Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

Why can't the boy ghost have babies?
Because he has a Hallo-weenie.

Why did the ghost go into the bar?
For the Boos.

What do you call two spiders that just got married?

What do ghosts eat for breakfast?


Ok that's enough of that.  

Happy Halloween everyone!!!  Halloween on a Monday is not very fun...but fear not!  We made up for it by doing all things weenish this weekend.  I know you have all been waiting on the edge of your seats to find out what Austin and I dressed up as this year, so here it is:

We went as two people who don't have enough extra time or money laying around to purchase/make a costume.  In other words, we just wore stuff we already had.  I went as an 80's girl and Austin donned the ol' dinosaur outfit.  I decided our theme was "flashback".  

Here's the rest of the costumes from the party we went to...

Easy Mac & The Black Swan

LMFAO (a music group)

Despicable Me & a Minion 

Sorority Girls

An Oompa Loompa

The guy from Direct TV commercials (and his tiny giraffe)
I hope everyone has fun tonight!  I'm off to watch the Big League Chewbaccas take on the Wolfpack...hopefully the score isn't too scary :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

our trip to the fair

Last weekend Austin and I went to the state fair with another one of our couple friends.

Last year was the first time that I'd ever been to the fair, and I ended up having mixed emotions.  I really really loved all the stuff there (fried food, corn dogs, rides, funnel cakes, games, corn dogs, shows, turkey legs, the HUGE ferris wheel, fried snickers, corn dogs, corn dogs...), but it seemed like in order to actually do anything you had to cough up some major mulah.     

That's why Austin and I made it our mission to find anything and everything for free.  Might we recommend "Amazing Dobermans", "The Midway Barker", and test driving the newest Chevy cars.

So, this year we were ready.  We knew where the best freebies could be found, and we were on a mission.  But then it took us like 2 hours to actually get there thanks to the Dallas Dart rail, so we stayed for about 2 hours and then left so I could go to work.  Bummer.

We still had fun though.  We purchased some fried food, ate corn dogs, and walked around to see the sights. 

Even though we weren't there for long it was still a successful trip in my book.  I'll be honest: I'm just in it for the food :)  

Monday, October 24, 2011

dinner time

Last week was full of quick, yummy dinners.  Here's what went down:

Chicken Lettuce Wraps 

With Fruit Salad
To make these I used the same recipe as last time (aka I googled "chicken lettuce wraps" and went to town), but I added rice to get a "more-bang-for-your-buck" effect.

Creamy White Turkey Chili from

The original recipe calls for chicken, but we were kind of on chicken overload last week, so I decided to switch it up.  This was really great, and my good friend, Zac, even called it, "one of the best meals he's ever had".  Thanks, Zac!  I think it pairs perfectly with this cold weather that's started to roll in...and some tortilla chips.

Buffalo Chicken Burritos from here 

With Home Fries
These burritos were awesome!  I got the recipe whilst "pinning", and I'm so glad we tried it.  It tastes just like eating a big buffalo wing, but without the bones.  Plus some lettuce is in there and we used low fat tortillas, so it's basically a meal fit for the cover of Healthy Living.

This week I am planning to make: Chicken Piccata Parmesan; Pesto Chicken with Greek Salad; Beef Enchilada Casserole with Mexican Rice; and Lemon Basil Chicken with Broccoli and Shells & Cheese.  Should be yummo!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

a few things that I’m loving right now

1) The  X Factor

This show is like American Idol on steroids. The singers on X Factor are incredible, and I love that there is no age limit!  One of the standouts (and Austin’s favorite) is in the “over 30” category, and I seriously think that he might win.  His first audition was INSANE!  Also, the judges on X Factor are awesome.  No offense to Randy Jackson, but LA Reid is ten times better as the token black judge.  Finally, the Simon-Paula combo simply cannot be beaten—end of story.

2) Justin Beiber’s upcoming Christmas album, “Under the Mistletoe”

If it’s wrong for a 22 and a half-year old to love the latest teen heartthrob, then I don’t want to be right.  Honestly, how could you possibly resist this little cutie belting out some Christmas tunes?!  Just listen to the first single off the album and try and tell me this doesn’t make you want to trim your tree and bust out the fruitcake.  

3) The Pact by Jodi Picoult

I mentioned last week that I’ve gotten really into reading lately, and I feel that I would be doing you all a disservice if I neglected to recommend this book.  I have heard that Mrs. Picoult can be a little hit or miss with her books, but she definitely knocked one out of the park on this one.  The Pact is one of the most interesting and intense love stories I have ever read, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I seriously could not put this down.  If you haven’t already read this, please drop whatever you’re currently doing and start turning some pages.  I promise you won’t be sorry.


