Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Love

Here we are. The last Friday before school officially starts. I have already been back to work, but it's not quite the same as real work until we have students. I have decided to do a little summary of the summer in this {Friday Love}...just kind of reviewing all the things that were so lovely about this summer. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! I know I will savoring every last moment!


NO WORK! It's what made this summer possible. It's the first summer I have taken off since my first year as a full grown, employed adult. I don't think I will even go back. It's been so nice to have my days to myself. Even going to the grocery store is better when you can do it whenever you want to.


Vacations & Pool Time. This summer we traveled to the beach in Delaware. We went to Boston to celebrate Matt's sister's wedding. We played tourist in our own town a couple of times. We also made a very quick trip to Pittsburgh to visit my family and attend another wedding.

In the same category as vacations falls my visits to the pool. If you read my blog any time during any summer you know just how much I LOVE to go to the pool. I love the people watching, the reading time, and this summer, the friend time that the pool has brought me this year. I think I'm even starting to get Matt to like the pool. So sad it's closing this weekend.


Friends. A good portion of my friends have the summer off too! It's nice to have the option to have people to hang out with since poor Matt still has to work in the summer. I have enjoyed the extra bonding time. I wrote a couple of Fridays ago about 'real conversations' and remembering the value of face to face, or at least phone conversations with people instead of getting caught up in texting and social media. I mentioned I wanted to get better about these after having a few good, real conversations this summer. I am keeping this as a goal as we start the school year...relying less on social media to keep up, and making a conscious effort to talk less about work and school drama to focus more on having conversations that matter with the people who matter.


Summer Food. I just love summer food. Nectarines, berries, summer squash, and so many more. Using the grill. It's all been so fab. I'm really going to miss it in a few weeks. We also lucked out with our tomato plants this year as well. We also had a bunch of peppers from my potted garden. I am still waiting to see what becomes of my brussel sprout plant. It is starting to look more promising.


TV & Books. I have done so much reading this summer. At one point I was reading a book every day or two. It was awesome. My favorites of the summer include: The Book Theif, Secret Daughter, This is Where I Leave You, Whistling in the Dark, The Silver Star, Then Came this list is starting to turn into all my books. I'm cutting myself off. I read a lot of books I loved...I'll leave it at that.

As for TV...I very slowly (on purpose as to not be distraught when I finished) watched season two of Orange is the New Black....I really don't know how I am going to wait until season three next summer. And we are still bingeing on Breaking Bad. I also, on occasion, tuned into the Price is Right just cause it was summer and you have to.

{That's my best condensing of the highlights of Summer 2014!}

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Room 278

Last Friday I wrote about being excited about having a classroom to use this year. I also promised some pictures, and I remembered to take some today. I still have my office (which always looks the same more or less), so this will only be used when I am teaching classroom guidance. It's looking pretty plain, but I didn't want to drag all my belongings upstairs because having my own classroom will probably be short lived. I just hope it's K-5 friendly and stays clean.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Motivation Monday

It's that time of year. The time where I have to remember what day of the week it is, not only that but what "color day" it is, and set my alarm correspondingly. Today began teacher work week. It's never fun to begin the back to school season by sitting and listening all day long, but we made it. There is something exciting about the beginning of the school year, though. Everyone starts out positive, teachers and students are anxious and excited to meet each other, and the unknown still seems somewhat manageable.

I blogged a lot last school year about it being a difficult one. I know some of my challenges will be the same this school year, but I want to keep my motivation high and my attitude positive. I'm looking forward to setting my goals for the school year and starting a few new things - not only at school, but in life as well.

I figure a good place to start might be where I left off at the end of last school year. After a summer-long hiatus I started attempting to do miles again. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I didn't think it would be so challenging. It's hard to go from half marathon ready to starting all over again. Last Monday I tried doing my old plan and it was painful...for quite a few days. I did a couple more miles on Friday and Sunday and it was slightly less deadly. So I'm telling you this because I'm considering bringing back Marathon Mondays, but have not completely sold myself on registering for a race yet. Races have a tendency to keep me in line and actually go outside and do the miles, especially now that my time will become a little more structured. I think my plan right now is to decide by the end of September. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Love


The Barisieur. Have you seen this invention? It's a coffee alarm clock! The sounds of the brewing wake you up. I wish they had a video so I could hear what it sounds like. Did I tell you I gave up coffee this summer. I was so sad for three days. I do still miss it, but I am vowing to try my hardest to stay off coffee once school starts.


Breaking Bad. Matt and I have started (and continued at a rapid pace) watching Breaking Bad on Netflix recently. I have such mixed emotions on that show. Seriously. It makes me sad and stressed out, but I'm so curious to see what happens. It's too much for me to handle!


