Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Feeling the Love

It's my birthday and it's been a great one so far. My kids were on their best (well...best that they can be in the last week of school) behavior, I was able to come home right after work and take a quick nap with Birdie, and Andy came home bearing lots of yummy goodies, including okra chips, which are amazing! Now, we are about to meet my family at EVO in Park Circle for a fun birthday dinner. 

However, my favorite part of my day so far has been when one of my favorite students gave me this little guy, who I've already named "Sock Monkey Steve" (after Steve Spurrier, of course), and he will be my official class mascot for the 2012-2013 school year. 

But the best part of her birthday gift was the sweet note she wrote that brought tears to my eyes.

And, although this video is completely unrelated to my birthday, it makes me smile. 
Lucy's version of "Pumped Up Kicks". 
You HAVE to watch it until the whistling part, at least! It's my favorite.

Watch it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Fun Bookworm Wall Display

I know the school year is almost over (WOO HOO!), but it's not too late to post another teaching tid-bit, is it? I found this idea on Pinterest.

 It was the perfect activity to do on a half-day, which we have once a month.

To start the lesson, we talked about all of the books I've read to them this year, and discussed our favorites. Every year, I start off with my all time favorite, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. Have you read this book? If not, add it to your list. Even if you don't have students or kids to read it to. It's such a sweet book! I read it every year, and cry every year. Okay, I'm rambling...I'll have to save my favorite books for another post. 
After we discussed our favorite class books, I had the students think of all the books they've read this year. They picked their favorite and were given a piece of cardstock which I folded to look like a book with a binding. They illustrated the cover, and wrote a brief summary on the back. We read some summaries on the back of some of the books in our class library and the students noticed that many of them ended in questions. We discussed how the questions left you wanting to read more to find out what happens in the book. 

Here is one of the book covers up close.
Aaah, The Tale of Despereaux. Another favorite!

As they were working on their book covers, I called them over one at a time to take their picture. And that's all folks. An easy, fun activity to do with your kiddos.

Here is the finished hall display.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tasty Tuesday--Herb Quinoa Cakes

We are really trying to eat healthier in our house. We were pretty healthy eaters before, but I've just been trying to step it up a bit. We've also set a goal to have at least one meatless night. So, we've declared Mondays as "Meatless Mondays."  We both love quinoa, and when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. I only made a few small changes to fit our likes, and the results were amazing. We devoured these things.

2 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup dry)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine everything except for the quinoa. Fold in the quinoa and mix until combined. Form mixture into patties (it gets sticky, so I sprayed my hands with non-stick olive oil spray). Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add quinoa cakes and cook until golden brown on each side. 

*Don't flip too soon or your cakes will crumble!

You can even make the mixture ahead of time, and keep in the fridge until you are ready to use them. They are the perfect healthy weeknight meal!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there, and especially to my wonderful Momma. I love her very much, and hope that one day I can be as good a mom as she is.

The day I came home from the hospital. Matt looks very thrilled to have a new baby sister.

My mom likes to dodge the camera as much as possible, so this is the most recent picture I have of the two of us, which was from last summer.

Also, Happy Mother's Day to my mother-in-law, Sally! She's the best mother-in-law you could ask for.

Sally and her two boys, Matt and baby Andy

And a few summers ago all grown up.

I've already been to church and brunch with my mom, and plan on heading to her house this afternoon for dinner. 
I hope you all get to spend time with your moms, and if not, I'm sure a long phone call will do!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Am I crazy? I must be Insane.

I've been a slack blogger. 

But it's because I've been busy doing other things. 

Things like INSANITY! 

After a little over two weeks of doing this workout, I completely understand why it is called Insanity. In fact, I understood this after day 1. No other name would describe this workout. It is madness, but I LOOOOVE it. That is, I love it when it's over. 

Day 1 is a Fit Test. You do a series of exercises for 1 minute and record how many reps you were able to do. Here were our results.
Mine are on the left, Andy's on the right.

