Mint-y Goodness!

Happy Monday! Can you believe it’s going to be May this week?! I can’t believe it! Next week you guys will get to hear all about my sister’s upcoming May 11 nuptials!! How exciting!

Today when I rolled out of bed, I was exhausted. Last night Atlas was restless and was dry heaving half the night (TMI? sorry!). I swear in another life he was a human child because every time he settled back down from heaving, he would cuddle up and lay his head on my chest/neck/side. He’s such a cuddle bug!

Needless to say I was really glad I picked out my outfit last night before bed! As many of you know from my Pencil Skirts post, I love the versatility and comfort that comes with dressing up in a pencil skirt and cotton tee. Not only does it look like I tried to dress up, but I spend the whole day cocooned in a soft, easy to move in outfit! If you haven’t had this experience with your pencil skirts yet, hit the LOFT and grab some of their pencil skirts. I have yet to have an uncomfortable one from there!

Today’s outfit, called Royal & Mint, is inspired by my last-summer’s love for everything Mint. In one month I bought mint skinny jeans, a mint belt, mint necklaces, mint nail polish, and mint sandals! Talk about mint overload! I’m really happy with my choices now, though, because mint goes so well with so many colors.

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White with silver detail pencil skirt – LOFT Outlet – $20 SALERoyal blue Timeless Crewneck tee – Banana Republic Outlet – $12 SALE
Blue wedges – Target – $20
Mint Belt & Necklace – Target – $10 and $15 respectively

Leave me a comment with your favorite mint-inspired outfit! Talk to you all tomorrow!

Whoopsie-Daisy! (and the Recipe of the Week)

I can’t believe I missed yesterday’s post! I was laying in bed with Atlas at my side just about to doze off when it hit me that I didn’t post about my photo adventure!! So sorry guys!

So here’s the post you all missed…

Yesterday I decided that after Atlas’s advanced training class, I was going to go on a photography fun hunt. I drove to a beautiful little suburb about 15 miles from where I live and started walking in and out of the shops taking pictures of things I thought were cool. Here are a few of my best shots:

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Pretty much I was just messing around with my camera settings and angles/heights to see what I could come up with. I would love to take a photography workshop when I get out to Cali to learn about taking better photos, but I really love exploring new places with my camera!

As for the recipe of the week, I’m just going to give you one piece of advice. Visit Joy the Baker‘s blog and bookmark it! Don’t look through her site first, just bookmark it. You will never stop looking at it once you begin, so before you forget, just.bookmark.it! You’ll love me for it, I promise you!

Now I have many favorites from Joy’s recipe selection, but my all-time FAVE is her Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits. Please just click on the link and make them.

ASAP.

Seriously.

Do It.

They will be the most delicious biscuits you have ever eaten. That is, unless you hate bacon; in which I hate to say that we can no longer be friends. I love bacon too much! So yea! Check it out and make them! Then post your pictures and let me see ’em! I make these all the time, but I’ll just post a couple pictures. Top them with a fried egg and you’ll be in heaven!

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Fitness Feature: Peanut Butter Fingers!

It’s FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY!!! Woo-hoo!! We made it to the weekend! Give yourself a big pat on the back! I literally rolled out of bed today mad that I had to wake up early, but quickly realized it’s Friday and I get two days off after work! What a mood changer!

This Fitness Friday post is going to be the start of a new kind of post that I’m dubbing my “Fitness Feature!” Every now and then I will feature a fitness blog that I’ve fallen in love with, give you a little background info, and my favorite workout from the site.

This week’s Fitness Feature is a blog called “Peanut Butter Fingers.”

First of all, what a great name! I’m peanut butter obsessed, too, like PBFingers blogger, Julie. Julie is a mid-twenties blogger who appreciates all food, but tries to live a healthy lifestyle by combining exercise and healthy eating. She also posts about her pup, Sadie, her wedding, and fashion. I love this girl already! And she doesn’t live that far from where I currently am! It’s almost too bad I’m moving. Julie is a great writer who is relatable and realistic. I love her real-world view of working out, eating healthy, and enjoying her time spent with family.

