Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Simple Sweet Treat- Skinny Strawberry Shortcakes

I'm writing this post in a hurry. Why?? I completely FORGOT that Friday is Dr. Seuss day. It's one of my favorite school days, because it's fun to kick back and just work with Dr. Seuss books. I tutor later tonight and tomorrow, so I need to get my materials ready for Friday ASAP.

But not before I share with you this sweet treat I made yesterday. I have the world's biggest sweet tooth. I can't have dinner without dessert of some kind (you can thank my dear old Abuelo for that!) The problem is that desserts are usually jammed full of sugar and generally unhealthy for you. Which isn't fair, but I digress.

I went shopping for the ingredients for this awesome flatbread pizza from the Six Sisters' site. I wanted to make some dessert, but I know J is really trying hard to get in better shape and I want to help him. I found some strawberries and thought to myself "How can I get the taste of shortbread without the bajillion calories?" Then I looked over and saw a huge display of Honey Maid graham crackers and it hit! Make 'em with graham crackers instead!

These were RIDICULOSLY easy to make. All you need is:

  • 2 sheets of honey graham crackers
  • 6 strawberries, diced up
  • 1 can of Fat Free Reddi-Whip
Break apart the graham crackers into squares. Squirt a dollop of whipped cream on each square, and top with strawberries. 2 sheets of graham crackers will equal four strawberry shortcakes. J and I ended up having three a piece, but I can definitely say my sweet tooth was satisfied after that. J said it's one of the best dessert ideas I've ever come up with! If that's not a shining endorsement, then I don't know what else would be!

Do you have any simple dessert recipes? Off I go!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sharing the knowledge... of skin care

A few of my favorite bloggers have posted their own skin tips and it made me realize "Hey, I know a little bit about that, why don't I do one too?" Love inspiration right?

I've had acne for as long as I can remember. In fact, my answer to the question When did you first get acne?" is fairly simple and to the point: I don't remember NOT having acne. Seriously, I don't remember having a smooth face with no scars. Sad but true.

My acne has evolved over the years (yay) but this last year, my face issues stayed fairly the same. Little bumps here and there plus scarring. So I went to a new dermatologist and she helped me come up with my regimen. She even wrote it down for me!

Even though part of my regimen is the use of prescription acne medication, a friend of mine started following my routine too (without the prescriptions) and noticed a huge difference in her face as well. In fact, I don't even use the prescriptions daily because following this routine has really helped.

I have separate routine for the morning and one for the evening. Here's what I use in the morning:

  • Cerave Hydrating Cleanser: My dermatologist recommended this cleanser. It's a bit pricey but definitely worth it. Full of good ingredients for your face and perfect for sensitive skin. 
  • Clarisonic Mia: J bought me this a year ago for Christmas. I use the acne brush, but all the brushes are great. My skin feels cleaner when I use this instead of just my hands. 
  • Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer: This line is amazing for sensitive skin. They have a light moisturizer but I prefer this one. It definitely helps my dry skin. 
  • Washcloth: One of the best tips I've ever received is to use a different washcloth for drying your face. I stock up on these whenever they are on sale at Target and I wash them in free detergent. 
I start with the cleanser. I dampen my face, pump a bit onto my fingers and spread the cleanser on my face. I use my Clarisonic until it shuts off. I rinse off my face and dry it off with the washcloth. Now here's the kicker: I wait 30 minutes before I apply moisturizer. Yep, that's right 30 MINUTES. 

Now when my derm first gave me that instruction, I looked at her like she was NUTS. Did she not understand how much I enjoy sleep? But I followed her instructions and it definitely helps my skin absorb my moisturizer better. My skin feels better when I wait. 

Onto the evening!

Here's what I use in the evening: 
I start with the wipe and it helps to get off my makeup. My dermatologist recommended I do this first to really get my makeup off. I use the eye makeup remover as well. Just squirt some on a cotton ball and go!

After I take my face off, I repeat the morning cleansing routine. The big difference here is that I wait an hour before I put my moisturizer on. My derm explained that you want to give your face time to breathe before applying anything else. After the hour is up, I apply a pea size amount of the correcting cream and then my moisturizer. 

Twice a week, I use my Pond's Luminous Clean Daily Exfoliating Cleanser. I use this without the Clarisonic and it really helps my face to feel smooth. 