Are you guys pinning yet???  I discovered Pinterest this past weekend, and I just can’t stop!  If you’ve never heard of this site…it’s basically a place where you can create “boards” to categorize all of your favorite stuff (recipes, fashion, decorating ideas, quotes, teaching ideas, wedding plans, etc etc).  You can post things that you’ve found on your own, or look at your friend’s boards and re-pin their ideas!  I’m in love.  If you’re not currently pinning and you’d like to be, let me know and I’ll email you an invite!

5) Blondies
For the softball snack this week I decided to take a crack at making blondies.  I had never heard of these little treats until I started reading this summer (aka my favorite blog ever), and I finally decided to make them this week.  Here’s the recipe I used…they are delicious!

6) Dunkin’ Donuts K-cups

I have never been a big fan of coffee.  However, Austin and I have both given up drinking soda in an attempt to be healthier, and with my new, um, busier/earlier schedule I needed a caffeine replacement pronto.  Enter coffee.  Dunkin’ Donuts coffee to be exact.  I brew up a cup of this in the morning, add in some chocolate syrup and milk, and I’m good to go.  America really does run on Duncan…

7) Wearing jeans to work
I never really understood why my mom and all her teacher friends used to get all jazzed up about being able to wear jeans to school.  Well, now I get it.  This week I get to wear jeans for three days (pink out for breast cancer, rangers spirit, and jean Fridays), and I could not be happier!  It’s hard to explain why the simple act of denim is so exciting, but I guess it’s just a teacher thing J

Sunday, October 16, 2011

dinner time

Here's how my recipes for this week turned out:

On Sunday we made this...
Pan seared steak with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus

The verdict?  Delicious.  All we did was marinate the steak all day using this marinade, and then Austin pan seared it.  I roasted the asparagus (coated in olive oil, salt, and pepper) for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  For the spuds I just made them like any normal person makes mashed taters.     

On Tuesday we had this:
Chicken stir fry
Verdict: pretty good!  Austin requested that the next time we make this we add peas.  I can't find the exact recipe I used (oopsies), but I literally just googled "chicken stir fry" until I saw something that looked good.

And then on Wednesday we had this:
Cheesy tortellini
With this:
Yummy Carrabba's bread with herbs and olive oil
Survey says?  Yum!  An easy dish to whip up on a busy week night.

All of this stuff was really great, but my favorite dinner of the week was Austin and my anniversary dinner at Texas de Brazil.  We were both in food comas fo sure.  My favorite thing there are the fried bananas.  Austin's is the house specialty steak.  Austin gets frustrated with me that my favorite thing to eat at a STEAK house is a banana, but I like what I like :) 

This is what I'm thinking for this week:
Monday- Stan's for dinner, but I want to make these for the team snack
Tuesday- Lettuce Wraps courtesy of my good friend, Rachel Ray with fruit salad
Wednesday- Creamy White Turkey Chili from eatliverun
Thursday- Buffalo Chicken Tacos with home-style fries
Friday- Leftovers/going out!

We're having a special guest stay with us next weekend, so maybe she can help me cook!  

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

kids say the darndest things part I

Bill Cosby was right.

Kids really do say the darndest things.  I always knew this was true to an extent, but due to my recent increase in time around children I am now a full-on believer.  Here are some of my favorite things I've heard from 7th graders and 4-6 year olds in the past few weeks...

Ballet Teacher that I assist on Saturday mornings: Girls, it is very important for you to listen to me or Miss Jamie when we are giving corrections.  When you're waiting for your turn to go across the floor, how should you be acting?
5 year old Ballerina: Patient!
A different 5 year old Ballerina: Nice!
Another 5 year old Ballerina: Quiet!
Ballet Teacher: Yes, very good!  You need to be quiet.  And why do we need to be quiet?  So we can hear who?
5 year old Ballerina: (whispering) God?

**This question came to me while my 7th graders were learning about persuasion.  They were making their own commercials about a product of their choosing.  This particular partnership chose to sell Wiz Khalifa's new CD.**
7th Grader: Miss, can you tell me if this sounds good or not?"
Me: Sure, let's hear it.
7th Grader: You should buy Wiz Khalifa's new CD...everyone else is!  His CD has some great music.  It's not the best thing you've ever heard, but it's still really good.
**Good to know that the future of American advertising will be rooted in honesty...**

Dance Teacher that I assist on Mondays: Girls!  Y'all need to stop acting up, and pay attention.  If you don't get it together I am going to start sending you down to the office.
6 year old Dancer: What's the office?
Dance Teacher: It's like the principal's office at school.  If I send you down there they will call your mom.
6 year old Dancer #2: Oooohhhh.  I've never been to the principal's office.
6 year old Dancer #3: Me neither!  My sister has to go allllll the time though.