As I’ve been following her blog, I have fallen in love with her treadmill workouts. On doggie daycare days, I try to fit in a 40 minute gym sweat session before picking Atlas up. Having just recently gotten back into my 5K training, I don’t want to run outside in the instance that I won’t be back in time to go get him.

With workouts aptly named the “Lazy Girl” and “Make Your Face Sweat,” there is a workout for every ability level and mood. These workouts keep me accountable for working out every day and help motivate me to push through it when I’m tired.

I highly recommend you go check out Julie’s blog ASAP and get your Friday Burn on with enthusiasm!

College Pride on Pinterest

How many of you went to college? A lot of you, maybe! If you did, you know all about what I’m about to post.

Your higher education wasn’t just an education. Your school was and still is a lifestyle. Through my travels, I know that this college-bond comes from all sorts of schools. I’ve got friends who went to state schools, local schools, ivy league schools, and we all have the same feelings towards our Alma Mater – it was the best experience of our lives and is now the basis to our everyday life.

So when I see a fellow Buckeye on the street and I yell out a big “O-H!” I better hear a just-as-loud “I-O!” come in return!

Now, to give you an idea of just how much I love The Ohio State University, here is a collection of my favorite wedding photos…

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Gives you an idea, right? And yes, we did get married on campus!

So my biggest challenge is to somehow incorporate our Buckeye lifestyle into our everyday lives/home without painting everything scarlet and gray (although it is tempting….)

Pinterest seems to have all of the answers these days! I’ve not only found the cutest baby items that are OSU-inspired, but home decor and more that adds the little touches of spirit without being overwhelming. Take a look!

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Home Decor

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Clothing

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Find your school’s spirit on Pinterest and leave me a comment with what you found! Happy Pinning everyone!

*All photos/credits can be found on my OSU Love board on Pinterest

Closet Organization

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe it’s the end of April already?! Where is the time going?!

So yesterday was a big day in our “household”, if you can call it that… All of our belongings were moved into the Cali apartment! Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! For those of you who don’t know, our things have been in storage in California since the beginning of February while the hubs was in training on the East Coast, but now it’s finally IN! *breath a sigh of relief here*

For us, it’s one step closer to being back in the same place and getting back to our as-normal-as-the-Navy-can-be life! Jeff took a few pictures of the new place to show me how much room we have, but I’m going to wait until I get out there and get the place decorated before I post pictures on the blog.

Jeff gave me a hard time, though, about the amount of clothing and shoes I have (big surprise?!), but was amazed that even after I bring the items to Cali that I have with me now, how much space we’ll have in our closet. This got me thinking about how crucial organized closets are to the flow of a home.

Closets are used for storage mainly, but the misuse of the space can cause spill-out into the main rooms, which makes a home look cluttered in a second. I found some great resources on how to organize different closets in the home that I wanted to share with you all. These blogs are Amazeballs! Please take a moment to check them out!

Kids Closet – Clean & Scentsible

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Linen Closet – Fox Hollow Cottage

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Master Bedroom Closet – IHeart Organizing

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Bathroom Closet – Our Humble Abode

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Coat Closet – Hi Sugarplum!

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Unconventional Teaching

I’m 25. I’m heading into my 5th year of teaching. I’m the proud holder of both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. I also look like I’m 16 (or so I’m told when I get asked for my hall pass during my planning period….) 🙂 I’m still trying to figure out if I love or hate that fact… haha

I’m a proud, young teacher. I respect my veteran teachers and look to them for guidance on things like classroom management and content alignment.  I do wish, though, that some veteran teachers would look at me like I look at them; a resource for great new ideas.

Because I am young, and look even younger, I get brushed aside by many fellow teachers because (and I quote) “what could [I] know that they don’t already know….[they] have, after all, been teaching for 40-something years!”  And yes. That was said to me. Eeek!

Sometimes new ideas come from the people fresh out of school. I pride myself on coming up with activities that keep my students engaged and in touch with the technology they love. These kinds of things label me as an “unconventional” teacher. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Some examples of what I’m doing in my classes?