The Fit Test was hard. But nothing compared to what was to come. Day 2 was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Holy moly. While I wasn't in the best shape going into this, I'd like to think I've done some pretty demanding workouts in my life. I mean, my volleyball and basketball coach in high school had us doing circuits with SANDBAGS draped on our shoulders everyday, for goodness sake! This workout brought me back to those days, but times 100. I have NEVER sweated so much in my life, nor have I experienced the sensation of my muscles giving out long before my mind does. Literally, even if I wanted to do one more rep of "globe jumps", it wasn't gonna happen. 

And now I'm on day 17, and I still have had this "muscle-giving-out" feeling with each workout. I'm waiting for it to stop, and for me to be able to at least make it through the warm-up (which is almost as hard if not harder than the workout itself) without having to stop because my muscles are on fire and my knees are buckling. I don't see that happening anytime soon. With all of that being said, I love the pain. Is that weird? It's the first workout since playing organized sports that I walk away from and actually feel like I've pushed myself to my limit.

Here is our progress so far...

Aaand here's what's left...

My favorite of the workouts for month 1: Cardio Recovery, duh. It's still difficult enough to feel the burn, but is more along the lines of yoga. Relaxing and stretches those very sore muscles.

Least Favorite:  Pure Cardio + Cardio Abs. You don't get any of the 30 second water breaks in this one like you do in the circuits. Then, throw in the Cardio Abs right after, and you're jello.

So you see, I've been busy. I come home after keeping third graders interested and occupied during the last weeks of school, play with Birdie a little, prep dinner, become INSANE for 45 minutes, take Birdie on a cool-down walk, finish dinner, shower, bed. Repeat. Even when I've sat at the computer to start a post, I am too exhausted to finish it! 
I promise to do better! I even have some new recipes to share with you, and I will try to post them soon. Andy just got home from work so we're off to get INSANE!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo!

This Mexican food, margarita-loving girl is very excited to celebrate Cinco de Mayo today!

What's on tap:

My sweet in-laws are in town this weekend, so we're having my folks over for a little cele'. Also coming...Ellen (sister in-law) and Lucy, BFF Katie, maybe Megan and Emily.

What's on the menu:

1.  5-Spice Shrimp Tacos with Baja Yogurt Sauce
2.  Slowcooker Chicken Tacos
3.  Ground Beef Tacos
4.  Mexican Rice
5. Guacamole
6. Hot Corn Dip
7. Brownie Pudding

And of course...

We'll be whipping out our favorite wedding gift for sure.

I will definitely post the recipes and pics later! I'm most excited to try the 5-Spice Shrimp!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! May your day be filled with guacamole, salsa, tacos, sombreros, and 
mucho mucho margaritaaaaaaas!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lauren & Aaron 4.20.12

Things have been pretty busy around here. I know it's been a while, and I've been meaning to tell you all about my friend, Lauren's wedding. So this is going to be a very picture-heavy post (but those are the best kind!).
 Lauren and I were sorority sisters and roommates in college. 
 I love this girl. She is drop-dead gorgeous, hilarious, and isn't afraid to be herself in any situation. She might be one of the funniest people I know. 
Lauren and me at our friend Emily's wedding rehearsal dinner last June

Her now hubby, Aaron, is the perfect match for her. He's probably the only guy who can effortlessly keep up with her quick-witted personality.

Here is the beautiful couple, courtesy of their amazing photographer, Tim Willoughby.

The wedding ceremony was at Stella Maris Catholic Church on Sullivan's Island, where Lauren's family lives (the island, that is, not the church).


The reception was at the Daniel Island Club, and everything was just perfect, including the weather. It was a black tie wedding, so it was fun to play dress up.
Andy and me

Cocktail Hour
Loved this idea. Guests sent in a picture from their wedding day, and these pictures were displayed on this wall. So sweet!
The couple was introduced by the Burke High School marching band!

And only Lauren, who loves Elvis (seriously, I can remember many drunken late nights in college when an Elvis mask would make an appearance), would have the bartenders at her wedding dressed in Elvis costumes!

First dance.



 The send off!

I love this picture of Lauren's dad and her with their hands up!

And, because these picture are just too pretty not to share, here are some of the bride and groom and the wedding party.

How beautiful is she? Geez!


I want one of these bridesmaids dresses! SO pretty!