Tag Archives: blogging

Favorite Posts

14 Nov

I guess I should acknowledge that my blog turned a year old the other day! Happy Birthday Pencils and Pancakes! It’s weird that I’ve more or less been documenting my life on the internet for a year. Sometimes I feel self conscious. A lot of people who have never heard of what a blog is or are unfamiliar with it don’t understand why anyone would want to do post their life on the internet, or constantly be taking pictures of food to post….but all I know is I enjoy blogging, reading others’ blogs, and writing. So I’ll keep doing it for now!!! I know…you were worried 😉

Since my blog is a year old I though I’d run down some of my favorite and most popular posts from the last year:



Sometimes I doubt if I should continue blogging about teaching, since I feel like the blog has morphed into more of a food blog, but teaching posts continue to be what people searching come for. So I’ll be happy to throw up a couple teaching related posts a month.

How to teach counterclaim

Book unit on Micheal Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma



Over the past year I have been experimenting with the Paleo diet. I love how it makes me feel! Although I don’t stick to it 100% of the time. Here are some of my favorite recipes from the past year (not all of them are Paleo).

Paleo Cereal

Butternut Squash and Chicken Curry over Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Spinach and Garlic Pizza

Grilled banana and peanut butter stuffed french toast

Spicy Roasted Carrot Fries <<I make these at least once a week

Game Day Treats: Roasted red pepper poppers



Quest Bar Review

Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant Review


pro 10

Pros and Cons of planning a wedding on Pinterest

Rustic Wedding Crafts

Bachelorette Party

Ceremony and Bridal Party

Miscellaneous Favorite Posts

What to buy organic

How to grocery shop on a budget using coupons

Working out in the morning: pros and cons

How to change your mindset and become happier


WOW it’s kind of fun to look at all the posts and reflect over the past year. I haven’t really taken the time to re-read much of my blog. Anyways, for the 2-3 people that might read this blog 2 of which include my husband and mother, thanks for reading! Next goal is trying to get this baby self hosted. It scares me whenever I think about it…any tips?

Do you ever go back and read your own blog posts?

How hard is going to self hosted? BE HONEST!!!

Recipe Development and Blogger Expenses

2 Oct

I just got done a delicious dinner of home made stir fry with ground beef, roasted broccoli, peppers, onions and pac choi. As I was sitting there eating it I thought….man I wish I took pictures so I could blog about it!

I did, however, get a picture of the Pac Choi that I posted on my Facebook page. This was my first time cooking/eating this vegetable and it was yummy! Kind of like a cross between collards and cabbage! Sautéed in some lard and onion and garlic.

pac choi

But throughout the whole time I was cooking it I was kind of just throwing random stuff in the pan, thinking that it would taste good. I wasn’t planning on blogging about it. It got me to thinking about the different processes bloggers might use when developing and deciding which recipes to include on their blogs.

Do you have a plan that you are going to use a certain recipe on your blog? Or do you just wing it and take a picture of it afterwards? Sometimes I do this and other times I’ll even take a picture of the meal after I’ve taken a bite!

Other times I’ll have a specific plan and know that I am going to blog about something, attempting to set pictures up and everything. Pictures are something I really want to get better at. Right now I use my iPhone, lol. But I’m starting to realize that I might have to get something better if I’m serious about blogging. Suggestions?!?!?

I’ve also noticed that, more recently, I really don’t follow too many recipes when I cook. More and more I’m learning how to develop recipes myself and I’m pretty excited about it. When I first started cooking about two years ago I would follow a recipe to a T for every meal. Now I can pretty  much browse Pinterest or blogs, get an idea, and wing it. I’m proud of myself! When I have a good recipe and I managed to take pictures of it along the way, that’s when I decide it will go on the blog. I never re-post other people’s recipes without giving credit.


My home made spaghetti sauce- I haven’t shared the recipe yet but I’m sure I will sometime soon!

Another thing I got to thinking about was the fact that bloggers DO actually spend a lot of money on the materials for their blogs. Especially if it’s a professional site. I can’t help but wonder how some bloggers can afford to get all these expensive ingredients and then come up with elaborate things like  Paleo baked goods EVERY.DAY.

