Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring Into Summer

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole week since my last day of school! Max and I celebrated the end of the school year last Thursday with a trip to our nearby (and very authentic) sushi bar, Toyama. It's the first Japanese restaurant where we've encountered chopped wasabi instead of the paste. It will definitely clear your sinuses ; ) Sushi dinners always remind me of our very first date which was at Michi sushi in California. *heart*

And although my teaching was done, the truly difficult task of packing still lay ahead. Ugh.

Luckily, my wonderful husband gave up time during his three-day Memorial weekend to help me! This is him Tetrising some of my boxes into Pepper (yes, only some boxes - it took several trips and our house now boasts teaching boxes everywhere). 

Max and I took advantage of the Memorial Day sales and picked up lots of new furniture! We promptly enjoyed the new lounge area by our outdoor fireplace: 

And we also had a silly dinner at the heads of our new ginormous table:

We would need tablecloths for the new tables, and Anthropologie offered these ones (that match my very favorite Anthropolgie tablecloth gifted from my sweet MIL) for half off! Score! 


We also picked up a sofa (that has yet to be delivered) and bar stools for the theatre room! We got a super deal on the bar stools. They are leather and swivel, which were musts for Max, and after all, it's his room ; )

(Side note- the contractors are set to come in July to stain our banister!! That means only one more month of our whitewashed wood, yes!)

Max also planned and installed some gallery lighting for our Cayman map. 

Usually I call myself his "happy helper" when I assist him in his projects, however we were cracking up when we saw this hat at Lowes. I'm deeming myself his "lil' helper" from now on. I almost bought the whole kit because it was so cute! 

Summer Eats: Summer Meat Loaf


I snagged this recipe from Woman's Day magazine last year. I'm not sure how y'all organize your recipes, but since I pull most of my ideas from magazines, I keep them all in three ring binders with sheet protectors. I love it! 


Anyway, the meal was bright and fresh and soooo summery! Try it out for a quick, easy supper. 


Summer Meat Loaf


Ingredients: 
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs dijon mustard
1 lemon
1 large egg
2 cloves sliced garlic (I minced)
1/2 cup oats
2 small zucchini coarsely grated
1/2 flat leaf parsley
1 lb ground beef
4 medium red potatoes
4 cups baby arugula
1Tbs olive oil


Directions: 
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine honey and mustard; set aside. 


2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 2 strips of zest from the lemon and slice (I minced). In a large bowl, whisk egg, garlic, zest, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add oats, zucchini and parsley and stir to combine.  Add beef until incorporated. 


3. Transfer beef mixture to foil lined baking sheet and shape into two loaves (I made three). Bake 20-25 minutes (I baked 25), basting with mustard sauce the last 10. 


4. While meat loaf is cooking, prick potatoes with a fork and microwave for  minutes. Transfer to oven and roast until tender, 15-20 minutes. 


5. Just before serving, whisk 1 Tbs lemon, oil and 1/4 each salt and pepper in a bowl. Add arugula and toss to combine. Serve with meat loaf and potatoes - preferably outside on your brand new patio furniture! : )

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last Day of School!

Today is my very last day with these sweet hands. I'm going to miss my firsties so much! It was such an honor to be their teacher this year : ) How cute and creative is this painting  they gifted me? Did you notice that the grass is made up of little hands, too? It's so bright and happy. I love, love, love it. And while I'm so sad to be giving them up (and devastated/anxious about losing my spot at my school and not knowing where I will be placed next year) , I know my little ones are ready for second grade, and I am ready for summer! Bring on the sun : )


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trial Junkies

Lani, my sweet friend from grad school, wrote me today and shared that her dad has a new book out! His first one, Kiss Her Goodbye, was a great read. I'm usually not one for thriller-type novels, but the writing was excellent and I highly enjoyed it.  The new book is being offered electronically for free on Amazon until tomorrow! It's already on our iPad : ) Pick it up here!

