Tag Archives: christmas

So Thankful

27 Dec

coffee

When I was little I was slightly obsessed with Christmas. And was legitimately depressed on December 26th. Like I used to get sad when there weren’t any more Christmas commercials on TV. I’d like to pretend that presents were not one of the main reasons I loved Christmas…but let’s face it; kids love presents.

Now part of me wonders why everyone runs out and spends so much money. I already know my friends and family love me- so why do they need to get me a present to show me? And so many presents!?!? I’m so overwhelmed and shocked at the sheer amount of stuff that was exchanged not only in my family but everywhere I go. For what? I don’t know. I got most of my family and friends 1 or 2 gifts, and I’m left feeling like a horrible person since I didn’t get them the 3473204320 gifts that they got me.

Christmas is not about gifts. I actually didn’t even think about it once when I was looking forward to it this year. I was looking forward to seeing family and friends, FOOD, drinks and enjoying my time off.

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Overnight French Toast Bake- SO GOOD!!!!

 

And enjoyable it was. I’ve finally grown up and realized that the gifts are secondary- the fact that I am able to enjoy Christmas with so many people I love is the only gift I need.

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That being said- I can’t believe how much stuff I received! It really is unnecessary- but my family sure knows me. I received lots of cooking and fitness goodies.

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New cookie sheets, rolling pin, and meat thermometer. I had a run in with undercooked chicken and ever since then have been extremely paranoid when cooking chicken. I tend to hack it up and destroy it in order to be 100% sure it is cooked. Those days are over!!

processor

FINALLY got a food processor- Can’t wait to use…anyone have any good pesto recipes?!?! I can’t tell you how many recipes have been thrown to the wayside because I didn’t have one of these babies. And a blender is NOT the same thing.

gear

New workout gear- so I can stop wearing the same two-three shirts and 1-2 pairs of pants at the gym. I wash them! I swear! When I first moved it wasn’t a big deal because I was new at the gym and nobody noticed me. But now that I continue to recognize people I progressively am getting more and more self conscious about the fact I own 3 workout shirts.

Can you believe how lucky I am??? Can’t wait to try out all these (and other) new goodies out! Hope your Christmas was as blessed as mine. Today will be spent lounging around trying to dig out of the 16″ of snow we received last night. Wish it would have held off until next week so I could have gotten an extended vacation.

What is your favorite fitness/food gift you received this year????

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Christmas Classroom Fun

17 Dec

Four more days. Four more days. Four more days…..the week before Christmas vacation has been traditionally crazy for students and teachers. I’m just trying to get through it all…..A couple of fun things going on are keeping me optimistic and hopefully will make the week go by fast:

First- our completed holiday door decoration: Ugly Sweaters. This was the kids’ idea. Judging is tomorrow. WE MUST WIN!!!!!! I threatened to sabotage other teachers’ doors taught the kids about being a good sport and about how as long as we have fun that’s all that matters.

ugly sweaters

Yes, my students photo-shopped my picture onto a cat’s face. This is why we must win.

In order to combat week before break craziness, I implemented a reward system in addition to other reward systems I’m doing in some classes. Each class can earn three stickers per class period for behavior, effort and being prepared for class. At the end of Wednesday the class with the most stickers will receive ‘treats’ (Not sure what said treats will be. I envisioned Little Debbie Snacks. They’ll probably complain. Oh well).

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Yeah…not sure how effective it’s going to be since it only goes until Wednesday (I have block scheduling and the last time I would see a class before break would be Thursday and Friday). Also, I have a feeling once the classes realize they’re losing, they’ll give up. Oh well, it’s fun and just another something to pass the week.

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Had to change ‘xmas’ in order to be politically correct!!!!

Also, I’m pretty excited about this Pinterest find for teaching. Wasted no time today putting it into action. This eliminates the need for my random post it notes throughout the week of my to-do lists. I like making to-do lists, but I have the constant adding and crossing out. Instead of using the post its-I will make one of these sheets and just have a running list for the week. The next week, I’ll start a new one. Hope it helps make me more organized.

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Anyone have any classroom ideas to help the week go by faster??? Please!!!

Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!

