Friday, December 31, 2010

So much to say, so little time

It's no secret that when I have holidays from school, I do not spend my time updating my blog.  I have so many things to update on and talk about!  Unfortunately, I'm feeling lazy and don't want to upload pictures or take the time to write a lengthy post (I know, I know).  I can't even do a 2010 reflection post because I don't feel like uploading my December pictures.  Maybe a resolution should be to nix the laziness and post more regularly.  I want to devote a lazy day tomorrow to updating with everything.  2010 really has been a wonderful year of new beginnings.  I can't wait to really reflect!  Devoting tomorrow as a computer day to update my blog and catch up on all of yours!

Happy New Years and here's to a wonderful 2011 :)

Images via weheartit.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Style :: Food Edition - It's almost Christmas but I'm updating on Thanksgiving.

D and I had a banging (that's right...I just said that) Thanksgiving meal this year.  We ate left overs for days!  We had a delish spread of all our favorite things.  Since our families started being all non-traditional, we like to have traditional holiday comfort foods. 

 [D made a fabulous turkey!  His first time making a turkey.  I won't dare touch a raw turkey!]

 [Uncooked sweet potato souffle.  My grandma's recipe, my specialty.]

 [Stuffing and mac n cheese!  Mac n cheese is D's step-mom's recipe that we can't live without every year!]

 [Cooked sweet potato souffle and cranberry sauce]

 [Not too shabby for our first married couple Thanksgiving.  The puzzle was a work in progress and couldn't be moved]

 [Turkey & gravy, rolls, stuffing, mac n cheese, sweet potato souffle, cranberry sauce, and green beans]

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Style :: Food Editions - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.

When I made the pumpkin gooey cakes, I had to buy a big can of pumpkin.  I didn't want to waste half a can of pumpkin, so I found a recipe for muffins to make with it.  They were super easy!  I pretty much had everything I needed around the house for them too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

 [Looks like someone needs a new muffin pan...]

  •  3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin 
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used a bit more for D)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.  
  2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. 

       3.  In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.

      4.  Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips. 
      5.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes 

We really enjoyed these! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One and a half more days.

Can I make it? That's my countdown until school is out. Yeah, I can handle it. We spent this weekend being really lazy...sleeping in REALLY late, drinking lots of delicious beers, watching netflix and football, and eating a lot. Christmas isn't even here yet, and we're indulging. I told D I'm bringing home lots to grade over the holidays. He questioned why I didn't do it this weekend. Why? I deserve to enjoy one weekend without something looming over my head to be completed! I'm looking forward to visiting friends and family in Georgia. I'm looking forward to starting/finishing holiday shopping on Tuesday. I'm also getting an early Christmas gift on Tuesday :)

Happy holidays!

And I definitely recommend this ice cream...delish!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

What I've been up to...

It's no secret I haven't been blogging regularly.  It seems that when I finish with the stress of a day at school (which seems to be getting worse), I just want to come home and bum around.  I immediately change into pajamas and am lucky if I muster up the energy to do a sink full of dishes.  I have been busy this winter (can I really call it winter?!) though.  Aside from interviewing for a potential job opportunity, reading and netflixing (and by the way the new Skins comes out on netflix in January!!!), decorating, and watching football and snow, I've been busy pursuing my new hobbies!

I finished my second puzzle ever in my life (the first was done at the age of maybe 10 or 11?!).  I was pretty darn proud of myself.

    [I was missing a few pieces :(  But the puzzle was made of of tiny smaller pictures. Do they call that a mosaic?]

I've been reading a ton!  Here are some of my recent reads...

I thoroughly enjoyed Of Mice and Men!  It was a super quick read (only 200 pages).  I watched the movie this summer for a class, and I wish I wouldn't.  I would have enjoyed the element of surprise.  I can't wait to read more by John Steinbeck though.

Ham on Rye was an interesting read.  I didn't really know what the book was going to be about.  It basically chronicles the life of a boy.  I enjoyed it, but I doubt I would read it again.  I think there is another Charles Bukowski book on my list.

