Sunday, February 28, 2010

And The Crowd Goes Wild!!!!

A nice weekend is what I have enjoyed so far. Yesterday, we took Maggie and got her nails trimmed and then made a stop at the post office to mail Amanda's gift to her and even stopped for a late lunch at Chick-fil-A. Tom helped me clean the house, top to bottom for the arrival of his parents for a little dinner party. We had cajun chicken pasta from Pioneer Woman and lemon bars from the latest issue of Southern Living. Both were simply divine and I can't help but keep going back to the kitchen for a little taste of the leftover lemon bars! They are so yummy! My in laws totally went wild for dinner as well. My MIL just called to tell me how delicious everything was!
I'm watching the exciting Olympic Hockey game now and on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the US will bring home the gold! I'm normally not a big hockey fan but this is a monumental game! I have my pizza dough rising and I'm getting ready to crank up the oven and make tomato basil pizza for dinner tonight- yes, homemade pizza! I'm making another tomorrow to take to my friend's house for the season finale of the Bachelor! I wonder who he will pick? My bets are on Vienna- even though I'm not too fond of her. I'm also ready to see next week's wedding of Jason and Molly.
I am trying to relax and get ready for the week. I had a HORRIBLE week last week and I'm hoping to not repeat it. I have to try and figure out how to leave work at work but that is hard to do sometimes. Good thing I have awesome friends to help me out and a super mom who is planning a girls trip for us for Spring Break! Now that's something that will help me forget about work!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Reason I LOVE My Job!

I have been in a crummy mood the past few weeks. So much has been going on and I have been struggling. I have been depressed over many things and broke out in tears yesterday morning. I came in to work this morning and started my computer but I noticed in all of my piles of paper work, a folded sheet of paper and when I opened it I found this...

Now, I get lots of pictures and notes from kids but this one note from this child makes all the difference. This child struggles each day, physically, socially, academically. He makes me come to work and want to teach him new things and see his face light up with glee when he gets the right answers or learns something new. This child is one of the many reasons I teach!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Peek at the Results

Last Friday, I went for my blood work. My mom took me and it's a good thing she did because I did pass out- just like I knew I would. Anyway, I got some preliminary results back today and most things look good. My cholesterol screening was great! I was shocked considering when I drive through Chick-fil-A, they know me by name for the most part! Yes, I know they have healthy food but really, who can resist those waffle fries! ha!
The scary part of the blood work results are that some of the levels were dangerously high and my doctor called me this afternoon about them. I'm going back in on Thursday to sit down and talk and plan the next steps. Please pray that we get some good news.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Amanda Jacobs Ledford! Do NOT Peek!!!

Alright. I know many of you read my friend Amanda's blog. Well, I have known Amanda for over 12 years! We met as sorority sisters in college and have been friends ever since! Anyway, she is preparing to bring baby Nicholas in this world pretty soon and she posted her bedding pictures a week or so ago and it got me thinking right away that I needed to break out the sewing machine and get started on a few gifts for Nicholas. is the first shipment

Yes, I made all of these custom burp clothes in one night. I still have a couple more things to make before I send this shipment off to Amanda but I think she will like it! What do you think?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day errr...Week!

Valentine's Weekend started off with our lovely snow day on Friday then Saturday, Tom and I ventured out to celebrate, a day early! We made a couple of stops with the first being at this place

Then we moved to Target followed by my favorite dinner spot, Angelo's Spaghetti House. It's the place we went to on our first date and we had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding there! It's a very special spot for us.

Angelo's has the BEST fettucini alfredo and pasta primavera in town!!!

Sunday was a special day as well. I went to a birthday party for this little cutie pie!

Kyle had a very fun party complete with my favorite...Pizza Hut supreme pan pizza! Yummy!!! My tummy thanks you however my thighs do not! ha!
School was out on Monday except for teachers :( We had to go to staff development which wasn't too bad actually. I learned quite a bit about some things that I am really interested in, sensory perception disorder.
Tuesday, everyone was back to school and we enjoyed our belated Valentine's Day Party. I got some awesome teacher valentines from some of my students. Lots and lots of chocolate, some super cute flip flops and a beautiful hydrangea. I can't wait to plant in my yard this spring. Speaking of spring...3 weeks until spring break!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Treat for Babies that I LOVE

So I am constantly on the watch for baby products, you know, just preparing for my future! Well, I have eaten Goldfish crackers forever and I know lots of my mom friends give them to their toddlers for a snack. Well, I love to buy several different flavors to pair with my lunch time soups. Pizza crackers with tomato soup, original with chicken noodle soup and parmesan with vegetable soup, you get the idea! Recently, I went to the store and saw (in the baby aisle no less) Smores adventure Goldfish!

These are like heaven in a bag for me! I love smores and though these aren't quite like real smores with the gooey marshmallow and the smooth chocolate but they do have chocolate and honey graham goldfish with dried marshmallows (like the kind in Lucky Charms cereal which I also heart!)
I recently went shopping with my mom at the newest Kroger Superstore which is right behind her neighborhood. The Kroger store has a jeweler inside along with a furniture store! Anyway, I found Smore's Adventure Goldfish for a whopping 88 cents a bag- you guessed it, I stocked up!!! I am almost out though so I either need to take a trip back to Kroger (it's an hour away) or call my mom to pick me up a few more bags!!!
Be on the lookout for these yummy creatures, you won't be disappointed!

