Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three Years!

I cannot believe it has been three years ago today that Andy and I were married. I can honestly say that these have been the best three years of my life thus far. I'm not going to lie, it hasn't always been sunshine and lollipops, but if you ask me, that's what means it's real.  

I'm not going get get all mushy-gushy on here. But I'll just say that I am so happy God picked Andy for me, and I can't wait to see what plans He has for me and my future baby-daddy. 

Our Wedding Day

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday--7 Layer Greek Dip

I am in love with Greek food. It is my third favorite...behind Mexican and Italian.
So when I saw this 7-Layer Greek Dip on Pinterest, I had to make it. Had to.  
And I had the perfect occasion to make it.  
We had a shower for all 7 of the pregnant ladies at work (yes...7), 
and my grade level was assigned "dips."  Everyone loved it, including the knocked up chicks.  The original recipe came from here. 

7-Layer Greek Dip
1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon dill weed
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cup hummus
1 cup seeded and diced cucumbers
1 cup seeded and dice tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 cup chopped green onions (about 3)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/8-1/4 cup minced parsley

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, dill weed, garlic, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate. Then spread a layer of hummus. Then cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, feta, and parsley.

*Next time, I will probably decrease the garlic to 2 cloves. 
*I skipped the parsley layer.
*You can make it healthier by using fat free or reduced fat cream cheese.
*Substitute salt-free Greek seasoning for dill weed, if desired.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bookworms are COOL!

I'm taking 10 of my students bowling today after school for meeting their reading goal, and they are pretty excited. It's not everyday that you get to go bowling with your teacher, after all. 

 I made these sweet treats for my little bookworms.

Because bookworms are the coolest! 

Say a little pray for me today around 3:45!

The cupcake and buttercream recipe came from here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teaching Tidbit--Research Project

This blog is by no means a 
"teaching blog." 

Yes, I love teaching blogs, and love finding new and fun ideas on pinterest, but this blog is more of my outlet from my job than it is a place for me to talk about it.

However, with that being said, I have decided to post some "teaching tidbits" every so often. And here is the first of the tidbits.

One of our standards in SC for third grade is to identify the characteristics of biographies. So, we took advantage of this during February for Black History Month. I am very lucky to be in a school where technology is always at my fingertips. We have 4 iPads per classroom, and a set of 10 MacBooks that are available for check-out. The students worked in pairs to research famous African Americans in history. We mostly used the website Fact Monster, which had an extensive list of people to choose from.

Once we had all decided on who to research and write about, the real work began. I got this idea from a workshop I attended last year. It's a great way to help students organize their information when doing research on a topic.

I gave each student 4 index cards: pink, orange, yellow, and green, which were bound together using a brad. They used these to organize the different information researched.

They wrote these questions on the front: 

1. When and were was ___ born? 
2. What is _____ famous for?
3. What are some interesting faces about ____?
4. What is something important _____ did or said?

And as they found information, they would record it on the back (paraphrasing is also a standard so we discussed this in the process as well.)

After the research was made and we all felt that we had gotten enough information (I of course checked this and helped students find information if they were struggling), I displayed an outline to help them organize their biography essays (I didn't get a picture of that.)

From there we proceeded with the writing process: drafting and editing and revising. I then allowed the students to type their final drafts in computer lab, which made them feel very official.

I will never do a research project any other way. This really helped even my most unorganized and "all over the place" students organize their thoughts and research. It also really helped in the organization of their essays.

I hope you all try this, if you haven't already, the next time you grimace at the thought of doing a research project with 8 & 9 year-olds.

p.s. sorry to my followers who aren't teachers! :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tasty Tuesday--Mini Tomato Pies

Basic Pie Crust
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
about 1/4-1/2 cup of milk

1. Place butter, flour, and salt in a medium mixing bowl, and cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter.
2. Add milk a little at a time, and stir until dough just comes together.
3. Gather dough into a flat disk and cover with plastic wrap. Chill dough for about 10 minutes before rolling out into desired shape.

Tomato Pie
2-4 beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, sliced and seeded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
about 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 recipe basic pie crust
10 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.
2. Place the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow tomatoes to weep for 10 minutes. Discard extra liquid, and pat dry with paper towel.
3. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. When the butter is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onion until softened about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
4. Combine the mayo and cheeses in a small mixing bowl, adding additional mayo if mixture is too dry.
5. Divide the pie crust into 12 pieces. Press the pieces into the bottom and sides of the prepared muffin tins.
6. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture over the bottom of the pie shells. Top with a few tomato slices, then about 1 tablespoon of the onions. Sprinkle basil on top of the onions, and then top with about 1 more tablespoon cheese mixture. Bake pies in preheated oven until lightly browned and bubbling on top, and crust is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

*You could take the easy route and buy pre-made pie crusts, like I did.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Break Recap

Let's skip straight to Monday (Saturday and Sunday were pretty lame)


andy caught me with my mouth full


Supper Club ('s been my turn since November. Slacker?)