So I hope you learned something today! I've used so many different products and practiced so many different routines over the years, that it's been SO nice to have one that's actually working for me. I hope it helps you too!

I have not been compensated for this post by ANY of the products listed. All opinions are my own and I really just wanted to share my knowledge! All of these products can be found in stores such as Target, Ulta and CVS.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Together (Carabox)

J and I have been trying to find cheap ways to have fun. We are trying to save for our wedding and not waste money on frivolous things. So when I saw that the theme for this month's Carabox was ClubSexy I was excited.

Now get your minds out of the gutter! Clubsexy is Kaitlyn's term for a fabulous at home date. Kaitlyn's the blogger over at Wifessionals and I love her Carabox swap. It's a chance to really get to know two other bloggers and send them a box of fun and friendship.

Cara Box

This month, I was paired with Krystal and Amy. I had to send Krystal a package, so head over to her blog to see the goodies in her box.

Amy immediately contacted me and got to know me. I shared with her how J and I have been spending time at home. Amy's caring and thoughtful nature definitely came through her emails and her box.

The box arrived on a day where J happened to be over at my house. He and I had a meeting with our church ceremony coordinator and we decided to eat dinner at my house with my family. I think he was more eager to open the box than I was!

I smiled upon opening the box. Yellow is my absolute favorite color! I knew something fun was going to be under this bright yellow tissue and I was right!

J immediately said "Awesome! I love this movie!" Amy included Wedding Crashers and The Wedding Singer. I told her we love comedies and I loved that she picked wedding themed ones.

J also got extremely excited when we pulled these goodies out of the box. He thinks the only good popcorn is butter popcorn and he loves anything with peanut butter. Can't wait to watch movies and mix the popcorn with the M &M's. :)

More yellow! Amy included some fun things for our future kitchen  She must have been stalking me, because I saw these same glasses and napkins at Target and almost bought them myself. I love the apple shaped ice cubes, and I'm guessing it's in honor of me being a teacher!

Amy also sent the SWEETEST note. It definitely put a smile on my face. This is my third Carabox and it's  one of my favorites. Thanks again Amy for sending such a fantastic box. I don't know who was more amped about or J!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

If it's in writing...

 I really enjoy simple Sundays. I think it helps me start my work week better when I'm not running around stressed about work. Helps me to focus on my upcoming week in a more positive fashion. I think by writing down my goal for the week, I may actually accomplish it. :)


Gym is my main goal this week. I went yesterday for the first time in ages. I ran/walked on the treadmill for 35 minutes and I felt energized the rest of the day. I want to try and make it at least twice this week. I feel better about myself when I go. It's a stress relievier, which is definitely needed in my life right now!

Happy Sunday everyone! Does anyone else come up with goals for their week?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Short week = great week

Man, work weeks that begin on Tuesday always seem to fly by don't they? No more three day weekends until Spring Break. Boo.

Here are my top 5 for this week:

1. I finished my lesson plans today at work. Which means a weekend of relaxing! Woot!

2. I received my observation rubric. I received 7 Highly Effectives and the rest Effective! Double woot!

3. Received my awesome Carabox from Amy over at Life's Little Adventures. Can't wait to share it with all of you on Monday!

4. While this isn't the EXACT outfit I wore, I did rock my red blazer at work and got a million compliments. I might need to break it out of the closet more often!

5. Dinner is Cheesecake Factory tonight! YUMMO! J said we could go out celebrate my awesome eval. He said no cheesecake, but I'm hoping he'll change his mind!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

As always, linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

From the mouth of babes...

I love the things little kids say. That is always one of my answers to the question "What do you love about teaching?"

For Valentine's Day, I had my firsties write down their definition of love. I finally got a chance to sit down and read some of them today, and these were my favorites (and almost all of them were along this same theme).

I love the picture on this one. You can tell everyone is having fun together!

Nothing is more important than family, right?

Friends are just as important too! Love the picture of the kids on the playground. 

Can't forget to have fun in life. Fun is definitely important. 

This one touched my heart, mostly because of the thought bubbles. 

I hope this put a smile on your face the way that it put one on mine. Life would be a simpler world if we just thought like kids sometimes, ya know?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Days off...

When I get a day off (not including weekends) I try and tackle it one of two ways:

  • Go, go, go! Meaning taking care of business, cleaning, finishing plans, whatever. When I am in GO! mode, I like to stay busy.
  • Chill and relax. When I'm in this mode, I still take care of things, but I also lounge and read. Catch up on my shows. Take a nap.
I used to think the latter was not as good as the former. But you need some chill days sometimes, ya know? You need days when you spend time just not stressing about life. 