Friday, February 12, 2010

13 hours of SNOW!!!

It finally happened...we got a real snowfall in Texas. It started around 3am Thursday and snowed the entire day. Schools were NOT canceled so I got to spend the day with my kids!

We had fun watching the snow fall and of course, playing in it for a little while! It was so exciting for all of us. I mean, it's not very often we get to see snow falling in Texas...well, falling and acumulating!!!
I left school at a record time yesterday...3:03! I got into a bit of traffic so it took me almost 45 minutes to get home versus the usual 20 minutes or less. Once I did make it home, Tom was not far behind me and we bundled up and took Maggie outside to play!

We stayed in last night and ordered pizza and relaxed. I started working on my Valentine's for my students and waited to get the call that school was called off. I didn't know that it would be almost 9:30 (late for me) to get that notice! I then called it a night and went to bed. I was up early this morning though and ready for round 2 of snow fun! I made homemade waffles, turkey sausage and fresh berries for breakfast and Tom, Maggie and I headed out!

Not sure if I will ever see 12.5 inches of snow in Texas again so while it's here I'm going to enjoy it!!! Now on to the kitchen to make some yummy snow cream!!! Yum!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Interview with the Vampire or Just Some Bloodwork!

I went to visit a new doctor yesterday and first thing she wants to do...bloodwork! I am terrified of needles so this did not excite me at all. I walked down the hall feeling somewhat confident and then I saw the chair. You know the one with the little flap on the front of it. Anyway, I sat down, then flipped the little flap thing up and looked at the lady and said, "Not gonna happen today." I then walked away! Yep, I chickened out of bloodwork! Not so fast though...the doctor made me set up another appointment for next week! So, next Friday morning, I will be visiting the vampire again...this time, I think blood will be in the picture for sure!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Recipes that'll knock your socks off!

My marathon cooking experiment was a HUGE success! I was able to create several meals in one day which will allow me so much free time during the week! I hope to do this at least 2 Sundays a month and maybe even coordinate with a few friends so that I can triple my supply!!! If you are in the area and are interested in working out a plan, let me know!

Here are some of the yummy things I created yesterday!
Taco Meat from Jennifer's blog
Ingredients for seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
Ingredients for taco meat
Olive oil
1lb ground beef or ground turkey
one small chopped onion (optional)
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon of flour
Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan. Add onions and saute 2-3 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add meat and countinue to cooke until meat is browned. Add 2/3 cup water then add 2.5-3 tablespoons of seasoing mixture (you will have seasoning leftover for next time!) , along with 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix all together and let simmer until done. About 10 minutes. Store in freezer bags.

Lasagna from The Pioneer Woman. It truly is the BEST lasagna EVER!!!
• 1-½ pound Ground Beef
• 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
• 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
• 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
• 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
• 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
• 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
• 1 teaspoon Salt
• 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
• 2 whole Beaten Eggs
• ½ cups Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
• 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
• 1 teaspoon Salt
• 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
• 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles(I do not cook my noodles. I use the oven ready type and it works out fine)
Preparation Instructions
In a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you’re feeling naughty. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. To assemble:
Arrange 4 lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat mixture over the top.
Repeat, ending with meat mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly

Cajun Chicken Pasta from the Pioneer Woman (can you tell I just love her?!?!)
• 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
• 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
• 1 pound Fettuccine
• 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
• 2 Tablespoons Butter
• 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
• 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
• ½ whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
• 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
• 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
• 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
• ½ cups White Wine
• 1 cup Heavy Cream
• Cayenne Pepper To Taste
• Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
• Salt To Taste
• Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!
Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.
Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.
Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.
With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!
Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

Turkey Vegetable Chili Mac- my recipe!
1 pound ground turkey
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained (DelMonte makes these)
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 cup macaroni, uncooked

In a skillet, brown turkey and drain. In a crock pot, combine black beans, tomatoes, turkey, corn, onion and seasoning. Cook on low 4-5 hours. Add macaroni and stir. Cook covered for 10 minutes then stir, you may have to add a bit of water at this point so it doesn't cook dry. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes until pasta is tender. Serve with cornbread! Yummy!

We ate the cajun chicken pasta last night and it was so good! You would have thought I had been to a fine restaurant to pick this dish up!!! The husband even loved it!!! Everything else I froze for later this week. It's supposed to be super cold this week so I am planning to have turkey chili one night for sure. I'm scoping the net for more recipes for my next marathon so if you have any please share!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Marathon Cooking!

I'm getting ready to start my marathon cooking today! I'm a little excited since it means I can prepare a couple of weeks worth of meals in one day and have time in the evenings to come home and relax without having to worry about the age old question of "What's for dinner?" So...if everything turns out, I'll be back later to post recipes or links to recipes of what I've created today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We have officially booked our summer vacation! We are headed to Alaska with my BFF Jane and her husband (or as I commonly refer to him, my second husband) Mark. We went with them to Hawaii last summer and we decided then that we would go on an Alaskan cruise the next year. we are, 6 months away from summer vacation and I'm totally excited!!! The one thing that I am definitely doing is dog sledding. I don't care if I don't do anything else, I just want to experience the dog sled, see a glacier and do some whale watching. I'm pumped (as if you couldn't tell)!!!

Update: We are leaving out of Seattle (can't wait to catch up with you Mary!) We are also going on Princess cruise line Becky! I am so excited!!! Any suggestions anyone can give us on things to do, I would love to hear it!

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