Saturday, December 17, 2011

painting with a twist

Yesterday was Austin's company Christmas retreat, and I got to go!  First, we went to lunch at this delicious seafood restaurant in Dallas, and then we went to a place called "painting with a twist".  At "painting with a twist" we all got to paint a's what went down:

We walked into our private party room...

And saw all of our blank canvases just waiting for some color!

And then I got distracted by these adorable mini paintings:

Then, I collected myself, we tied on our aprons, and got down to business...

Our painting instructor, Victoria, was a hoot.  She is from Sweden, and her accent wasn't the only crazy thing about her.  She had a little bell that she would ring whenever we were "too quiet".  Every time she rang the bell we had to take a drink of our wine.  She told us that our paintings were like the opposite sex..."the more we drink the better they look!" Oh boy...

Here's my painting in three stages:
halfway there

and I...

had a wonderful time with the Ward Group!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

7 layers of yum

Today, I would like to tell you guys about the dish I made for Thanksgiving.  It’s simple.  It’s healthy (kind of).  It’s delicious.  It’s 7 layer salad!  My grandma taught me how to make this a couple of years ago on Thanksgiving, and since then I've made it every year...

Here’s what you’ll need for success:

-roughly chopped lettuce
-roughly chopped spinach (uncooked)
-frozen peas
-5-6 hard boiled eggs
-12-14 pieces of bacon
-mozzarella cheese 
-salt & pepper

Step 1: boil your eggies and cook your bacon.

I’ve started cooking my bacon in the oven.  It comes out all crispy and delicious, and I don’t have to worry about hot grease flying out of the pan doesn’t pop me anymore.  I did this for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees, and it came out great!  For the eggs, place them in boiling water for 13 minutes, and then cool them down by running them under some cold water.

Step 2: chop up the eggs and crumble the bacon.

Step 3: line the bottom of a 9X13 pyrex dish with your lettuce.
 Step 4: add on the spinach.
Step 5: pour in some peas.
Step 6: sprinkle on the eggs.
Step 7: add the crumbled bacon.
Step 8: spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the top.
**This step is the hardest part of the whole recipe.  It’s easiest to just make tiny mayonnaise mountains all over the salad, and then spread it out.  If there’s any excess mayo I always just scrape it off and stick it back in the jar.
Step 9: sprinkle the entire bag of cheese over the mayo.
Step 10: finish with a little bit of salt and pepper, and you’re ready to go!
This salad is best served cold, so allow it to refrigerate for a few hours before serving.   

Thursday, December 8, 2011


It's December! It's Christmas time! Things are joyful!

Because it's the season to be jolly, here are some things that are making me happy at the moment:

1) My "Tis the Season" board on Pinterest
I've mentioned Pinterest on here before, but I've recently created a Christmas board, and I love it!  Here are some of my favorite things that I've pinned:
My mom needed one of these while my sister and I were growing up haha

Martha Stewart's Candy Cane Cocktail
2) This video
When I started watching this, I thought it was going to be dumb, but then something magical happened, and I couldn't help but crack a smile and watch until the end.

3) A few things that my students have said lately...
-A couple of weeks ago I wore a bow in my hair to school.  I received several compliments on it throughout the day, but something a student said during 5th period took the cake:
Student: Ms. Chandler, I love your bow...where did you get it?!
Me: Oh, thank you! It's from a store called "Fairy Godmother" in College Station.
Student: Ohh ok.
...about 5 minutes later...
Student: Wait.  Ms. Chandler, do you HAVE to go to A&M to visit or live in College Station?
Me: Haha, um no.  College Station is a's like how SMU is in Dallas.  Other people are allowed to live in Dallas that don't go to SMU, right?
Student: Ohhhhh, yeah.  Right.

-Recently, the hall/our classroom has started to take on quite the odor.  This is a result of a couple of things.  First, we are right across the hall from the science classrooms.  Lab equiptment + chicken leg dissection labs + 7th graders does not bode well for our noses.  Also, our room is across the way from the bathrooms, and apparently the drains are not on top of their game as of late, and there is some kind of "sewer gas" that's circulating through the air.  Delightful.  Finally, 7th graders are coming and going from sweaty PE activities all day long, and that's pretty self-explanatory.  None of these things are making me joyful...quite the opposite actually.  However, something that one of my kids said today eased my pain:
Student A(walking into the classroom before the bell rang): Ahhh gross it smells like butt hole in here!
Student B: How do you know what butt hole smells like you sick freak?!
Rest of the class: Oooohhhhhhh!!!!!

4) December is not only the month of Christmas, but also the month of bird days!  My Aunt Lala's birthday was the 1st, Austin turned the big 2-3 on the 5th, my mom's birthday is the 18th, and one of my best friend's, Katie, is on the 21st!
Here's Austin and me on his birthday at Benihana...yum!
Oh, and don't forget Jesus and one of my besties, Rebeccca, on the 25th!  Hooray for getting old!

5) The last thing that's making me joyful this December is something that makes me happy year!  Here are some of the recipes that I've tried this week:

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake from the Tasty Kitchen Blog

Way to go Tasty Kitchen Blog...they have some awesome stuff on there!

