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March 11, 2014

Lately...

Lately I've been... 
Munching.. so many things! I went on a cooking tear last night and slow roasted a chicken with this recipe Herbed Faux-tisserie Chicken and Potatoes from the latest issue of Bon Appetit and made Two Peas and their Pod's Asian Quinoa salad. I am sick of turkey sandwiches for lunch so I'm trying out the salad as a lunch. I will report back once I've eaten it today for lunch. Fingers crossed I like it. This kale salad has been on major rotation in this house. 
Asian Quinoa Salad Recipe on twopeasandtheirpod.com A quick and healthy salad that is full of flavor!
VIA


VIA

Sipping.. on the weekends, red wine. During the week, more tea and lots of H2O around here.
Reading.. Recently finished up The Fault in our Stars. It was definitely heartbreaking and intense and I really enjoyed it but I wasn't completely enamored of it. Will definitely see the movie, though. Currently reading Eleanor and Park and again, liking it a lot but not completely obsessed like some people have been. We'll see how I feel about it the further I get into it. Young adult romance, FTW!
The Fault in Our Stars.jpg



Listening to... Jill Barber radio on Pandora. Last night Amy Winehouse's version of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow came on and I cannot believe I've never heard it before. Absolutely adore her version.
Looking forward to.. the weekend being here again. I'm over workig
Hoping..that our Spring Break is safe from being taken from us to make up for so many snow days. 
Thinking.. about so many things. You know those times where you're contemplating life and wishing someone would tell you exactly how things are going to turn out? Yeah, that's where I am right now .
Wanting..the decent weather to stay!

March 7, 2014

Five on Friday!

Let's pretend I didn't take an almost month long hiatus, okay? Because LIFE. I hate using the busy excuse because that's not really it, its actually terrible time management on my part. But let's pick back up with another installment of Five on Friday!

1. Friday + Saturday + Sunday: I am so looking forward to this weekend. Even with a snow day Monday I feel like I've been dragging ass/losing my shit all week. I rear ended someone - who turned out not to be just a someone she was actually in my sorority in college. Let me tell you, its equal parts good and equal parts totally humiliating to rear end someone you know. Thankfully, there was very, very little damage and she was incredibly understanding about the whole thing. I am seriously a terrible driver. Then, later in the week my 6th period class (which is full of Regina Georges and I am everyone in the Burn Book) caused me a huge embarrassment in front of coworkers that I'm not that familiar with so that didn't feel good.Like I haven't been that humiliated in my professional career thus far kind of embarrassment. Did I mention that there were shooting rumors at my school? That was fun. But you know what did make me feel good? Book club and cupcakes on Wednesday and my pup and red wine on Thursday.  

2. Pop Physique and Bikram Yoga: I've been dragging my tired/frustrated/cranky ass to Bikram every Tuesday evening at 6pm and Friday morning at 6am. Its brutal but worth it. I've also managed to make it to Pop Physique almost every weekend. Loving it all but also need to hit the pavement -- half marathon in less than two months! Yikes. Not sure what I was thinking. 

3. Shoshanna Lace Olivia Dress: I found this dress on super sale at a local boutique here in Baltimore. I am wearing it this weekend to my husband's work gala. I am so excited to get dressed up and go to something fancy. As awesome as it is to wear yoga pants, tee-shirts, tennis shoes, and no makeup to work everyday, it does get old after awhile so I am pumped to get fancy this weekend! I am also getting my hair blown out and styled at Haute Blow Dry Bar--I've never visited one of these before so I'm very excited. 
4. Wedges: I am about five years late to the game but I just discovered how awesome wedges are and now own three pairs. The same night I found the Shoshanna dress I found these L.K. Bennett wedges on super sale at another local boutique. Last pair and in my size- fate if you ask me. They are so comfortable and really elevate an outfit. I wore a sweater and skinny jeans with the wedges to dinner the other night and felt like I looked so much better than I would have if I was wearing flats. The other two pairs I own now are the J.Crew Factory Sylvia wedges in bronzed clay and black, both bought during the 40% off and 30% off sale making them come in at well under $100 including shipping! 