For one- do you realize how expensive Paleo baking supplies are (almond flour, honey, nuts, nut butter, etc)???? And two-  I find myself wondering where, once the blogger has developed, made and photographed the recipe, do all these yummy desserts go!?!? Certainly if I had goodies like Taylor Made it Paleo’s pumpkin donuts laying around the house every single day I’d put on like 50 pounds!!


They didn’t last a week!!! Here’s another one of her desserts:


Sticky Fig Bars

How do bloggers make all these delicious goodies and not be tempted to eat them all the time??! I give you props bloggers! Baking is something I really can’t develop recipes for, so most of what I make for recipe development involves dinners and side dishes. There fore I don’t have the problem of yummy treats laying around all the time!

Anyways, this was just something I was stewing over and thought would make a good conversation.

How do you decide which recipes go on your blog?

Do you follow a lot of recipes or make up your own?

Where do your desserts and baked goods go after you make them?!?!

Learn more about me!

24 Mar

Liebster Award!

I’m sure you’re sick of these surveys…but I am really excited that Kelli at Fitness and Fro Yo nominated me for this newbie blogger award! I’m not one to normally share much personal stuff about myself being a teacher and all but I enjoy any opportunity promote my and other up and coming blogs.

The Liebster Award is for any up and coming blogs that you enjoy reading and a great way to promote them!

  • This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
  • The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.
  • Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
  • Answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
  • Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

1. I didn’t originally go to college to be a teacher…I started out going for writing and changed over to add teaching to my English degree because I wasn’t sure what I would be doing with just a writing degree.

2. I am getting married in the same city I went to college; Oswego, NY. It’s beautiful up there in the summer.

Not so much in the winter.

That’s a terrible and old picture of the college parking lot after a blizzard in 2007.

3. On that note, I hate winter, but I will probably never leave NY. I am learning to live with it. My family is here, and I have a hard enough time being 4 hours away from them, let alone in another state. Therefore since I have chosen to live here, I have no business complaining about the weather. It does get tough. Especially this time of year when it is still.freaking.snowing.every.day.

4. I enjoy country-ish novelty apparel and anything to do with AMERICA! Not ashamed of it…

5. My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s bone-chillingly good. And I it’s a toss up as to whether my next pet will be named Jem, Scout or Atticus.

6. I love camping! I hope to go for my bachelorette party!! We try to go at least twice a year.




Allegany State Park, NY

7. I used to be a cheerleader in high school.

8. I consider myself in good shape from working out ….but I am absolutely terrible at organized sports. We were in a kickball league this past fall and I was awful. Just no coordination.

9. I used to drive a pick up truck.

10. Last year I tried to be a vegetarian because I was scared and disgusted after accidentally eating raw chicken. Aaaaand it lasted a couple of days.

11. I don’t really watch TV. Besides Dexter and Shameless on showtime, I don’t have any regularly scheduled shows that I watch. The internet is my time waster.



You should get showtime and watch Shameless.

Eleven More Questions:

1. Dog or cat person?

2. What is your take on rest days for exercise?

3. What is your ‘diet’ or ‘food’ philosophy?

4. What sports do you hate watching/playing?

5. What food that you used to eat when you were a kid do you miss the most?

6. What would be your death row meal?

7. What creative fitness activities do you love?

8. Favorite veggie?

9. How many days a week do you do cardio vs strength?

10. Where is your favorite place to travel?

11. Favorite memory from high school/college?


Eleven Questions from Kelli:

1. What is your favorite book of all time?

Ummmm…think I already answered this one!


2. What is one food you will never eat?

I honestly like trying everything once! These days I have been staying away from anything processed and boxed. That’s not to say I will never eat it.

4. Why do you blog?

As mentioned, I originally started to get my degree in creative writing. I enjoy writing and the blog started as a way for me to rekindle that hobby. I’m pleased with what it’s turned out to be, and excited to see where it takes me. I love reading other blogs and connecting to other bloggers!

5. What is your favorite childhood memory?

My favorite childhood memories include times visiting my grandparents in their hometown of Massena, NY. They have both passed away and I have been drafting a piece of writing about this special place it seems for ages. Still haven’t been able to find the right words. Stay tuned!

