Friday, April 29, 2011

3 Completely Unrelated Things

1. The Royal Wedding. I was very, very tempted to get up at 3:00 am to watch this event, but in the end I'm glad I didn't. I got to catch the end of the ceremony as I was getting ready for work this morning. I got to see most of the things I wanted to see: Kate's dress, her sister's dress, other wardrobing, and I wanted to know what their titles would be, and well that's pretty close to everything that mattered to me. And really they are showing all the highlights on various channels anyway. It's kinda crazy though, like in the end it's just a wedding for two people to get married, but like the entire world was interested. Way too stressful. About a week ago Matt asked if I would want to be Kate Middleton. Hell no was pretty much my answer and he couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to be a rich Princess who could do anything she wanted to. Because I couldn't was my answer. I think the Queen would probably have a lot to say about what I should/shouldn't be doing. And paparazzi is just not my style. I occasionally go to Wegs in sweatpants. 

2. Jeopardy. I have been meaning to blog about this for sometime now, but today was a special day for Matt. I like to watch Jeopardy every night when I eat dinner. I have done this since I was a kid (some nights). Well when Matt and I moved in together we started playing Jeopardy against each other every night that we are home together when it's on. It's VERY serious. We have a point system and a score book. We keep sore by day and by month, but you have to have the most points in one month to win. The loser has to plan a date for the winner for the next month. I have successfully gone undefeated in Jeopardy since December, but tonight ended my reign, and Matt finally logged his first win. I guess I need to think of something...suggestions are welcome.

3. RAMP. Today was also an exciting day for me. Back in October I applied for RAMP. RAMP stands for Recognized ASCA Model Program. I also realized I just used another acronym. ASCA is American School Counseling Association. In February I found out that I didn't qualify, but they were allowing me to fix a few mistakes and I could resubmit my application. Today I found out that I qualified! What this means is that my school counseling program at Bennett is a model program for other counselors across America! I'm being recognized in Seattle at a dinner in June. I have to figure out a way to go...again, suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break Wrap-Up

Ok so really this is mostly going to be a recipe post, but I felt boring when I realized when my last post was also a recipe, so I had to change it up a little. The rest of my Spring Break was great. I had some time to get a few things done around N. VA and then Matt and I headed to Pittsburgh for Easter weekend to celebrate with my family. If you know anything about my family, you know they do NOT cook. And just so you know my mom and her sisters will openly admit this so I'm not being rude. I was told to make something for the occasion. A few weeks ago I started a Pinterest account (more on this experiment later) and was very inspired by this picture:

I decided that Easter was a great occasion for this cake. The problem is while I LOVE to cook, I do not love to bake. I did want to give a good cake a try though and decided to make one from scratch. I chose an Almond Raspberry Layer Cake that I found on Smitten Kitchen topped with a Cream Cheese frosting from the same source. The decorating was raspberries and blueberries with almond slices. This was the project of all projects. Very time consuming. It was probably my last cake for awhile, but I think it turned out well. It was very good and also very cute. Here are some pictures of my cake...I think it looks pretty similar!

And just so this isn't truly a Recipe of the Week! post...While in Pittsburgh my family went to the Hofbrauhaus for dinner. It was a fun time. And I thought this picture was pretty cool. A bird has built a nest in a tree thats right in front of my parents front porch. I wish I could go back when the eggs hatch and get a picture of the babies, but I guess the pretty blue eggs will have to do. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Arugula

This was DELICIOUS! I will definitely make it again. Probably with a higher tomato and arugula concentration. I wish I could find a way for the goat cheese crumbles not to melt, but as soon as you put them in hot pasta I guess it's pretty much over. Because they melted it was almost most of a cream sauce, but like I said still very good. Try it! I need to make something for my family's Easter dinner this weekend. Any ideas (or requests...if you are my family reading this)? 

Here are the directions:


  • 5 1/2 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped arugula, stems included
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I used a lot more because I LOVE garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces penne pasta (I used spaghetti)


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. Crumble goat cheese into a large serving bowl. Add arugula, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper.
  3. Drain pasta, and toss with goat cheese mixture.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


In my last post I mentioned that I was going on vacation. Well, I'm back. Matt and I went to Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau for four days and three nights. Last year Matt won a vacation to any Sandals resort from a radio station. We chose to go to the Bahamas in the interest of having the shortest flying time possible. I was very interested to see what this whole Sandals thing was all about. I mean you see those ridiculous commercials on TV all the time, so I didn't really know what to expect. The best part about this place is that everyone is really nice and accommodating. You also have pretty much nothing to worry about once you are there since it's all inclusive and they provide a lot of entertainment. We went snorkeling and spent a lot of time at the beach and the pool.

We also took a little trip on the number 10 bus into Nassau. Naturally, we had to track down as many historical locations as possible and we also checked out the Straw Market. Taking the local bus was interesting. It included a lot of locals irritated with my tourism and the occasional drug deal, but for a buck and a quarter I would say it worked out. 

I'm still torn on whether I will actually ever pay for a Sandals vacation. The food was good, but not amazing. The resort was great and so was the Bahamas as a whole, but I like to kinda do my own thing and not feel trapped inside a resort. But like I said the people were great and there was lots to do. So I guess it's TBD on my return to Sandals. I would like to go back to the Bahamas. I got some serious sunburn, but I feel like given a few more days I could have evolved it into a really nice tan. And there's a lot of islands, so I would like to see what those are like. Overall, I highly suggest free vacations. I also highly suggest calling your bank to let them know you are leaving the country before swiping your credit card.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recipe of the Week! And Other Banter!