Can you believe I haven't read these classics?!  I enjoyed Catcher in the Rye a lot.  I think it would have been great to read it as a teenager.  It is totally relate-able and easy to read.

The Bell Jar is probably my favorite book so far.  It's actually been compared as a female version of Catcher in the Rye.  I am super interested in the life of Sylvia Plath and hope to read more works by her in the future.  The novel is based on her life and experiences as a college-aged girl dealing with depression.  

Brave New World was ok.  I guess it was a bit too sci-fi for me.  I don't really get into those type books as much as I do novels about peoples' lives.  I'm glad to mark these classics off my list though. 

I've discovered that I can request books from the bigger Raleigh library to my tiny Raleigh library near my house.  I can return all books there too!  I started just requesting books online and pick them up!  I love it.  Here are some books on my lineup that I'm looking forward to reading over the holidays:
  • The Great Gatsby
  • 1984
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (super excited about this one!)
  • The Big Sleep
I'll also be studying for my 5th Praxis teaching test.  I'm sure I've mentioned before that these are tests required for teachers in NC to teach particular subjects or populations of students.  My potential job position requires that I take and pass another Praxis before I could be offered a position.  Disheartening, but it'll do.  Next test is January 15 which will be here sooner than I know! (Waiting for the results on February 15 will be the hardest part!).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Style :: Food editions - Gooey cakes.

How about a long overdue food edition from Thanksgiving?  I did some mad cooking for Thanksgiving this year since D and I stayed in Raleigh for the holidays.  I'll give you a couple recipes and then update with the holiday meal we had!

Have you ever tried gooey cakes?  It's an extremely fattening Paula Deen recipe, but my family raves over them.  I cooked the pumpkin version a couple of years ago, and they've been requested ever since.  The link will take you to the recipe, but here it is for your convenience.

[Completed cakes.  We eat them like brownies.  I'm obviously no food photog.]

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes (We call them pumpkin gooey bars)

  • 1 (18 and 1/4 ounce) package of yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 8 more tablespoons of butter, melted (this is sounding VERY healthy!)
  • 1 (16 ounce box) of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Make cake by combining cake mix, egg, and the first 8 tablespoons of butter.  Combine thoroughly with a electric mixer
      3.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a slightly greased 13x9 baking pan

       4.  Next make the filling by combining the cream cheese and pumpkin.  Beat with the mixer until smooth
       5.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and more butter and beat some more.
       6.  Then add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat more

        7.  Then spread that filling over the patted down cake.
        8.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes

And that's it!  Make sure you don't over bake because it's supposed to be gooey in the middle.  Although my pictures don't do them justice, they are delicious!

Also, Paula has variations of the recipe on the website.  You can make a peanut butter gooey cake using chocolate cake mixture.  Yum!

In super exciting news, we had today off of school for a snow day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Closet Craving :: Sweaters.

It's been cold here in NC.  It makes me wonder if I could brave the cold up north!  It's been crazy windy here too.  Every time I walk from the school building to my trailer, I am hit by a HUGE gush of wind that leaves me barely able to breath!  All I can think about is which sweater to wear every day.  I am somehow misplaced by favorite beige sweater.  I've been wearing the heck out of a thin, grey sweater I thrifted.  I really want some new sweaters, but they are just too dang expensive on my budget right now :(  At least a girl can dream!

[Ugh!  Why must I be tempted so?!  Fresh Perspective Cardigan from Anthro, $148]

[It seriously becomes to depressing to peruse Anthro for too long.  Plaited Pocket Cardigan, $158]

[I need some more reasonable prices.  Forever 21 for only $29]

[More F21 for only $24.80]

 [I am seriously considering buying this for myself when payday comes around on the 21st.  It's buy one, get one 50% off.  Don't buy up all of my size!  Exaggerated Shawl Collar Sweater at American Eagle, $34.95!]