Factory Sylvia patent wedges
Factory Sylvia patent wedges
5. Nike Air Max 90s: On the flip side of my newfound love of wedges is an old flame that still burns, the Nike Air Max 90s. I love these shoes and recently acquired a new pair via eBay for an incredibly reasonable price. G got a new pair as well. The couple that wears Air Max 90s together, stays together. That's the truth, y'all! I wear them all the time with ankle jeans and a sweater or with black leggings and a chambray shirt. My original pair is very bright-- mostly pink and purple with touches of gray so I was looking for a more neutral pair-- although I wouldn't necessarily call the ones I just got neutral, they're not as loud as my current pair :)
These are the closest I could find to my original pair, mine are a tad different (via)

Item picture
The new pair!

Happy Friday, friends! Hope you all have a lovely weekend! 

February 14, 2014

FoF #TeamTeddy

Happy Heart Day, friends! Here are my two greatest loves (both in need of haircuts) showing off their #TeamTeddy love! Disclaimer: My husband would like everyone to know that he doesn't always look like this.. he's been working from home for two days and snow day festivities may have gotten the best of us yesterday!

Linking up with the ladies for another Five on Friday!

February 4, 2014

Weekend Things + Super Bowl Eats

Does anyone else find it kind of hard to blog on Sunday and Monday nights? My weekend recaps always end up appearing on Tuesday because I writing a post on Sunday seems daunting I usually get around to it on Monday evening but like for my posts to show up in the morning as opposed to evening. So that's why weekend recaps always come on Tuesday mornings. I know you guys are breathing a sigh of relief now that the mystery is solved! 

Our weekend was super low key. Friday afternoon, I played in a faculty basketball game with a bunch of other teachers from my school versus the local high school. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed seeing some of my former students! Afterwards, we hit up happy hour at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was my second time going to a BWW because the first time I went, one of the people I was with got violently ill from eating their food so I've stayed away! But it was nice to get out of the school walls and socialize with my colleagues, which is something I really don't do often enough!

Saturday I had a much needed hair appointment and then stopped by the mall to pick up a bridal shower gift We chilled on the couch for a majority of the evening and then I ended the night by FaceTime-ing with my sister while we both drank wine and folded laundry. Livin the dream, I tell ya!

Sunday, I went to Pop Physique early then my parents came into town for brunch. We went to Metropolitan and the food was pretty good! The drinks were really good, I had a Limnosa (Limoncello + sparklling wine) and a St. Germain Champagne Cocktail (St. Germain + sparkling wine + club soda) both so good! After brunch it was time to get cooking for the most boring Super Bowl in history. Seriously, what was that? I didn't even think the commercials were all that good. We were in bed by 8:30 watching This is 40. BUT we did make the delicious food below:

Baked Hot Wings adapted from recipe by House of Brinson
Ingredients:
Wings (I've used anywhere from 12-20)
Vegetable oil, enough to coat the wings
Salt and pepper, enough to coat the wings
Your favorite wing sauce
Directions:
Trim the wings and discard the tip
 Toss with vegetable oil, salt and pepper to coat
Place on a rack over a cookie sheet
Bake at 400 degree oven for about 40 to 50 minutes, turn wings over half way through
Sauce with your favorite sauce (Frank's Red Hot Wing sauce, in our case) and enjoy!
Baked wings are so delicious. They pummel fried wings in my opinion, not to mention they're a lot better for you. Note that I used my Pampered Chef large bar pan, which is stoneware,  instead of a metal cookie sheet to cook the wings on. I do this because in my oven when the oil inevitably drips onto the pan below, it sizzles too much and causes way too much smoke. My oven also desperately needs to be cleaned but that's neither here nor there :)
Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread by Just a Taste
Ingredients:

For the dough:2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 envelope)
1/3 cup whole milk
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperatureFor the toppings:1/2 cup pizza or marinara sauce1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese1/4 cup sliced pepperoni2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted2 cloves garlic, minced
Directions:
They're really long. Sorry. I got a new computer and I'm still getting used to typing on it (I didn't think that would be a thing? But it totally is. Find myself hitting the backspace A LOT). I digress. Check out the directions here

I thought this bread was really good. The husband was not as big of a fan as I was, he thought the middle was too doughy. I personally don't mind that in a bread like this but next time I might up the temperature. I also think I  might add some onions and sprinkle on some garlic powder after adding the sauce. I might try it with sausage one day. And maybe bacon. Who knows! The possibilities seem endless with this bread. 

To end, I leave you with this picture of the Face, who is super shaggy and in desperate need of a hair cute but who is also incredibly cute and bored with the Super Bowl:



Happy Tuesday! But for reals, where is Friday?



January 30, 2014

Lately...