Next Thursday is my last day of student teaching.  Yesterday I put in my two weeks notice at Carrabba's.  I'll have my teacher certification by the end of the month.  I get to see my family on the 23rd.  I will start subbing/actually getting PAID to teach at the beginning of January.  I have a cute boy to kiss on new year's eve.  There are tons of things to be joyful about right now, and this time of year I am counting my blessings, not my troubles :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

secret santas!

Hello family!

Here is a special holiday edition of "the barefoot ballerina" to tell our secret santas what we want!  Find your santa below, read their list, and then go shopping!!  Remember that there is a $50 limit.

Ok here we go...
-"Michael" perfume by Michael Kors

-"Michael", "Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue", or "Eternity Summer" perfume
-Gift card from Coldwater Creek
-Gift card from Macy's
-Brookstone ultrasonic watch/jewelry cleaner

-Black scarf - non-sweater like
-Right Left Center game
-Stemless White Wine glasses - set of 4
-Giam Gripping Non-Slip yoga socks
-Wine chiller
-Sephora Collection - Deluxe Clear brush set
-Stila Dream in Full Color Palette - Sephora
-Bridesmaids DVD
-The Back Up Plan DVD 

-RocaWear IX Cologne
-Nike College Washed Waffle Crew - Longhorn - Size Large - Product #04827158
-Padded Fingerless weight lifting gloves
-Eddie Bauer Classic Fit Interlock Mockneck size Large Tall in either Black or Medium Heather Gray 

-"The King's Speech" DVD
-Joop Men's Cologne
-Queen Size Sheet Set (Dark Charcoal Gray in color)
-Les Miserables: The 25th Anniversary Concert on DVD
-"The Phantom of the Opera" DVD (movie with Gerard Butler)

-Smoothie King gift card
-Long sleeve shirts (pull over or button down) from American Eagle (XL) (Gift receipt please in case they don’t fit)
-Academy gift card
-Chick-fil-a gift card

-"Apples for Jam" cookbook by Tessa Kiros ( link)
-Gift card to Banana Republic, Gap, Target or Kroger
-K-cups for the Keurig (from Dunkin' Donuts: french vanilla or dark roast coffee OR from Bed Bath and Beyond: Hot Chocolate-milk chocolate flavor) 
-Wine! (my favorites are sparkling red, riesling, and white zinfandel) 
-Gift Card to Bed Bath & Beyond or Academy

-"Incase" slider case for apple iPhone 4 (Best Buy)
-Case for the Nook Color (Barnes & Noble)
-Power balance bracelet, size XL (Academy)
-Grey basketball shorts from either Under Armor or Nike, size XL (Academy)
-Dri-fit polo shirts (Academy golf section)

-Rocawear IX cologne (go to Kohl's - It's cheapest there)
-"Big Bang Theory" season 4
-A good flashlight
-iTunes gift card
-American McGee's Alice: Madness Returns (for XBox 360 - Gamestop)
-NCIS - Season 1-2 (Amazon)

Friday, December 2, 2011


Okay, I know I know.  I'm over a week late on the turkey day update.  Oopsies :)

Anyway, for the big day I went down to Conroe to spend the day with my family at my cousin's house.  Here's our wonderful spread:

The main event... Two turkeys and a ham! One of the turkeys was fried and the other was cajun smoked.  Both were awesome, and I couldn't stop picking at the platter all day.
fried turkey courtesy of my Uncle Scott

Salads... Dr. Pepper salad, 7 layer salad, and ambrosia salad.

Sides! Green bean casserole, stuffing, squash casserole, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, and rolls.

Desserts!!!  I didn't snap a pic of the entire dessert table because I was too busy drooling, but we had chocolate pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and sopapilla cheesecake.

My cousin, Josh, with his sopapilla cheesecake...he baked that all by himself!
  And here is my plate:

Why don't we eat Thanksgiving food all year round??  This was seriously the best tasting Thanksgiving dinner I've ever had.  I don't know if it's because my family brought out the big guns this year in terms of cooking, or if my taste buds are just growing up, but either way my tummy was happy at the end of the day.

After a glorious lunch, we headed outside to play in a little football game.  My youngest cousin, Shane, was the coordinator:

And my lovely Aunt Lana and Mimi were the refs:

It was a thrilling game between the pilgrims:

and the turkeys!

The pilgrims ended up victorious, but the turkeys definitely put up a fight!  If I learned one thing from this little game though, it's that my family has some inspired touchdown dances.  Ochocinco should take notes on the following pictures:

I call this one "the Jessy stomp"
"The Lala Boo-yah"
"Alisa's woo-hoo arms"
And last, but not least, Brandon's "knee knocker"
I guess any "raw" dancing talent that I have was definitely inherited from these fine people :)

After football and dinner, round 2, we played Taboo.  The teams for this were boys vs. girls, and of course the girls came out on top.

I love my family.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love turkey.  I really love fried turkey.  I love winning games like Taboo.  I can't wait until Christmas...especially because there will be more Mimi-made pecan pie.  Okay, mostly because there will be more Mimi-made pecan pie.