Photo: <3

My Papa and I

6. What is your favorite strength exercise?

Hmmm…favorite/enjoyable doesn’t always go with effective. I like to blow off steam with med ball/sand bag slams!

7. Name one thing on your bucket list.

Drive across the country. I really don’t know if this will ever happen. But it’s cool to dream. California here I come!


Vacation in 2011…… wahhhhh

8. Name your absolute dream job, regardless of how unrealistic it may be.

I’m supposed to say teacher right here. Teaching would be my dream job if all it involved was doing creative, fun things with kids. There are way more added pressures that make it something that is more stressful than I anticipated. But every job is stressful. My absolute dream job would be to travel and eat food a la Anthony Bourdain. He travels ALL over the world to EAT. Like, seriously? I got in the wrong business.

9. What is one thing on your fitness bucket list?

Pull up!!!! Just one!!!

10. What movie can you watch over and over again?

I’m really not a movie person……anything with Leonardo DiCaprio does the trick. Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, etc.



11. Tell me an embarrassing high school memory.

This is a tough one….I try to block that stuff out of my memory. I can remember one time a friend and I were skipping school (yeah, I was bad), and we were running down the road near our school, which was where my high school boyfriend lives. She was wearing a skirt and high heels. It’s like nine in the morning…..all of a sudden my boyfriend’s mom pulls up. Needless to say it was hard to explain what we were doing running down the road at 9 am on a random weekday.


Well if you’ve read the whole thing, congrats, you know a little more about me. Here’s the blogs I am nominating. I don’t think I’ll make it to 11, but here are some of my favorites:

Life Love and Palm Trees

The Run Within <<Has more than 200 followers but a great read!

Better with Sprinkles

Reach Your Peak

Legally Balanced

This Life is Sparkling

Andrea Out Loud

Life of Di

Clean Eating Veggie Girl

Courtney Em


That’s all I can really fine that don’t have 200 followers! For some it didn’t say, but I’ll put up the links anyway for your reading pleasure!! Thanks for reading!

My 2012 in Pictures

31 Dec

Holy Crap! It’s 5pm on New Year’s Eve and I’ve finally sat down to write a blog post. I have been meaning to write this all day. I know your blog reader is probably cramming up with this ‘2012 reflections’ stuff, but honestly this post is more for my fiancé and I than anyone else.  I’m really looking forward to a quiet night in with him tonight just to relax and think about the year ahead- should be a big one! Winking smile 

This year was amazing. Like any there were ups and downs. But I like to focus on the positives. I could go on and on but I thought I’d scroll through my iPhone and pick out some pictures from notable events that happened this year.


St. Patrick’s Day 2012. So fun. Seriously is it March yet?


The best part of 2012- Trip to Charleston, SC.


Whyyyyyy am I not there right now?



Shrimp n Grits, I will never forget you


The most memorable part of the trip


Memorial Day Camping Trip at Allegany State Park



My sister’s graduation in June.


Fourth of July! Love it!


Chris and Nicole’s Wedding



Eric Church Concert in Albany


Woodsman’s field days 2012- Great performance in the tug of war guys….


Woodsman’s 2012


Karley’s wedding- so excited for this girl and all the good things in her life lately!


I also moved to a new area and started a new job this year, both of which I love!


My first 5K- October 2012


First time cooking Thanksgiving Dinner 2012


This was last year on New Year’s Eve. Wow, what a great year now that I look through all my pictures. And of course- I started this blog! So far it’s been fun and I’ve learned so much from other bloggers. I can’t wait to see where it takes me. So grateful and thankful for everyone who reads and made my year great!

Changing my blog name!

9 Dec

Welcome, if you noticed- there’s a different title at the top of my blog today…Welcome to Pencils and Pancakes. I’ve labored over a blog title for a little over a month now, since I knew I wanted to change my blog from just teaching to healthy living as well. I finally landed on this title. I think that it encompasses the content of the blog a little better- a little bit of teaching advice, and an homage to my FAVORITE breakfast EVER- Pancakes!!!


I hope that people passing by on my blog now will have a better idea of what my blog is about. Not only will you find middle school teaching strategies but also recipes, workouts and any other life lessons I may come across. Hope you enjoy!

Question: How important is a blog’s title in decided whether or not you’ll read it?

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