Monday, December 31, 2012


Wow. I can't believe 2012 is complete.

There were things I crossed off my bucket list and things I added to my bucket list that I never thought I would.

I started 2012 by getting pneumonia. As an asthmatic, I wouldn't suggest it.
I also broke my nose. Don't worry nose bones, I don't plan on ever doing that again.
I finally surrendered to the iPhone craze and ditched my wonderful Blackberry.
I returned to New York City with some of my best friends. My first ever personal, booked my own flight, out of Texas trip.
I had the opportunity to sing in a pre-Civil War opera house. "I'll Fly Away" has never sounded so cool. My Pappy would have been proud.
And, of course, I had the honor and privilege of being my red head sisters maid of honor in her wedding. One of the best experiences of my life, so far!

There are plenty of experiences that will not end in 2012 and carry over into 2013, and I look forward to the journey of a new year. There are sure to be challenges and moments I take for granted, but there's always something exciting about beginning a new year. I have no clue where Christ will take me in 2013, but I know that I will trust in him; for He has overcome the world.

Happy New Year everyone!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In light of recent events

In light of recent events.

Blunt post warning. As a teacher, I’m tired of this phrase already. Everyone wants to know my opinion of the recent events. What am I supposed to say? I don’t even know where to begin. My gut reaction, my first tweet as I was glued to the tv on Friday sums it up: I may not be a parent, but I have 200 kids that I consider mine.

My facebook post reveals the only thing I take comfort in during these types of devastation. “They are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” I was later reminded of the verse in Away in a Manger that states, “Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for Heaven to live with thee there.”

Is my school safe? Absolutely not. Can anyone come in through any door they choose at any time of the day? Yup. Do I have to go outside in the hall in order to lock my door to my classroom? Sure do. Do I have windows in my room that could easily be broken if someone really wanted in? Absolutely. I don’t care to keep reliving what would be the utterly worst nightmare of my life.

And surely do not use “the recent events” to tell me how to do my job parent from another school (sidenote: this is really where this post stems from). I do not need to be told that you think my basketball girls played too aggressively and we should teach them how to play with kindness and fairness, especially due to recent events. You, maam, do not get to tell me that. (second sidenote: I did not reply to the email, I turned it over to the athletic coordinator… my email would have possibly gotten me fired been very mean).

I’ll tell you what would be really nice. Just thank a teacher. Just tell us thanks, for no reason.. just because you want to say thanks. I, and I think every teacher I know, would appreciate it.

I pray to God that I never am in a situation like what happened on Friday. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Post It Note Project

Where did I get the idea you ask? That would be pinterest! It is good for other things besides just planning my outfits! Ha …. But really.

I saw a mom who used post it notes to have her kids create a picture on the refrigerator for a “rainy day” activity. Pretty fun, I thought. I would want to do it, so my brain began turning. How could I incorporate this into my classroom? Well, post it notes are 3 X 3 inches and I could easily make 1 in graph paper….. 1 times 3 is 3… Scale Factor!!! (That may not make sense at all, but that’s how I got there!)

So I spent a Saturday trying it out myself… I was impressed already. I met with an instructional coach to help me create a rubric and she asked me why I wasn’t having them scale it down as well. Genius, I know. So by the end of this project, they had created 3 similar figures using scale factor! I could not have been more pleased with the outcome. This was one of those things were I felt bad for all my past students since they didn’t get to complete this project.

I hung them up in the hall and had everyone vote, faculty included! I’ve had more kids tell me “I wish I was in your class” in the last week than I have in my 3 years! Ha

Here are the top 3 student voted ones and then some of my favorites! J

Can you tell what the one on the left it?? The Dallas Skyline! This is my personal favorite!! The one on the right is a tad bit of overachievers, but it turned out superb and was a student favorite!

They had to use half or whole squares, so this was some of my boys creating their own American Flag!

These girls worked on the design of the mermaid for so very long. I love how it turned out! The corn is basically why I love my GT kids... they have the brains to design anything they want.... and they choose corn. Well played, kids, well played.

I think the snowman was the overall winner, staff and students included! Its hard to tell in that picture, but the girls brought their own post its with a small design on the back of the blue. I think he looks super cute. Then all the students, of course, loved SpongeBob!

The best part of this whole thing is that the students are proud of them! They want their work, they want people to see it, and they can explain the math behind it! I told you it was a cool project.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So Excited I'm Gonna Die

Have you ever been so excited about something you just literally can’t contain yourself??

The first thing that comes to mind are the kids that literally can’t sleep because they are so excited to go to Disney World. The second thing that comes to mind is my favorite part of the “Despicable Me” movie… the little girl won a prize and “It’s so FLUFFFFFY!” I laugh every time.

