Monday, March 31, 2014


Currently, I am...


A Star Wars t-shirt.

The big, bad STAAR Writing Test is tomorrow and Wednesday, so the teachers and staff at my school dressed up in Star Wars garb today to help our kids "use the force" on their test.  I've never seen Star Wars, and I'd venture to say that it's probably not my cup of tea, but I'll do almost anything to motivate my students!

Listening to

Spotify!  If you haven't heard, spotify is a music program where users pay $10 a month and can download pretty much any song they want.  I have access to it all the time with the app on my phone, and it comes in real handy at the dance studio.  I think the 10 ducks a month is totally worth it!

More specifically, I am still loving Miley's new album, Bangerz.  Also, my favorite song right now is "Latch" by Disclosure.  I can't help but dance when it comes on!


Our wedding, of course!  We are getting down to the nitty gritty details these days.  Over spring break I got a lot of things accomplished, but there is still much to be done!  We are meeting with our videographer this evening so we can get to know each other before the big day, so that should be fun.  I am also anxiously awaiting the arrival of several packages- invitations, table numbers, etc.  At this very moment, I am trying to figure out what songs we want played during our ceremony.  It's times like this that I am so very thankful for the internet.  (I have found myself thinking that a lot throughout this entire process).

I can't believe the big day is less than 3 months away.  I can't wait!!  


American Idol- I have been a fan of this show from the beginning, and I am loving this season!  The new judging panel is just perfect, and the contestants are very talented.  My favorites are Alex, Jena, and Sam.  I hope Jessica and Malaya go home soon.

The Tonight Show- Have y'all been watching Jimmy Fallon?  In my opinion, he is absolutely killing it as the host.  Austin and I watch every weeknight, and we laugh and laugh.  This is one of my favorite things he has done:


Allegiant by Veronica Roth.  I read the first two books in the Divergent series awhile ago, and I've had the third book downloaded on my iPad for a few months now.  The thing is, I keep hearing how terrible the ending is, so I can't bring myself to read it.  I'm planning to just suck it up though because it will drive me crazy if I don't finish the series!

I considered including an "eating" category in this post, but I decided to dedicate an entire post to that for later this week.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

crock pot chicken chili

It's recipe time on the blog again!  

We had a luncheon at my school sponsored by our wonderful PTA not too long ago, and the theme was crockpot soups/stews.  The luncheon was delish, but one of the moms got the date wrong and brought her chili a week early.  It's always a nice surprise when there's food in the office, and this chicken chili went quick!  The mom was nice enough to email out the recipe since it was such a hit, and I'm going to be nice enough to share it with you all today!

For whatever reason there is still a little nip in the air these days, so this would still be something yummy to make for dinner.  Enjoy!  

Chicken Chili

2 chicken breasts, still frozen
1 can Rotel, do not drain
1 can corn kernels, do not drain
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

1) Put the chicken in the crock pot.  Top with the undrained Rotel, undrained corn, drained and rinsed beans, ranch dressing powder, taco seasoning, and stir to combine.  

2) Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice. 

3) Shred the chicken into large pieces. Top with the cream cheese. Cook for 30 minutes, or serve immediately after mixing in cream cheese. 

**This would be good over cilantro rice, with tortillas, or alongside some tortilla chips.  You can also add avocados, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream when serving.

Monday, March 24, 2014

spring break rewind

The Monday after Spring Break has got to be one of the hardest days of the year for a teacher.  Coming back after a break is always tough, but other breaks are different.  Summer is so long that I'm usually itching to come back to work.  After Thanksgiving, there's only 3 weeks until Christmas.  Christmas break is like a shorter summer; I'm ready to come back and finish off the year.  Spring Break though...I'm struggling.  We still have 11 weeks of school before summer.  11!

Here's hoping that looking back at my break will help ease the pain of this Monday.  

What I ate:

One of the things that I love about being out of school is that I get to eat lunch with my main squeeze.  Austin works close enough to our apartment that he can come home for lunch, so I made us food almost every day last week.  When we weren't munching on dinner leftovers, I whipped up some good ol' fashioned tuna salad served with a side of wheat thins and berries.  Yum!