Jamberry. Earlier in the summer I won a couple of strips of Jamberry nails. I hate painting my fingernails so I tried them on my toes. I think they are fun accent nails and they lasted a long time. If only they weren't so expensive, I would buy them and use them all the time.


New Classroom. I have my own big classroom to use this school year! We lost quite a few students to a new school that will open this year, so we have extra classrooms. I'm really excited about it. I forgot to take pictures this week while I was working to set it up. Hopefully I remember next week and I will post them!


2048. Seriously. Why am I addicted to this game. Don't click on that link. You will be too. We need to break up.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recipe of the Week!

Grilled Naan Pizza
Alright, so I have seen a lot of grilled pizza...on blogs, in magazines, on TV. I've always been skeptical. I mean how can that really work? I make homemade pizza pretty often, and the dough is flimsy and it just seems like it would stick to the grill and be a disaster, so I've never had the guts to try it. Then I saw grilled Naan pizzas in a Wegmans magazine, so I thought it might be doable. I went simple and did margherita pizzas with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil from our garden. I also brushed the bottoms of the pizza with olive oil. I put them on the grill on the lowest heat possible and it was only a slight disaster. I burnt one pizza beyond edible. The other one turned out ok, but they aren't the easiest to maneuver. The flavor of the pizza is also a little bit smokier than just using the oven. Using the Naan bread as crust was good, but I prefer regular pizza. For the future, I think I will stick with traditional oven cooked pizza, but it was worth a try.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friday Love. On Saturday...

It has been a crazy week - full of ups and downs. I had to do school work! Yikes, summer is wrapping up soon! I'm so lucky to have all these people to make my {Friday Love} possible. Yesterday was so super busy, so this {Friday Love} didn't get to make it's appearance until Saturday. Better late than never :)


Penn State Pump Up Video. It's always hard to transition back to the school year, but I've always said that football season makes it a little bit easier. The PSU pump up video came out this week. I love the connection to Lion King.


2 years. We celebrated our second anniversary this week. We enjoyed a dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown and then walked to Georgetown Cupcake after. We had cupcakes on our wedding day and ate cupcakes last year on our first anniversary. It's a nice tradition.


My Boo. On Friday I attended a professional development day. Like I said in {one} it's never easy to go back to work, but getting to hang out with my former co-counselor made it bearable. That and conspiring to make it an abridged version of the day.


50 years. On Friday we celebrated my friend's 50th birthday. They went to the movies while I was professionally developing, and I joined them at a winery later. Then her family threw her a surprise party that we got her to later in the evening. Very fun!


Fun Lunch. On Thursday I went downtown to meet Matt for lunch. I also got to do a little people watching on Capitol Hill while I waited for him at Starbucks - and did some school stuff. It's fun to be able to get to do stuff that normally isn't possible during the school year. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Two Years

Today Matthew and I are celebrating two years of marriage. It's been a very eventful two years too. We bought a house, Matt finished graduate school, we've traveled many places, and of course we've had a lot of fun. Tonight we will be thankful that the weather was a lot nicer two years ago as we celebrate at Farmers, Fishers, Bakers in DC. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Recipe of the Week!

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
I had low, low expectations for these meatballs. I don't know why...maybe because ground chicken is always a little underwhelming. I had seen these balls referenced on Dinner: A Love Story many times, but never really felt compelled, even though they were always made out to be amazing. Well I then randomly had some ground chicken in my freezer and the recipe looked easy enough so I tried it. Friends...these really are so good! We are them with a side of asparagus I believe, but I could have just kept eating the meatballs all night. I really can't wait to make them again!

1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, whisked
zest of half a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 jar store bought marinara sauce
about 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (thin slices-one for each meatball)

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, using your hands, gently mix together first 10 ingredients. Shape into balls (I went with a little larger than golf balls and got 10 meatballs) and place a few inches from each other on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix one spoonful of your pizza sauce with olive oil. Brush this mixture on top of each meatball. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove meatballs from oven, spoon some sauce on top of each meatball, and cover each with a slice of cheese. Broil another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Heat remaining sauce in a small saucepan. Serve meatballs with a dollop of sauce.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


My blogging has been lacking for the past couple weeks, but I swear I'm still alive and still very much enjoying my summer off. August has, as usual, snuck right up on me. August is like that. But I am holding on to every low stress moment until I make myself face the hard facts that come with August. 

Maybe I can attribute my lack of blog posts to some really great summer weather (probably the nicest summer since I have lived here), pool time, a LOT of reading, and fun times spent with friends. I am also enjoying a lot of extra sleep and relaxation. I think it's been worth it. 

My goals in the last few weeks of summer are to make as many plans as possible, be a little more adventurous with my cooking, add even more books to my 'have read' list, and savor every last minute of summer that I can.