I made these shrimp skewers (from one of my first "tasty tuesday" posts ever), mini tomato pies, salad, and the second strawberry lemon yogurt cake.

these little guys were tasty. stay tuned for the recipe!


Kayla came in town and we made a trip to Trader Joe's. She is very serious about her Trader Joe's shopping, as you can see from the picture below.

And we went to dinner at Wild Olive where I had the best meal of my life. I've been there before, but now I will never order anything other than these two items.
I didn't take pictures, but found these on the Wild Olive's facebook page

Appetizer: risotto fritters stuffed with sausage and mozzarella and served with tomato remoulade.
creamy deliciousness in the making.

Entree: seared scallops with potato gnocchi and truffled vegetables. I have never tasted something so good.


My favorite day of Spring Break. We took the doggies to the beach. Kiawah Island is the only place left that allows dogs off the leash in a certain area. They had a BLAST!

All of these pictures are courtesy of Kayla's photography skills. She's started a pet photography business, so contact her if you're interested! It's called Goodness Infinity Paw Prints. A link to her blog is above.

Is that Birdie, or Jerry Garcia? 
best friends--Birdie and Oatmeal

Checkin' out the ladies on the beach.

And our "after beach" snacks and mimosas on the back porch.


We'll call his "The Day of Lucy"

Very excited to be back at the Children's Museum

driving the fire truck

checking out the herb garden

lucy's face when we walked in the door of Cupcake

Later that night, I met up with my BFF Katie for dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant in Summerville, Continental Corner.


Lucy met the Easter Bunny on Isle of Palms


Enjoyed a wonderful Easter Sunday service with my parents, and a yummy brunch afterwards. 
Lucy played peek-a-boo with her Uncle Andy at brunch.

And I finished the week watching Bubba Watson win the Masters (woo hoo!) with Andy, and now we're about to head to our usual Sunday spot, Zia.

And, I'm NOT ready for school tomorrow. It's going to be a wing-it/review day. Love those kind of days!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

 It's strawberry season here and I couldn't resist picking up a few pints at the produce stand. They were so plump and juicy looking. 

So what did I do with all those yummy strawberries? I made two cakes, not one, two. Is there anything better than strawberry and lemon together? Anything that tastes more like summer in your mouth? I don't think so. I'm going to call this cake "healthy" because it uses Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Just don't think about the 2 cups of sugar, or 1 cup of butter. The yogurt cancels that out, right? Right. 

The recipe was found here.

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz. (1 cup) vanilla Greek yogurt
12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour the pan. Sift together the 2 1/4 cup flour (reserve 1/4 for later), baking soda, a salt. Mix in the zest and set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light a fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice (reserve the rest for the glaze). Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.
3. Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Gently add to the batter.
4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 60 minutes.
5. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before removing from pan and transferring to a wire wrack. Allow to cool completely before glazing. 

For glaze, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I am officially on Spriiiiiing Break. And it's amazing. 

I started if off right with my first trip to the Masters. I didn't grow up a golfer or even golf fan. I didn't dislike it, I love watching sports, golf just wasn't the sport of choice in my house. We were more a baseball, football, basketball kind of family. 

However, in college I met this really cute boy who was a golfer and loved all things golf. I would go to the driving range with him, and must say, I was pretty impressed with how far he could hit a golf ball. And I even tried it out some, and was told I "have a great swing", but I never really fell in love with the sport.

Well, that really cute boy is now my very handsome husband and his love for golf has begun to rub off on me. It's only taken 10 years, but after seeing Augusta National and soaking it all in, I've finally asked for my very own set of golf clubs for my birthday. That's a pretty big deal.

Here are some of the pictures from our day at the Masters.

 My father-in-law, Andy, me, and our friend Porter

 My breakfast...egg salad sandwich.

Porter's breakfast...pimento cheese sandwich.

 the boys

Tom Watson. 

Kaymer collecting his ball from his hole-in-one on 16 that he skipped across the water. 

it was HOTT 

And the next three pictures of the beautiful Adam Scott have commentary.  

Adam: Hey Geoff, look over there. Do you see that beautiful girl over there in the pink hat?

Geoff: No, where is she? 

Adam: The girl right there! Aw man, I see a wedding ring. Why are the good ones always taken?

Yes, I just did that. Obviously he's pointing at something behind me, but come on! It was too easy to pass up.
 Adam Scott. Heeeey!

Andy and his dad at Amen Corner 

Bubba Watson and his pink driver. 

Tigaah Tigaah Woods, y'all.

Sorry to bore those of you who have no interest in golf with this long post. Seriously, though, watching the Masters on TV will never do the Augusta National justice. It was absolutely gorgeous and so pristine. Watching the Masters this weekend will be all the more fun after seeing it in person.

p.s. I know it's been a while since I've had a "Tasty Tuesday". Honestly, in efforts to save money and eat healthier, we've literally been eating chicken/fish and veggies almost every night so there has been nothing to share with you. However, we just had Supper Club at our house tonight, so I have a few new recipes to share with you this week!