Pizza was also on the menu last week.  I always use The Pioneer Woman's recipe for the crust, and then just use whatever I want for toppings.  Last week it was fresh mozzarella, thin slices of tomato, and basil leaves.

Something that I always like to do during a break is cook a dish I've never made before.  Last week, I tackled chicken tikka masala.  I'd never attempted to make Indian food before, and I'm so glad that I started with this recipe.  It wasn't Austin's favorite (he's not big on Indian cuisine), but I gobbled this up!  If you like Indian food, this recipe is a must try!

What I watched:

We kicked the break off by watching the Dallas St. Paddy's Day parade.  We've gone to this parade for 3 years in a row now, and it always ends up being really fun.    

A few girlfriends and I went to see The Wizard of Oz last Thursday as part of our "Dallas Summer Musicals" experience.  The actress starring as Dorothy was really channeling Judy Garland, and she had a beautiful voice to boot!  The little doggie that played Toto stole the show though.  He was just adorable!!

My most frequent viewing choice, however, was one of my all-time favorite shows: Gilmore Girls.  I don't really know how many times I've watched this series, but it just doesn't get old.  GGs and Friends: my two television staples.  I watched seasons 4 and 5 (aka Rory's early Yale years) throughout the week, and now I want to have pancakes at Luke's Diner and dye Austin's hair blonde to match Logan's.  

What I read:

I haven't finished this one yet, but I did find some time to read over the break.  I'm liking (not loving) it, so I'm glad it's short.  I know this is a classic, and I feel like I'm supposed to love it since I'm an English teacher and all, but I'd really rather read something that totally hooks me in.  Gatsby hasn't quite done that for me.  

What I checked off the "Wedding To Do" list:

I had a couple of big tasks (and a lot of little tasks) on my wedding list that I really needed to take care of over this break, and I managed to get all of them crossed off!  Yay for me!  They included but weren't limited to: ordering the invitations, purchasing ties and socks for the guys, taking my bridal portraits/test driving my hair and make-up (that was a fun one!!), ordering table numbers, signing the contract for our flowers, getting my wedding band re-sized, purchasing Austin's ring, and sending about 700 emails.  Only 88 days to go!

Ties on ties on ties...

The countdown to summer officially begins today.  Say a prayer for me and all of my co-workers so we can finish the year off strong!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

dinner is served!

It's been a little while since I've posted about my kitchen happenings, so I thought today we'd play a little game of categories!

Something New:

Instead of going out to eat like we usually do on Friday nights, Austin and I decided to stay in and cook recently.  I made these sea scallops with roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach.  I'd never made these recipes before, but they were both very tasty!  

The Usual Suspects:

I've made all of these recipes before, and they are a part of our normal dinner rotation.  Cooking something I'm familiar with is fun and it usually takes less time.  Not to mention, I already know the end result will be yummy! 

Stuffed Peppers

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Beef Short Ribs

Chicken Parmesan*

*I don't use a specific recipe for this, but here's one that's pretty similar: Chicken Parm.

Totally Twisted:

For these two dinners, I took our regular recipes and made a change or two.

Instead of using real deal ground beef for our favorite chili, I subbed it out for some ground turkey.  We seriously cannot tell a difference, so it makes for a healthier, lighter meal. 

I typically don't turn to Sandra Lee for recipes, but I was randomly watching her one day and saw this Caesar Pasta Salad.  I knew Austin wouldn't eat it as is, so I added in some grilled chicken and romaine lettuce.  It reminds me a lot of the chicken caesar pasta salad from Cheddar's.  It was both Jamie and Austin approved!

When the Fiance's Away...:

I call this kind of dinner "girly food".  If I were to serve this to Austin on a regular weeknight, he'd scarf it down and then probably ask for the main course.  When he went out of town the other weekend, however, this was the perfect thing for my Friday dinner.  I stopped off at Central Market after school on Friday and got my loot: simple green beans, crackers, good cheddar cheese, brie (aka my newest obsession), salami, and a tiny loaf of bread.  Serve with a bottle glass of wine for best results.