WILW, Random Edition!

I'm loving these super bright happy shoes my sweet mom sent me! I was so excited to see a Zappo's box waiting for me when I arrived home! 

I'm loving that I got to watch my first solar eclipse this weekend! I took this photo with my iPhone through Max's welding helmet : )

Max took some fancy photos of it, too. 

I'm loving making end-of-the-year gifts. I put together these guys for my wonderful teammates. 

I'm loving the new season of The Bachelorette! I'm not agreeing with the Bachelorette's decisions, though. I was sad to see Biology Teacher go, and I think Date #1 should have gotten the boot. Race Car Driver is at the top of my list now. And, this week I once again had way too much fun making Bachelorette themed snacks : )

I'm loving these yummy bars I picked up on sale at the grocery store. Perfect for the 108 degree heat we had yesterday! 

Finally, I'm loving that we finally picked out (and purchased!) patio furniture! It will be delivered this weekend! Plus, the weather is kindly promising mild highs of 84 degrees for the occasion. Oh, happy day! 
What are you loving??


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bachelorette Monday!

This past Monday was the season premiere of The Bachelorette! I celebrated by hosting a big screen viewing for the teachers, plus desserts inspired by all things bachelorette. 






True story: when I wanted to make my cute little card labels, Max was out of town so I couldn't print them. I know how to work our black and white laser printer, but not the color photo one. I know that sounds ridiculous, but this is our color printer: 

It takes a Ph.D. from Stanford to work it. Literally. Anyway, I put all my Bachelorette Emily photos onto a memory stick to print out at Kinko's. When I got there, the only way to do it was to give up my memory stick to the worker behind the counter, who printed them for me. She was very confused and kept asking if I knew Emily, whose picture I wanted printed repeatedly. I kept saying no, and the worker kept giving me stranger and stranger looks. I'm sure she thought I was some sort of reality show stalker. I think I'll be staying away from Kinko's for a while. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WILW, The Cheer-Me-Up Edition

So I spent the afternoon attempting to pack my classroom:
I say attempt, because I up and left the room after accidentally putting on some Death Cab For Cutie, not thinking ahead that the combination of super sad music and a super sad situation might make me just that (super sad). This is the third classroom I've had to pack up since 2009, and while I know there's nothing I can do about it (it's simply district seniority rules working against me) it doesn't make it any easier. 

So what's a sad girl to do? Go to Target of course : ) I've been loving my Sally Hansen nail stickers (they stay on for-ever): 

So I picked up some more! 


And after some nice Target retail therapy I was all ready to make dinner for the hubs, which we ate outside in the backyard picnic-style. I'm so loving sweet relaxing evenings outdoors like this one! 


And even with my mixed emotions, I know that the count-down is on: 5 1/2 more days of school until summer! We'll be spending our last days in Room 127 learning about the ocean via cute crafts like this one. I'm loving that we get to end with my very favorite unit! 


I also get to end the school year spending my days with the most amazing teammates ever! 

How sunshiny wonderful is this Brighton necklace they gave me as a going away present? 

It's so true that counting your blessings is such a great way to combat the blues : )

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pinteresting Recipes

I came across these sweet little guys on Pinterest the other day:


Since they are "no bake" it's kind of like eating cookie dough, which I do anyway... and brownie batter. In fact sometimes I make bowls of brownie batter just to eat the batter and never actually bake any brownies. Please tell me someone else does this. 

Anyway, the "energy bites" have flaxseed and oatmeal, so I could at least pretend they were healthy : ) Here's how mine turned out:


Surprisingly close to the original! Very yummy, too! 

I also really wanted to try this Blackened Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa


My husband is the red-meat-eating Texan sort of husband, so I feel I barely got away with the quinoa, but in the end he gave it a thumbs up! (My avocado cream in the back looks neon, though I don't think it appeared this way in person). 


Oh Pinterest, you are my new cookbook ; ) 

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