[Doesn't this just look super comfy?  American Eagle Light & Lofty Dolman Sweater, Sale $29.95]

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We're spending this weekend with our first snow in Raleigh! We're drinking delicious beer, eating delicious food, sitting in recliners at Tobacco Road watching the SEC championship game. We bought a couple Christmas gifts. We got ingredients to make stuffed squash and buffalo Mac n Cheese. We're making plans to go see Christmas lights, a tree lighting, and ice skating. It's really shaping up to be a wonderful December!

Oh and we dressed Bailey up as Santa again :)

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Best of: Christmas ornaments.

I'm obsessed with Christmas ornaments.  Don't even get me started on our lame Christmas tree situation this year. that I got started, I have to explain.  When D and I first moved in together, back in 2007, we bought a little fake tree on our limited budget.  It was supposed to be a 6 foot tree.  It ended up looking like this:

[Yeah, that's little 5'2" me.  I'm crouched a bit, but it is almost the same height as me!]

At the time, we only had one cat and were afraid of how he would be with the tree.  We bought a lot of plastic red and silver balls.  Back to the tree...we kept that scrawny little thing for the following two Christmases.

  [2007...first go round]

 [2008...still looking like the same skinny tree]

 [2009...still going strong with my Bailey as the main character in this pic]

When we got ready to get out the ole standby tree this year, it was no where to be found.  Then we got to thinking....we didn't bring it from Athens!  I very vaguely remember saying to just leave it behind, and we could buy a new one.  Little did I know we'd be on the tight budget with buying a house and all (oh how things change in a year).  We still wanted a fake tree just for convenience and with the pets.  We weren't willing to dish out the money for a pre-lit GOOD fake tree.  We opted for a 4'5" footer (which is maybe three feet in reality) that I can put in my classroom next year.  Here we come after Christmas sales!

Over the following two Christmases, we've only accumulated a couple more ornaments.  We sort of started a tradition of buying a new ornament on sale every year after Christmas to add to our collection.  There are currently some ornaments I'm lusting over right now though!

[Holy crap!  How cute is this guy??  You know all about my owl obsession.  He can be found at terrain for only $8]

[Also from terrain is this ADORABLE little guy for $12]

[Obviously my tree will be full of animals.  Cutie giraffe from my fav for $16]

[So I don't completely overwhelm you with animals & one of my dreams is to ride in a hot air balloon.  From anthropologie for $18]

[Because we totally need a mushroom on our tree.  Anthro again $12]

And I couldn't get the picture, but I also want one of these Hello Kitty ornaments!  We all know where I'll be doing online shopping after Christmas!

Ps.  I'm so proud of myself for a real, functional post!

Happy December.

Number 1 - when did December get here?  I remember the beginning of October I was thinking, "I'll be lucky if I make it to Christmas."  Well I guess I made it (almost).

Number 2 - December comes straight out of nowhere and then will be over in a flash. 

I'm sort of drawing a blank for a post idea.  I'm on my lunch breaking during this beginning teacher training program I'm in.  I'm doing this today and tomorrow I'm observing a couple teachers at another school.  It is a nice and much needed break from the students.  They have literally been driving me crazy this week.  It's unfortunate that every day that goes by, I am feeling more and more beat down there.  I can do it though.  Since I've been such a negative nancy lately and totally skipped out on any gratitude posts in November, I wanted to just list a few things that I do have to be happy and positive about!

  • Going home to see our families for Christmas - I haven't been back home since September!  
  • Getting paid on December 21 instead of the 28th - MUCH needed for December AND I can hit up Target's after Christmas sale
  • Having a husband AND one that does so much around the house and accepts (most of the time) my laziness
  • Being in our new home at Christmastime - I love the pride D takes in taking care of it and the feeling I have of wanting to decorate it
  • New friends and opportunities in Raleigh
  • The fact that I DO have a job and got to move out of Georgia
  • The trips and vacations I've had the opportunity to be a part of - as much as I complain about wanting/needing ANOTHER vacation, I am so lucky to have been able to visit and even live in some amazing places
  • Reading - It's like I rediscovered a passion!  I adore going to the library and reading.  My recent reads list should be an upcoming post
I could go on but I won't for now :)


Pin It button on image hover