*I've seen these types of posts of other people's blogs and they are some of my favorite to read so I thought I'd try my hand at my own version*
Lately I've been... 
Munching.. these mini turkey meatballs by Giada. I use her recipe mostly as a base, it is very good!
Sipping.. tea, tea, and more tea.
Reading..  The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2). I love a good series and while this one does feel a touch like a Harry Potter rip off, I'm intrigued and its easy to read. 
Looking forward to..grad class starting tonight! You guys, I am so excited! I never thought I'd have such a strong inclination towards doing school work again.
Hoping..My body feels less achy soon. I fell off a desk at school 2 days ago while trying to put basketball hoops down. I am thankful I didn't seriously injure myself but damn, every muscle from neck down is stiff, achy, and in pain.
Thinking..I should probably give up carbs but the cranberry cheese I just bought tastes so good paired with bread!
Wanting..winter to be OVER.

January 29, 2014

On failure.. and success


http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9e/a1/aa/9ea1aa00926344cad0f70a98d3eb3a5d.jpg
Three weeks ago in my Lately post I wrote that I was hoping for a letter I've been waiting for to arrive.. it arrived last week and it said exactly what I was hoping it would say! I got into a Master's program for School Library Media and Educational Leadership. I am beyond thrilled. With the arrival of this letter, I started thinking about how I got here. The road here was not easy.

To say that I didn't do college right would be an understatement. Looking back now, I never should have gone to college right away. I had no idea what college meant, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I was in a very precarious state in my life. My first stint at college was abysmal. My poor grades from those first two years have followed me everywhere. For the record, none of this was a result of partying too much or staying out too late. The precarious state I was in was the result of coming out of a horrendous breakup that left me floundering and unsure of myself for a long time. I also struggled with a series of illnesses at the time (sinus infection, pleurisy, strep throat, mono) that kept me out of school and led my physician to declare me the "sickest young person he had ever seen", during my bout with a serious case of strep throat. Regardless, had I been doing what I should have been doing returning to school after being sick would have been fine. But I hadn't been doing what I was supposed to be doing and being sick made finishing out the year successfully virtually impossible.

I moved home. I went to the community college in attempt to salvage my GPA and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. But I couldn't get anything to stick. I was still lost and reeling and at this point, felt pretty poorly about myself since I couldn't hack it a 4 year university like everyone else I knew. I had basically given up that ideal college life that everyone talks about -- I didn't experience college the way other people did. In between the dark moments, I made two lifelong friends and have some wonderful memories but mostly, that part of my life is filled with a lot pain and regret. I spent a couple of years at the community college and tried to get into various nursing schools but because of my previous grades, most schools weren't having it. I was rejected a total of 5 times. And it sucked. I felt truly lost and at times, I wasn't sure if I was ever going to amount to anything. It sounds dramatic but when all of your friends are graduating and moving on to law school, or grad school, or the real word and you still haven't figured it out, it takes its toll.

Eventually, I took a semester off. Just one. It's not true what people say that you'll never go back or you'll never start if you don't go right away. That one semester off did wonders for me. When I went back to school at a four year university the next year, I finally got it. I had a major I loved, in a field I was excited about and I truly felt capable to do what needed to be done. I worked my ass off and graduated with 3.8 GPA, Magna Cum Laude, close to the top of my class. After years of failing, trying, and then failing again, it felt great. 

I'm writing all of this because the process to get into this program was a bit rough  and it reminded me not only of the painful years I had leading up to a fantastic ending, resulting in a job that while challenges me, has grown on me significantly but also of these truths:
1. Choices you make in life can seriously affect choices you want to make down the road. I tell this to my students who get privileges revoked, "if you want to have choices, you need to make the right choices".
2.  Pursue that which you wanted to be as a child. Seriously, I distinctly remember my grandmother gave me a copy of  Dr. Seuss's My Book About Me when I was little and just learning to write and one of the pages said, "When I grow up I want to be... " and I wrote librarian. Life coming full circle right there. 
3. "I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I ended up where I intended to be.." {Douglas Adams}. I'm often struck by these words when I think about how choices I've made, both good and bad, have led me to my life now. A life for which I am incredibly grateful. 

If you made it to the end, cheers! It feels cathartic to write this down and maybe this post might reach someone who is also feeling lost and unsure. To those, I say keep on keepin' on. There are good things to come, I promise! 

Happy Wednesday, friends!