Source: via Jana on Pinterest

This quote is the opposite of so many that I see about living life today, but sometimes a way to live life is to just relax.

I don't regret relaxing today. I finished lesson plans, delivered a birthday gift and came home. Once home, I stayed in my comfortable sweats (it's still freezing!) and watched Top Chef, Pretty Little Liars and Revenge, all while cuddling my cat. Now I'm waiting for J to arrive so we can go to church to meet with our coordinator.

All in all, a great day. Hope you had a great day as well!

Linking up with Carly and Molly for YOLOMondays. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

All About the Valentine's

I haven't done a Sunday Social in awhile, but the questions this week are fun. Hit it!

1. What was the best Valentine's Day you ever had?
There's a tie for this answer. My junior and senior year of high school. Looking back, I had an amazing high school sweetheart. Junior year, his bus was late. I'm sitting in my first morning class waiting for it to start. In he walks with a huge bouquet of flowers and a balloon. This was important, because he couldn't stand my classmates (I was in a special high school program for overachievers). He came in anyways! Later in my locker, I found a huge stuffed panda bear.
Senior year, I opened my locker to find a copy of Sweet Home Alabama. When I shut the door, he was standing next to me with a bouquet of roses. Apparently he hid behind the door near my locker, waiting to surprise me.
Like I said, in high school I was spoiled!

2. What was the worst Valentine's Day you've ever had?
 Easy. In 2010, I got dumped two weeks before Valentine's Day by my boyfriend of 2 years. Yep. Totally awful. The only positive thing about that Valentine's Day were my students. They knew I was sad about something and they gave me a huge amount of flowers, candy and cards. I have to say, if you have to be single, be a teacher. You will ALWAYS get something for Valentine's Day.

3. What did you do for Valentine's Day this year?
J and I bought all the fixin's for sliders and he came up with the idea to have bacon wrapped shrimp! It was a SUPER yummy dinner. For dessert, I swiped an amazing red velvet cupcake from the Valentine's Day luncheon at school. J sent me flowers as usual too:

4. What is your best Valentine's Day idea if you're single?
Grab a group of your girlfriends and go out to dinner and drinks together! One of my favorite college memories is this Valentine's Day dinner with 6 of my closest college friends. We went to a Japanese restaurant and had a total blast!

5. What is your favorite Valentine's Day candy?
Not candy hearts, I can tell you that! I have to say white chocolate covered ANYTHING! Last year, one of my students bought me this set from Peterbooke, this AMAZING candy store here in Jax. It had white chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn, Oreos, and graham crackers. Most delicious thing I've tasted!

6. Favorite Valentine's memory from your childhood?
Hmm. I don't have one. My mom loves holidays but never made a big deal about this one. We did always get a card and a bag of candy from her though!

Sunday Social

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Friday!

Whoa, ya'll. This was ONE hectic week. Here's the breakdown:

  • Tuesday, had one of my newbie teachers observe me all day.
  • WEdnesday, had my official observation with my new principal
  • Thursday, had another new teacher observe me all day. Plus had my post-observation conference with my principal.(It went GREAT! YAY!)
  • Valentine's Day with 24 hyped up firsties... 'nuff said. 
It was still a great week though. As usual, here are my top five from this week!

  1. Valentine's Day dinner: homemade sliders and bacon wrapped shrimp. It was HEAVENLY!
  2. Gorgeous flowers from J delivered to my school. Loved the different flowers in this one. 
  3. Found these make-up wipes at Ulta. I find them HILARIOUS. Why? My younger brother's name is Jean-Pierre aka J.P. 
  4. I've become obsessed with making Moose Munch. It's so yummy. I'm making a batch for our dessert potluck on Wednesday. Check the recipe out here. 
  5. I am LOVING my new purse/tote from Target. Love the mint and love the polka dots!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I get Monday off. Last holiday until Spring Break! I'm definitely going to enjoy it!

Linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

This is a first... Confidence

It's the night before my big annual observation. My observation with my new principal. Normally this would have me COMPLETELY freaked out. I would have stayed at work until late, cleaning every nook and cranny and going over each step of my plan.