These are all indicators of how I feel about the movie Les Miserables. I might watch the trailer about 10 times a day. I might have calculated how many hours until it comes out last night. I have very high expectations for this movie and if it disappoints, I will be devastated… but I really just don’t see how that’s possible.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baked Chicken Nuggets

So I've had 3 chicken breasts in my freezer for forever and I knew I needed to use them. So, I got home one night and decided to get onto pinterest to find what I wanted to do. I just searched baked chicken and looked for a recipe where I already had all the ingredients! 

Baked. Chicken. Nuggets. Oh, heavenly goodness.

It's the comfort food of chicken nuggets without the fried part! The ingredients were chicken, flour, bread crumbs, parmesean cheese, garlic powder, and 3 eggs. It also called for basil but I didn’t have any of that laying around so I used lemon pepper as a substitute.

I rubbed the flour onto the chicken to dry it up a little bit to make sure everything would stick. Then I dipped it into the eggs and dropped it into the bread crumb, parmesean, lemon pepper, garlic powder mixture.

Oh, I may have drizzled some melted butter on top of them before I put them in the oven.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, flip them, and then bake for 10 more minutes.
Try these. You won’t regret it.  

I dipped them in my favorite Jack Daniels BBQ sauce!

My number one supporter at my basketball games. I love him and his adorable track suit. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Zucchini Cups

This recipe is absolutely divine and so super easy. 

I mixed together ground turkey meat with mushrooms and onions and marinara sauce. While that was simmering, I hollowed out my zucchini and squash. The recipe called for a melon baller, but I just used a spoon since I don't have one of those fancy little things. 

I stuck the mixture into the cups I made and then stuck them in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes. Then I took them out and sprinkled parmesean cheese on top and cooked them for 5 more minutes! 

The only thing I would advise is to not hollow out the bottom of the cup too much, if you do a little juice from the marinara sauce will run out! But they were so yummy! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Best Thanksgiving Break Everrr!

This Thanksgiving break was SO much fun and after it, I can truly say I love my family. 

I am so blessed to have grown up in an environment where not only your immediate family supports you, but also your extended family! I love that I have an entire week off of school to hang out with them and drive all over Texas with Caroline and my mom. I mean, let's be real, the three of us decided we really do not need anyone else (except for Hannah).... we are capable of entertaining ourselves for hours. 

We went from Dallas to Huntsville (Caroline met us there)... spent Thanksgiving there with 30, literally, other people from Aunt Kim's family. My team won the annual Turkey Bowl... I had 2 TD receptions, not that I'm bragging. However, I think I did more laughing than actually playing football -- another clue to the fact that your family is awesome.

From there we drove to Boerne (a solid 4 hours) and went to the rehearsal dinner for my cousin Ellee! We sat at a table with my 2 other cousins and a crazy lady who.....was... well, crazy. Woke up the next morning to go to Comfort for the amazing breakfast and more family time. Then drove to Kerrville (with a quick stop at the mall because somebody, aka me, didn't plan accordingly for the weather) and dropped off our stuff at my Great Aunt's house. Watched the first half of the Baylor football game while getting ready for the wedding and then we were off to Sisterdale, Tx for the gorgeous wedding of Ellee and Sam. 

We danced the night away, with glowsticks on our heads, and had the best time in the world. 

Dodger, the new donkey!

Eve's Pregnant Belly!!

Sweetest baby in the world
Turkey Bowl!!!

Welcome to the hill country of Boerne

Lil Bit and I at the wedding

How amazing is this??
Did you think I was kidding about the glowsticks??

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bye Bye Bread

So I agreed to do something crazy for the month of November – cut out bread/pasta/gluten. A friend had mentioned she just wanted to try it and I thought I would support her and help her out! Then that changed to the beginning of November until Thanksgiving. 24 days. I can do anything for 24 days.

Let me clarify something up front, neither of us are doing this to lose weight. That’s the first reaction from people when I tell them. It’s not about losing weight, it’s about being healthy. Since when did eating well have anything to do with losing weight? Pause. I know exactly when, when America became a morbidly obese nation; however, I am not trying to change the nation, just my eating habits.

This is what I have concluded with 6 days remaining.
1. It’s pretty easy.
2. It’s expensive.
3. My body went through gluten withdrawals.

Let me explain further.

I am very lucky that my parents forced my sisters and I to be good eaters. I will try just about anything you throw at me. I love vegetables, I love fruits, I love everything! So, sticking to mainly vegetables and meats wasn’t necessarily hard. The only time it was truly hard was when I was trying to eat fast food. When Taylor and I left for Baylor homecoming Friday night at 8 pm we needed to eat. Well you can eat a salad while driving and everything else has bread! Other than that, not eating bread at home was simple, especially when there wasn’t any around.