  • Wikispaces wiki pages
  • Culinary Scavenger Hunt 2013 through campus to find all of the ingredients to a recipe (all sanitary and packaged tightly!)
  • Writing lyrics to review information (
  • Learning games like Toss Up! and Bazinga! (tutorial to come)
  • Tweeting in class as an exit slip to leave class

The list goes on and on. Not only does it keep the kids on their toes, but it gives them something to look forward to when most of their classes are using lectures and note-taking as their primary way of teaching. I’m not saying that lectures and note-taking are obsolete, I use them too, but I think using something new and exciting helps the kids stay interested in their learning.

Here are a few things that I want to do next year in my (God willing) new classroom in Cali:

Fun First Day Homework Assignment

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Classroom Rules using Memes
(click on link to see larger)

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Reward/Leaving Class Cards

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Happy Learning!

 

Obsession Alert: Rose Gold

As you may know, I am on a shopping fast. No shopping (fashion, at least!) until mid-June when I move to Cali.It’s been hard, though ,with all of the cute clothes I keep finding when I’m out and about! Is it just me, or does it seem that when you’re not looking for new clothes, they start SCREAMING your name?! Every time I’m in Target grabbing groceries and otherwise, a dress yells “pick me! pick me!” or a cute new tee in the window of Banana Republic bangs on the picture window as I walk past towards Petsmart to get Atlas’s dog food…It’s really testing my willpower, that’s for sure!

I’ve been getting creative with my wardrobe and thinking of pieces I’d like to add to what I already have when the time comes to shop again. I love mixing and matching and I only buy items that will stay in trend for a few years.

Lately, I’ve been coveting everything rose gold. Jeff bought me a watch last Christmas that was rose gold and ever since then, I’ve been in love. Something that’s been on my gift list for years, that I can’t bring to ask anyone to get me? This watch…

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Drool-worthy, huh? I know!

So going with the trend of rose gold, I’ve created this outfit. I don’t have every piece on this polyvore, but every item is easily found at both inexpensive and higher-end stores, making it versatile for every budget. I got my shorts at J.Crew Outlet for $30 and I totally love them! The 5″ inseam is long enough to make sure my rear isn’t showing, but short enough to be young and fresh. A simple white lace shirt would go great and add a little texture, too!

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Leave me a comment with your favorite rose gold pieces! Happy Shopping!

Recipe of the Week: Spicy Apple Glazed Meatballs

If you’re anything like me, you love spicy-sweet concoctions. Kung Pao Chicken, Honey Chipotle Boneless Wings, and these Spicy Apple Glazed Meatballs.

My students made these for a lab this week and I was blown away by the amount of flavor packed into each little bite. They were sweet and flavorful, but kicked it up a bit in the end. I cheated a bit and used pre-made frozen meatballs since the kiddos only have 45 minutes to cook in my class. I highly suggest trying the recipe both ways. I’ll post the easy/under-30-minute version here though since I know many of you prefer quick-and-easy weeknight dinners!

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Spicy Apple Glazed Meatballs (modified from Better Homes and Gardens)

Ingredients:
– One pack frozen meatballs, thawed
– 1 cup apple juice (100% juice works best!)
– 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
– 3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
– 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
– 6 green onions, sliced thin (for garnish)

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except for meatballs and green onions.
2. Place saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly until thickened.
3. Cook 2 more minutes on medium-low, then add meatballs to sauce. Stir and coat meatballs until heated through.
4. Place on serving platter and garnish with green onions.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Being a Puppy Parent

It’s Saturday…or Daycare Day as it’s called here. Every Saturday from 8-4, Atlas gets to go to Doggie Daycare at our local pet hospital/resort and socialize with other dogs. Not only does this give me time to get things done, but it has proven to be integral in Atlas’s social development.

Being a puppy parent has been the most challenging and rewarding time of my life so far; granted I’ve been doing it all by myself for most of the 5 months we’ve had Atlas because Jeff’s in training. Any of you who have ever gotten a puppy at 8 weeks or younger knows exactly what I mean.

Let me give you a timeline:

4 weeks old – plays for 10 minutes, sleeps for 2 hours. Cute and cuddly and just wants to be held.

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6 weeks old -traveling to Ohio for Christmas. Still sleeps for about 2 hours at a time, but can play for about 20 minutes before becoming tired. Likes to sleep on Daddy.

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8 weeks old – Can now play for 30 minutes – 1 hour and only sleeps for about an hour at a time. Biting me like crazy! Loves leaves!

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12 weeks old – Starting puppy class. Biting is a real issue now. He loves new people and is super sweet, but cannot stop biting me. Gets his cone. Biting is inhibited slightly! Yippee! Can now sit, stay, and lay down on command. Not a fan of fire hydrants…

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16 weeks old – Doing much better with the biting issue. Class is really helping! Still rambunctious, but super lovable. Getting smarter by the day! Can give both paws, high five, and roll over (with 50% accuracy on the roll over!). Finding out that he can jump/crawl up onto higher surfaces…

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20 weeks old – Graduated puppy class and halfway through intermediate class. Loves going to the puppy park to play! Finally past his “puppy” behaviors like biting, nipping, and not listening. Great at doing tricks! He can even close cabinets on command!

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So for any of you looking into getting a puppy for the very first time, know this: it will be the hardest, most frustrating, and sloppy-kisses filled time of your life! Make a commitment to work with them every day, as you would a child. The more time you put into them, the better they will be. The first few months were a challenge, but I kept going because I knew that putting in a year of hard training would give me a dog that would behave for the rest of his life! I couldn’t imagine my days without him 🙂

Leave me your best training tips and new tricks that I can teach Atlas! I’ll post new videos of his tricks at your request!

Couch to 5K

When I first moved to Florida, Jeff was in month one of his first deployment. I had two friends that I knew in the area, was preparing to start my new teaching job, and needed a hobby…badly.

The day I moved down, one of my (two) friends gave me a heads up that we were running a 5K…in 8 days!

To say I’m not a runner is an understatement. My body just doesn’t work well with running. Sand volleyball, golf, long walks; all great! Running…not so much.

But in the name of not losing friends, I started training. And the more I ran (or jogged….and walked…), the better I felt and the longer I could go.

My first 5K I ran in 39 minutes. And felt awful afterwards. I had to walk nearly two-thirds of it and I felt like crap because of it; I got passed by moms with strollers!! STROLLERS people! How humiliating! But a part of of me felt exhilarated and I got a free t-shirt! Who doesn’t love a free t-shirt!

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I ran about 6 races that year and my times got better with every race. I never became very fast, but I liked the idea of donating to great causes and being apart of something bigger than myself while giving my body a great workout.

The two races I enjoyed most were the Wounded Warrior 8K and the Gator Bowl 5K. The Wounded Warrior 8K benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and it happened to fall on the 4 month mark of Jeff’s deployment. I missed him dearly and vowed to run the first two miles without stopping, something I hadn’t done previously.

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The Gator Bowl 5K was in honor of our Ohio State Buckeyes making it to the Gator Bowl in 2011. Jeff was home by this time and was able to run it with me. Running with a full necklace of buckeyes probably wasn’t my best idea, but it had to be known where our loyalties were, especially since it was the year that Urban Meyer announced his leaving Florida to come coach at OSU!

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2012 came and I got really busy with life and preparing for our wedding. I stopped running and making excuses for not getting out and being active after the wedding as well. I didn’t gain a whole bunch of weight, so I figured it was fine, but now I miss that feeling that came with running the 5Ks. I miss the causes, the people, and my Saturday tradition of running 5Ks and then getting Bagels-R-Us.

Today is the day that I vow to get back into it. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight, but with the help of a great Couch to 5K program like this one from The Color Run, I hope to be back in 5Ks as soon as I get to Cali in June! Here’s the a healthy mind, body, and soul!

Who’s with me?!

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