But I didn't do that. I left at 4:00. I felt confident discussing my students with my principal. I'm not worried. Will I still sweat every little thing when he walks in? Of course. I'm an overachiever. It's in my blood. At the same time, I'm calm.

Is this what feeling confident is all about? Knowing that my kids are great and I've prepared them wonderfully and that there's nothing else I can do? Enjoying my Chinese food and not imagining the things that can go wrong?

People tell me I'm great and I don't know why I don't believe them. I need to feel the way I do right now all the time. Not question everything.

Anyone ever felt like this? Anyone ever had an AHA moment when they realize the feeling that they have is one of confidence? It's interesting, isn't it?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Random things...

 I'm feeling random tonight. I realized I haven't blogged in awhile, so why not put all those thoughts into one blog post? So here goes!

-Apparently my cat is freaked out by plastic bags. I adopted her almost three years ago. She's seen plenty of  plastic bags. But tonight, she keeps stalking the plastic bags in my room. It's funny, yet creepy at the same time.

-J surprises me constantly. When I saw this post on the The Six Sisters blog about 14 days of Valentine's gifts, I thought I'd give it a shot. It seemed like an affordable idea and a cute one at that. I thought that J would give me a hard time about it being to cheesy, but he's been LOVING all the gifts. He's been asking me every day about his next one. So thanks Six Sisters for making this such a fun Valentine's!

These are a few of my gifts to J. He's really enjoyed them!

-My observation is this Wednesday. I've been frustrated at work lately because people on my team are getting credit for my ideas. But I realized I shouldn't be mad at that; I should be flattered that my ideas have helped them. I'm only slightly nervous about my observation; the topic is something familiar and my kids are awesome, so I think everything will go okay.

-My newest food obsession are onion rings. Why? Who knows? I went to my friend's house last weekend for dinner and she served these awesome baked onion rings. On Friday, J and I went to Mojo's BBQ, this amazing BBQ place in Jacksonville Beach. We ordered onion rings and these are what we got:

Aren't those the BIGGEST onion rings you've ever seen? Needless to say, they were delicious, even as left overs!

-The Grammys have been fairly entertaining. Usually I've turned them off by now, but I'm really enjoying the performances. I think I liked the performances by Justin Timberlake, fun. and Miranda Lambert the best so far.

-On Tuesday, it will be exactly five months until my wedding. AH! So crazy. I really can't wait, but at the same time I'm trying to enjoy my engagement as much as possible.

End of my random post. I hope Monday treats everyone well!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Things I know to be true...

I've been in a rut you guys. I've been letting a lot of things get to me. I feel myself shifting in reverse, back into the person I was at my old school. A person that doesn't feel like she's good at her job. A person who gossips. A person who isn't happy.

Those feelings are seeping into other areas of my life. So I decided to tell them to STOP! And make a list of things that are true that are POSITIVE:

Here goes:

  • I'm a strong teacher. My students are growing into readers and lovers of learning. I've taken a student from another class and everyone is surprised to see his bright and sweet side. I've done this for a few years now and need to stop letting people make me doubt myself. 
  • My family is awesome. It's completely dorky, but I'm super excited that they are who I am watching the Super Bowl with. It's going to be a blast. 
  • J is wonderful. I need to show him I appreciate him more, because when I think of my life before him, I can't even remember that person. 
  • I have great friends. Not that many, but the ones that I have are the best. I'm definitely going to plan time with them every week. 
I need to remember this quote:

Source: via Nilda on Pinterest

So true. Any advice out there, blog friends? Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hello, weekend

This week flew. Seriously, today's Friday? I was go go go every single day. Probably due to the amount of conferences I had. Yay for supportive parents.

So on to the five best things that happened this week:

1. Happy hour with a new friend from work on Tuesday was wonderful! Hit up Cheesecake Factory for a yummy drink and yummy apps. Plus hanging out with Katie is always a plus! -

2. My new principal came in and was so impressed with how well my firsties were working. He said he didn't have to watch my actual teaching because it shined through my kids. SCORE!

3. My engagement photos came in! Here are a few of my favorites:




If you want to see more, check out Fox Fotography's blog

4. Grabbed sushi yesterday with my BFF and MOH. I've missed her! Love spending time with friends. 

5. It's Super Bowl weekend! Still have no idea who I'm cheering for but I can't wait to chow down on some nachos and hang with the family!

Have a wonderful Friday everyone! As always, linking with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog