Friday, February 28, 2014

Highlights of My Week

The best parts of my week were...

1. We've been eating salads everyday
and we've eaten this one all week long!!

2.We had our date night at one of our favorite mexican restaurants.  Dinner dates with a baby are always unpredictable.  Sometimes we have a dream baby, and other times a fussy baby dominates the dinner.  This particular date night we had a DREAM baby with us.  Olive has really done great for the past several months when we are out and about.  She played with her toys, smiled at everyone, babbled and entertained herself with STRAWS.  She's obsessed.  They make her happy, she chews on them and we are thrilled. 

 3. The weather was SO nice in Arkansas this week!!  We got out and about as much as we could.  We took several walks, went on a double date downtown and Olive seemed to enjoy all of it.  Everyone who passed us laughed because it looked like her dad was a crazy stroller driver and she was hanging on for dear life!

 4. I somehow managed to avoid getting the stomach flu when it hit our house this week.  Kevin was the first victim and then Olive.  It was so sad but thankfully they both recovered quickly!  The cats were extra snuggly and enjoyed us hanging out on the couch all week.  I also got to spend plenty of time reading.

 5. I love hanging out in Olive's nursery.  She has lots of toys, she loves to be rocked and we read in there.  She woke up from her nap this week and surprised me with this little trick!  Who taught her how to stand up in her crib?!?!  My baby turns 9 months old this weekend.

Hope you have a great weekend!!!
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Olive Garden Salad at Home

I'm trying to incorporate more salads into my weekly menu and to eat more veggies.  Olive Garden is a favorite dinner spot at our house and my husband suggested we try to replicate their yummy house salad (and by WE he meant ME :)  We LOVED the way this salad turned out and have eaten it three times this week!!  It's SO easy to put together.
 Ingredients for 4 servings:
4-6 romaine lettuce leaves
1/2 head of lettuce
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 red onion
1 roma tomato
handful of black olives
handful of mild pepperoncini peppers
handful of matchstick carrots
Italian dressing

Wash and chop lettuce
start chopping all of the ingredients
You can refrigerate your salad at this point for a few hours.
Don't put dressing & cheese on until right before you are ready to eat it.
Pour Italian dressing over the top and toss again.
Be careful not to drench the salad with dressing.

Top with fresh Parmesan & serve.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Some Days I Miss Teaching

Most days I love my current job as a Stay at Home Mom.  
I love being home with Olive and I love being there to witness her milestones.  I love teaching her new things and I love that she is thriving.  I love being her mom and I love being with her 24/7.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to be home with her and definitely know it was the right thing for our family right now.
if I'm being 100% honest,
some days I miss teaching...
I miss my students.
I've been a part of about 300 kids lives in my 10 years of teaching and I loved spending my days with "my kids".  I miss their funny jokes, their silly stories, their hugs and having a captive little audience to spend my days with.  I miss the sweet things they'd say - you look pretty today, that was the best day ever or thank you for always being nice to me.  I miss being a positive influence in their lives.

I miss planning lessons.
I loved pinning ideas, looking for new units on-line and collaborating with colleagues.  I did a lot of work at home mostly because I enjoyed it so much and it never really seemed like WORK.

I miss my teacher friends.
I was lucky enough to LOVE LOVE LOVE the people I worked with and some days I miss adult conversations.  I miss friends like family and I miss planning all of our parties throughout the year.  I miss sending flowers to friends, baking treats and making a mad dash to get some Mexican for lunch on Fridays.

I miss the organizing, planning and mapping of the school year.
I always designed my own teacher planner - color coded, typed out and personalized just for me.  I loved celebrating each child and working hard to get to know every one of my students.  I loved writing POSITIVE notes to parents and spent a great deal of time handing out compliments to my students.  Parents loved this, students beamed and I was happy to spread the love.

I miss writing newsletters, being creative and running a classroom.
I was known for being very organized and parents loved it.  I miss teaching my little people how to be organized and how to be responsible.  I loved doing fun things for every holiday, planning art projects and decorating my classroom with student art.

I miss helping kids.
I love teaching all subjects, helping students to learn new concepts and giving parents ideas of things to do with their children at home.  I miss helping kids make friends, zipping jackets, drying tears and teaching cursive.  I miss reading my favorite books out loud and having kids beg me to read just one more chapter.

I miss playing an important role on committees, teams and helping run a school.
It's no secret that I like to be in charge.  I like to run things, to plan things and to organize them.  I like being trusted to take care of things and I like doing hard things.

I think it's a great thing that I miss my job.  
I love teaching so much and have always known that my career was perfect for me.  I am excited to return to the classroom one day, but for now I'm going to fondly remember my time in the classroom and 
ENJOY the heck out of my current, important job.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recipe for ONE Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate chip cookies always sound good to me.  I try not to make a habit of baking a whole batch for myself so this recipe for ONE chocolate chip cookie sounded like the perfect plan.
 I found the recipe on number-2-pencil

1 T butter
1 T sugar
1 T brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg yolk
1/4 c flour
2 T chocolate chips

Melt butter in microwave.  Add sugars, vanilla & salt. Stir in egg yolk and flour.  Add chocolate chips in last.  Microwave for 45-60 seconds.  Be sure to not overcook it because it will continue to cook as it's cooling.  Eat warm and serve with ice cream :)  The cookie is soft and cake like.

 Enjoy your cookie for ONE!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm the Kind of Girl Who...

I'm the kind of girl who...

stays up too late e.v.e.r.y. night.

loves watching football.

is guilty of always over packing and high fives my hubby if my luggage is under 50lbs.

straightens her curly hair the majority of the time.

wishes her fingernails would grow.

likes cats more than dogs.

refuses to drink anything carbonated.

eats far too many Wheat Thins.

thinks people should write more thank you notes.

would like to eat only dessert.

has lived in Indiana, Utah & Arkansas.

takes a ridiculous amount of pictures.

would love to go on another cruise with my family.

appreciates anything handwritten.

cleans when she's nervous/anxious/excited.

always has a to do list a mile long.

decorates for every holiday.

always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

has been married for almost 10 years.

got a sewing machine for Christmas that is still in the box.

is currently scheduling several fun travel plans for this Spring.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Kicking off the Campaign!!

Today is a big day for my Dad.  He's retiring from his current position of Chief Deputy and kicking off his next campaign.  I know he feels sentimental about retiring.  I'm confident that he'll have the next few months to focus hard on his campaign and that he'll be elected as the new sheriff in November.

He's got quite the resume for the last 38 years... 
Indiana State Police
Warrick County Sheriff
Warrick County Chief Deputy
Running for Spencer County Sheriff

We threw him a surprise party last weekend to celebrate his career 
and to kick off his campaign :)

 We distracted him all day long (Panera, Marshalls, Sams, lunch & babysitting) and tried to be sneakier than ever.  He was clueless and didn't pick up on any of our slip ups :)  I even tricked him into dressing up saying I wanted to take some cute grandparent pictures.  Worked like a charm.
We all went to church and then scattered our separate ways.  He made plans with some couple friends, we invited family and friends to a local restaurant and then SURPRISE!!

 My mom gathered pictures and snuck things out of his office for the party.
My sister made a tower of delicious cupcakes - I'm dreaming of her yellow + chocolate ones.
 Kevin's parents were there too!

If you live in Spencer County, be sure you are registered to vote for this guy!!!
Heilman for Spencer County, IN Sheriff!!!
74 days until the primary election
259 days until the general election

Highlights of the Week

Happy Friday Friends!!
Hope you have had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend.
The best parts of my week were...

1. Heading to Indiana for the long weekend and seeing lots of family and friends.
My sister + my Mom + me being sneaky together
2. I got to help plan and then attend my dad's SURPRISE retirement party last weekend.  It was one of the best surprises I've helped pull off in a long time.  Retirement for my dad = kicking off his next campaign for Sheriff of Spencer County, Indiana!!

3. I tried several new recipes that are keepers this week.
 You can find the recipe here and
  check back in a few days for the salad recipe!

4. Olive is on the move!  She's dying to crawl and it's amazing how much better she's getting at moving each day.  Oh and she might have figured out how to give a thumbs up too :)

5.  I definitely won the grandparent lottery when I married Kevin.  He's got 4 of the greatest grandparents!!  We got to have lunch with all of them right before we left town and it was so nice.  They doted on Olive and on us.  They asked us tons of questions, wanted to hear an update on our lives and passed Olive around.  Grandma + Nana were thinking alike because they both showed up with our favorite cookies and a toy for Olive to keep us entertained on our 7 hour drive back to Arkansas!  We sure are lucky to have them.   
My Finish this statements of the week...
I plan on buying...
a good pair of tweezers in the near future because mine are shot.

I give LOFT five stars because...
 their clothes are stylish, high quality and I love shopping their sales.

I felt courageous when...
I survived getting the WORST haircut of my life.

I feel about swimsuit shopping like I do...
about going to the dentist.  A necessary evil :)  Actually I love finding a great suit and wear it for several seasons and I know I need to go to the dentist but I always dread it due to my "soft teeth" that always seem to need some type of money thrown at them.
Hope you have a great weekend!!!
Thanks for stopping by.