16 Dec

This weekend was packed with holiday fun. Friday I attended a Christmas party with my co-workers, and Saturday was Austin’s office party.

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Last night at the party!

Today I got to work in the kitchen making several of the Christmas cookies that I had been planning on. I made three batches, and I am saving two more batches for when I get home next weekend. This has been months of planning in the making! Obviously I am on blogs and Pinterest a lot so there were a lot of options when I was planning on what cookies to make this year. I narrowed it down to five different kinds:

1) Chocolate brownie cookie thumbprints with Nutella

2) Peanut butter Thumbprints with White Chocolate Hugs

3) Sugar Cookies

4) Pecan and White chocolate chip cookies

5) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

 

I set out to tackle the Nutlla thumbprints, sugar cookies and white chocolate chip cookies today. I ended up using a mixture of different recipes to get to the final product.

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I originally got the Nutella idea for cookies here, but I wanted the base to be a little ‘healthier’. One of my favorite blogs, Chocolate Covered Katie, had this recipe for brownie cookies that I used for the base. Then, instead of rolling the dough in hazelnuts, I rolled them in pecans. I pressed my thumb into the ball, baked for ten minutes, and the result was rich, delicious, glass of milk on the side chocolate pecan hazelnut cookies!

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Please excuse my disgusting cookie sheets….

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The second ones I tackled were a bagged organic sugar cookie mix that my mom had given me. Simple but good!

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The last, I took this low fat chocolate chip cookie recipe from Skinnytaste. This website never lets me down! I wanted to doctor up the cookies by adding these different ingredients:

YUM

With these rich and delicious ingredients, you won’t even be able to notice that the recipe has only 4 tbsp of butter and 1 egg white!

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They came out delicioussss! I had one too many of these in the tasting process…woops! I highly recommend this recipe for lower-fat chocolate chip cookies. It subs applesauce and you can’t even tell. Literally these were the real deal.

COOKIE 1

Let’s hope I get cookie sheets for xmas…..

COOKIE 2

I froze most of the cookies to take home for the holidays next weekend. However the main reason I wanted to make some this weekend was to give some to co-workers this week. I was going to wait until Friday, but I don’t think I’ll be able to!

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Hopefully I will blog next week about the other batches of cookies I’ll make. Happy Holidays and have a good week!

Question: What cookies are you making this year? Trying out any new or do you have a tried and true favorite?

2012 Challenge + Weekend recipe wins

3 Dec

Hope everyone had a better Monday than I did…..have to admit it was a rough one. Well- it’s almost over so I’ll look on the bright side. Today I just wanted to write about a couple of things I discovered over the weekend.

My French toast coffee got me through the morning.

 

coffee

 

One of the recipes I made last night was some peanut butter granola from Peanut Butter Fingers, and it turned out great!!! I’ve made more of her granola recipes and even though I burnt the first batch it was a winner.  It was the perfect accompaniment for my morning snack.

yogurtAnother winner for the weekend:Peanut Butter Protein Cookies via Dashing dish. Sorry- no pictures, I scarfed them down quite rapidly.  They are a keeper recipe for sure. I might use these as the base for the kiss cookies I want to make for Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, I was actually able to get some wrapping done this weekend!

 

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Woo hoo!

Anyways, I thought I’d share the challenge I joined on Saturday- I’m actually quite excited about it. I heard about it from Emily’s blog and turns out the leader of the challenge is from a blog I regularly read, Sweet Tooth Sweet Life. The challenge is to do 2012 different body weight reps by the end of December. I chose:

Burpees

Mountain Climbers

Push Ups

Lunges

I simply divided 2012 by four which works out to be 503. So I will do 503 reps of each exercise by the end of December.  It’s do able. It works out to about 13 reps of each a day. Piece of cake. I have been doing 25 reps a day so far because you never know when you might need a skip day. I decided that no matter what my workout is, I am going to do these in addition to whatever is included in the workout. Like today my workout included mountain climbers and push ups, but I did the ‘challenge set’ at the end just to add to my overall workout. It’s fun! You should click on Courtney’s site link if you want to sign up!

Question: What gets YOU through Monday?

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