Fresh vegetables are a necessity. I just can’t force myself to eat the ones in the can anymore. That, however, gets expensive. It also took me a few trips to figure out how many zucchini/squash I could buy without wasting any later in the week - same thing with bananas. So there is a technical “price to pay” for eating healthy, but I can already say I think it’s worth it.

I was about 10 days into this whole thing when one morning I woke up with this serious craving for donuts. Donuts?? I have not eaten a donut in 2 years!! People have them at school all the time, but I think I’ve created some weird parallel about large, old teachers and eating donuts to force myself never to eat them. But this particular morning I felt like a heroin addict, the craving was that strong. No worries, I didn’t break. I ate my almonds and string cheese for a snack instead.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I will be having at least 3 rolls on Thanksgiving. I don’t think I will cut bread out of my diet completely, but I think I will eat less of it.

Here’s a little bit of what I’ve been eating!
Zucchini, Squash, Mushroom Stir Fry -- NOT served over rice! :)

My all time fav - asparagus with olive oil and parmesean cheese.

Sweet Potato and Celery

Breakfast mainly consists of smoothies

Friday, November 9, 2012

Utter Chaos

Today, in this month of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a weekend where I have no plans. My life has been utter chaos throughout the month of September and October (let me be clear - good chaos, but chaos is still chaos) and I am so happy to have a weekend where I can sit on my couch and do nothing.

Of course, that’s not how it’s going to go… I’m going to switch out my entire closet for winter clothes and that’s a long process when your closet is color and style organized. I’m also going to set up my apartment for Christmas! It’s only November 9th, I know, but after this weekend starts another set of full weekends. I love Christmas and I love decorations, so I want to be ready. I don’t mind staring at my beautiful tree or only having my Christmas lights on at night for an extra two weeks. That doesn’t bother me at all.

I also have got to get on pinterest and start getting ideas for Christmas presents. I don’t think I can top my presents from last year; I loved them so much, and they were so personal!

I need my creativity to start flowing…  Here’s to being inspired. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I had the privilege of making dad and Stephanie's guestbook. I knew the theme was burlap and sunflowers. So the first step was picking out what kind of burlap I wanted to use. There are all different kinds of burlap (thanks JoAnn's for having an enormous selection). I ultimately decided I had to go with the one with the greenish tint, because, of course, my dad's favorite color is green!

Then you have to cut the burlap just right. Burlap doesn't really cut straight and I was already stressing about whether I should use scissors or my exacto knife or buy some heavy duty thing that can cut through steel? I wasn't sure. Well, the JoAnn's lady showed me a nifty little trick where you take one strand of the burlap and pull it straight out. When you do that with a crossing strand you are able to make straight lines where you can cut in between the missing strand! It was such a cool trick and made my life so much easier... I guess my heavy duty cutting tool will have to wait until a later project!

Then I found some lace ribbon that I thought would match well. I didn't like any of the thick lace, so I got the smaller lace and flipped it upside down to make two, symmetrical lines going across the book. Then I got a large sunflower and used wire cutters (thanks art teacher!) to get the flower away from the stem. I mod-podged everything to the front of the book and let it set to dry. I was worried the mod podge wouldn't hold the flower in place... so once I was sure it was dry I shook it around pretty good. It didn't budge and I was happy! :)

I filled the book with scrapbook paper. I put the letter "S + J" in cardboard and added little metal decorations to the corners of every page. I thought it looked like a nice touch. The last thing I did was add lines. My ocd self couldn't imagine people signing all crooked, so the lines were a necessity. 

This last picture has nothing to do with the guestbook or my dad's wedding.... but I love this picture of Caroline and I taken during parents weekend in front of her house. I love her little white swing and I love my sweet little sister even more. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beaumont Ranch

I love any weekend that I get to spend with my family. I know I'm biased, but I think we're the coolest family around! :) Enjoy the pictures.

Texas Sunsets

We can't take her anywhere!


That's pretty neat. 

That's pretty cheesy, but I like it.

With the cousin.. this took 2841 times!


My main man.

Cheers to Us.

Inherited Granny's shoe collection.

Cousins with Granny!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Centerpiece

I rarely have people over to my apartment. However, that does not mean it's not decorated to a tee for every season/holiday! I just love decorating... I believe I can definitely thank my momma for that! Anyway, I've been saving up these wine bottles/collecting them from others all to do this Christmas centerpiece. Well, I've gotta start saving again, because I used the wine bottles for a fall centerpiece instead! :) 
I'll change it out for Christmas too, in case anyone was wondering! Here was the process:
Strip bottles of labels with hot water and exacto knife!

Set up Spray Painting station

Abandon spray painting station and just spray.

Add ribbon! 
I love my candycorns.