It seems like it has been ages since my last post, but really it's been 5ish days. I think this means I'm officially addicted to the blogging world. I have favorite blogs and I check them in the morning while I'm procrastinating going to work. Hopefully this means my social networking movie deal is on it's way shortly. Anyway, I think my blogging vacation has to do with my strong desire to have this work week end. I have been trying to keep busy this week so that it seems like it's going by faster. Next week is Spring Break and I am beyond ready for my week off. Even more exciting is the vacation Matt and I are going on on Saturday morning. A couple months ago Matt won a trip to any Sandals resort for four days and three nights. We chose the Bahamas in the interest of saving flying time. I am so pumped, I can't stand it. COMPLETELY. FREE. VACATION. More on that upon my return!

For now, my recipe of the week. I am not big on dessert. I would usually rather eat more food, but this is an easy dessert I enjoy. I learned it from my fabulous friend Sarah Michaels. The one and only reason (Sarah, not the recipe) my William and Mary years were survivable. This week I made it for my dear library friends at school because it's library appreciation week, and who doesn't love their librarian? I do! So here it is:



  • 1 (1-pound) box graham crackers
  • 2 (3 1/4-ounce) boxes instant French vanilla pudding
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Butter the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Line with whole graham crackers. In bowl of an electric mixer, mix pudding with milk; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Pour half the pudding mixture over graham crackers. Place another layer of whole graham crackers on top of pudding layer. Pour over remaining half of pudding mixture and cover with another layer of graham crackers.
For frosting, blend together sugar and cocoa. Add butter and milk, mixing well. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Stir until creamy. Cover cake with frosting and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

One for the Books

So when I was going to graduate school they had us read some books and practice some counseling skills and talk about what it would be like. It was not a real huge surprise to me that none of this really happens when you actually get the job you want, but I can tell you for sure that I was not expecting this week's little adventure. On Wednesday a parent called me (and I'm going to give you the abbreviated version of this) saying that she had an issue she needed to share with me. Her son had brought home something from another student and she didn't think this "thing" was appropriate for children to have. After much embarrassment the parent finally gets out that this thing serves no other function than to vibrate. Yes, friends, I was speaking to someone about a vibrator. Not a subject taught at good old WM. She wanted to know what she should do with in bring it to school or throw it away. Obviously I was at a loss. I told her I would call her back. I got to share this fabulous story with my assistant principal (the longer, even funnier version) and we determined she should bring it in. After this whole ordeal we called up the rightful owner (another hilarious conversation, but I'm trying to keep this vague), and she told us to throw it away. Just a little laugh to start off your weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

Chicken Pastina


  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inchbaking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

My Opinion

Not my favorite. It was OK. I probably won't make it again, or on the regular or anything. I mean it was edible, just nothing special. It doesn't even really look that good, or all that appealing. Kinda bland. Am I making your mouths water? LOL. Just kidding. There's better things you can make. I'm sure of it. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

The weather was decent this weekend. Decent meaning not quite what I think Virginia should be the first weekend in April, but it wasn't exactly Pittsburgh either. So today we took advantage of the sunshine and warmer temperatures and went on a bike ride. More on that in just a second. Friday night we went out with one of my college roommates, Melissa, and her fiance, Ted. We met them at Faccia Luna in Clarendon. Melissa used to live here, but now splits her time between here and Norfolk where Ted is currently stationed. She was here this week, so I was very glad to see her. We had a great time. Lots of laughing and ridiculousness was had :) Saturday was not so eventful...mostly cleaning and other household logistics. I did talk to my sister, though, and we organized a trip to the PSU/Alabama game this fall. Super exciting!

Ok so now back to this bike ride. Maybe you remember one of my first blog posts where I mentioned making an exciting new purchase?!? Well it was the bike. Bike riding after many years hiatus is difficult my friends. Gladly, it comes back quite quickly, however, I didn't quite trust myself on this bike so I spent a few afternoons riding in the metro parking lot before taking it out for real. Ridiculous, yes, but if you know me, you know that I frequently have accidents involving self-injury so I thought it was for the best. A couple of weekends ago we went on our first real bike ride on the W&OD Trail. I about died. I thought I was going to throw up a lot of the time. I vowed to never eat a grilled cheese before bike riding again. Today was better. We decided to go the opposite way on the W&OD and it is definitely the better way to go. It's a lot quieter going away from DC and there were less people. It's also a little flatter (so we thought). We rode out about 6 miles on the trail, all the way to Reston (I was very impressed). Then we decided to turn around...this is when we found out that it wasn't flat. It was slightly downhill the whole way. Rough when you have to go uphill the whole way back. I also survived my first fall on the way home. Thankfully I think it wasn't very witnessed and I caught myself pretty well. Probably the most successful part of this bike ride was getting Matt up at 8:45 to go on it, followed by the fact we went between 13 and 14 miles roundtrip. Not so bad for my second (serious) bike ride!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fool's

Yesterday I fell for "Miss Flaherty! Your shoes are untied!" approximately 3 times. Not just to humor my dear friends, but because I hadn't kept in mind that it was April Fool's Day. And let me tell you...yesterday everyone was a fool. I can't remember the last time a day has been so out of control. I spent a great deal of time trying to help people get ahold of themselves. Some of my time was spent bargaining in the boy's bathroom which as you can imagine smells amazing. This was all at the same time as having someone refuse to come into the school building. All 9:45. It didn't get much better. 

There are 2 weeks left until Spring Break which is incredibly late coming this year. Painful...for everyone involved. Everyone needs a break. The great part about a late Spring Break? A hopefully quick end to the school year. Sometimes I can't believe how quickly this school year has gone by. But these long weeks between President's Day and Spring Break are a little rough. And this is an exciting Spring Break...we actually have cool plans. I think I will save those for another blog post. Anyone else have any fun Spring Break plans?