author is over 50 years old in the picture on the cover-she looks AMAZING. I want to look that radiant too, espcially since I am half her age!

Anywho-I have been on and off Weight Watchers for a few years now. The plan works well when you follow it-meaning planning meals and counting points. I really like Weight Watchers and they always have delicious recipes. Today I decided to try the WW recipe for Buffalo Chicken Sliders:

Now, my sliders did not look this pretty-partly because I kinda messed up the recipe but they still tasted AMAZING. And the best part is-these little pieces of deliciousness are semi-clean! I am pretty sure ranch dressing is not a "clean" food. Oh well-this dish is healthier than pretty much everything I have eaten in the past month.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

If you do not know this about me-I LOVE to cook. Brian told me that a recipe is just a set of guidelines for cooking-I couldn't agree more. People who follow a recipe exactly (besides recipes for baked goods!) are missing out on the joys of tasting food and marrying different flavors together. My friend Matt commented once that everyone loves eating-which is true however, cooking is just as much an experience as dining. That being said-here are just a few of my favorite recipies. These dishes and drinks are super easy and super delicious.

Homemade Fettucini Alfredo Sauce

***If you ever buy canned Fettucini Alfredo Sauce again...I will hunt you down! This recipe is too easy and too delicious!

  • 2 blocks of parmesan cheese
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • large sauce pan
  • whisk
  • cheese grater
First, pour the entire container of heavy whipping cream into your sauce pan and heat SLOWLY on low to medium heat. As the cream warms, grate all of the parmesan cheese using a cheese grater and set aside. Watch the cream and when you see small bubbles start to form on the surface, you are ready to make magic happen. Add the grated cheese to the cream slowly while you constantly stir the sauce using your whisk. Once you have added all the cheese, taste the deliciousness you just created-if you want the sauce to have more of a garlic flavor, add more parmesan cheese and whisk. THAT IS IT. Pour the sauce over the pasta of your choice. Now, go get creative!

"You Can't Stop Eating It" Dump Cake

**I got this recipe from my good friend, Lauren!

  • 2 cans of any canned fruit you fancy; drained
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • butter
  • 8x8 pyrex dish
Once you have drained your cans of fruit, dump both cans into the pyrex dish. Next, dump the yellow cake mix on top of the fruit and spread it out so that it covers all the fruit. Then, place pats of butter all over the top-yes, use the whole dang stick of butter! Last but not least, bake for 30 minutes (or until the top is golden brown) in a 350 degree oven. Enjoy! Now play with this recipe-try different kinds of fruit, add nuts to the crust, eat a la mode (with ice cream), or even try a different flavor of cake mix. The possibilites are ENDLESS.

Daddy Clark's "I'm on a college budget" BEER-ritas

**WARNING: All of your friends will be asking for this recipe!

  • 1 Can of frozen Minute Maid Limeaide
  • Tequila
  • Triple Sec
  • Water
  • 1 Can of Beer
  • Pitcher
  • Large Spoon for stirring
EASY PEASY!!!! Pour the frozen limeaide into the pitcher. Fill the now empty limeaide container with water all the way to the top-pour into the pitcher. Fill the same empty limeaide container about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with tequila (depending on how strong you like your marg!) and then top off the container with triple sec-pour into the pitcher. Now, using that same limeaide container, fill to the top with beer and pour into the pitcher. Take your large spoon and mix everything together and add ice, cups, and good friends!

Now, all of these recipes are a little random when put together but I can promise you that they are all delicious. As of tomorrow, I will be back on my diet so I thought I would share a few of my favorite things with all of you! Enjoy!