**This also happened in my 7th grade class during the persuasion unit.  Two students were in the middle of making a print ad in hopes of selling their product: a briefcase.  I noticed a spelling error, and encouraged them to correct it.**
Me: Hey guys y'all might want to look up "briefcase" in the dictionary...I think you have a spelling mistake. (They spelled it "breifcase instead of "briefcase")
7th Grader: (walking back up to me after about 3 minutes, no sign of a dictionary anywhere) Um, Ms. Chandler I just looked up briefcase, and you were mistaken...we spelled it right on our poster.
**I just smiled and told them to make sure they double checked their work**

Oh, and as always, a picture is worth 1,000 words:

Working with kids might be stressful sometimes, but I can never complain about having a boring job!

Friday, October 14, 2011

to austin.

Today I want to say happy 2-year anniversary to my favorite boyfriend in the world!

That's us last night before we went to dinner to celebrate!

Love you butthead!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a wednesday book review

I have a confession.

Actually, it's not a confession because most people know this about me, but here goes: I hate to read.  I think it's boring, and I usually fall asleep.  When my dad used to read to me at night before bed I made up movies in my head instead of paying attention.  I used to laugh when my sister put books on her letter to Santa.  I could probably count the number of "assigned reading" books that I actually read in high school and college on one hand.  That's what sparknotes are for people!  I guess I just never liked the idea of my teacher telling me, "you have to read this, and then do all sorts of assignments about it because the state of Texas says it's important and so do I".  Not the best motivation.

However, I figured that since I'm a fancy English (student) teacher now it's probably in my best interest to start reading.  How can I tell the kids how important it is to read when I don't even like to read myself?  So, off to the library I went.  I checked out this book, and a week later I was hooked on reading:

Why can't we read books like THIS in school??  A Northern Light has all of my favorite things rolled into one wonderful package.  It's a love story, wrapped in a murder mystery, with a dash of down on the farm family fun, and a sprinkle of historical fiction.  I would highly recommend it.  If a book can keep me entertained and actually make me WANT to read, then you know it's a good one.  

After reading this, I think I've officially caught the reading bug.  Heck, I may just ask for a Kindle for Christmas.  Well, let's not get carried away.  I'm warming up to the idea of reading, but I don't know that I'm ready to give up my usual clothes and movies for literature quite yet.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I will be the first to admit that I am not necessarily the most organized person in the world.  Often times I wait until the last minute to do things, I can be a little bit forgetful from time to time, and I don't really understand bills and money and deadlines for the cable company.  However, I love love LOVE to plan my eating schedule for the week.  I am constantly checking food blogs and looking for new recipes to try, and every Sunday I make a menu for the week.  I write it on a notepad and leave it on the kitchen counter so I can refer to it every day.  My dream is to someday have a house with a perfect little kitchen that has a huge blank wall that I can hang a giant chalkboard on and write out my menu every week.  I will most likely purchase said chalkboard from  Never heard of etsy?  You're missing out.  Go look around for an hour, or seven.

Anyways, this was my menu for the past week:

Sunday- Gumbo with Chicken and Shrimp over Rice
Here's the recipe

Monday- Stan's mini burgers before the big Bacca playoff game.  I made some of my sister's famous oatmeal cookies for after-game-snacks:

Tuesday- Chicken Tex Mex
Recipe is from this

Wednesday- I had planned to make Chicken Stir Fry, but if you'll remember last Tuesday was the great Carrabba blackout of 2011, so we ate lasagna instead.

Thursday- Once again, I planned on making something else, but since I had perfectly good Carrabba's sitting in my fridge I stuck the meat in the freezer and chowed down on some Italian.

Friday- Leftovers

This past week turned out to be underwhelming in terms of cooking, but I'm hoping the coming week will make up for it.  Here's what I have planned:

Sunday (today)- Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

Monday- Staneroo's

Tuesday- Chicken Stir Fry

Wednesday- Tortellinni in Marinara Sauce with Italian Bread (aka Carrabba's bread)

Thursday- Austin's taking me out for our 2 year anniversary celebration! <3

Friday- Leftovers

Saturday- Triple date with two of my besties from high school and their boyfriends...the destination is TBA

Looks like it's shaping up to be a week of good eats!  Until then, I'm going to get back to my apple treats that I'm making for tomorrow's softball game, and try to erase the last 7 seconds of the Texans game from my memory.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!