Monday, February 28, 2011

a bad case of the mondays

my reason for not having a bad case of the mondays?

i have a few.

1. bachelor. one word. so much meaning. he's a creeper... but i can't help it. i love it.
2. i got to see my students today. and i love them. 

3. i got this letter in the mail:
"congratulations! you've completely paid off the student loan." 
hallelujahhhh... i mean, i still have one left through the other sallie mae, but we're SO CLOSE to having undergrad paid for. then comes medical school and graduate school. eh, one at a time.

4. we thought our car was broken. but matt took it in today, and there was NOTHING WRONG anymore. i literally think God saved our car.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


okay, so i've posted a trillion times today.
don't care.
this is too good to not post about.

just now, i was attempting to pray.
when i heard this coming from matt, "oh roygbiv."

as in the colors of the rainbow.

and i literally DIED laughing. (not that literally).
so we decided that's going to be our new exclamation.

examples of phrases where roygbiv would be an acceptable alternative:
in place of: oh, boy. oh, man. oh, brother. oh my gosh. holy crap. 

examples in action:
"oh, roygbiv, i dropped the food."
"roygbiv that was the best episode i've ever seen."

also an amazing dog name. ah, hindsight is 20/20.

farting, laughing, being messy.

(forewarning: this post is a little cheesy about loving my husband. discontinue if you aren't interested.)

living with someone else, you naturally pick up some of their tendencies.
when i lived with my college roommate, we definitely had our things... (which i loved every minute of)
but with a boy...
the "things" are different.

-i've learned to hone my bodily function noises.
-i've learned that cleaning up isn't a huge deal, as long as things aren't actually dirty (i'm trying to change that one...)
-i've learned that making a good meal goes a long way.
-i've learned that i have to have at least a basic understanding of all major sports. and develop the ability to watch games.
-i've learned that if i want to talk about money, i'm going to have to make an appointment.
-i've learned to listen to music louder and sing even louder. and dance way too much.
-i've learned that tapping comes with the territory and saying the same phrase in different voices never gets old.
-i've learned that he must have milk at dinner, does not normally like breakfast foods, always needs dessert, and will forget to do most of what i annoyingly ask him to do.

but i recently realized that my boy has actually changed how i view things.
he is really good at loving people, not judging, and being open minded. all things that can be hard for me. especially open minded.

and today, i realized that i don't want to argue topics with people anymore. i think he's actually influencing me for the better. well, to love others... and to have a greater appreciation for any joke or phrase containing the word poop.

so anyway, i think he's changing me without trying. that's what living with someone will do, eh?

(i thought about all this watching david arquette on oprah. it broke my heart to see such a life in shambles. and made me thankful for what i have. as a sidenote: they did a tour of his house at one point, and one of "steph's favorite things" was in there!  mrs. meyer's cleaning products!! so i'm famous.)

my passion.

matt and i recently realized something.
we love food more than most.
like, it's sort of a passion. if i was given a choice between a present or an amazing meal and experience, i'd choose the meal and experience.
every time.

(by the way: i was at whole foods, and i tried a new kind of cheese... i don't remember it's name, but it was a heavenly mixture of gorgonzola and brie. i almost peed my pants it was so good. too bad cheese kills my stomach.)

so, here's what break looks like for me...

chocolate chip pancakes. 

 homemade twice baked potatoes (thank you, real simple.)

 and chipotle beef tacos. with real limes, corn tortillas, and fresh cilantro. here's the recipe for this one.

happy eating!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

the land of "oh crap"

well, today, a lot of things got messed up. but it was kind of funny. (see, i'm looking for joy). so here you go:

1. when i bought pork chops, i froze them. i thought, "i'll save on plastic bags and stack the plates of pork chops." this left me with three layers of pork chops COMPLETELY frozen together. this picture looks like an ultrasound. so you'll have to take my word for it. on two things: that this is a giant stack of pork chops and that it is not showing the world that i'm pregnant via a picture of my insides. because i'm not. and it's not.

2. i made cupcakes. then, i used a trader joe's mix to make frosting. however, it got a teeeeensy bit too runny and was useless to attempt to make them look pretty on top (they're the martha stewart delicious ones again). they ended up looking like blobs.

3. i made this awesome card (i'll put it at the end of this post), but packaged it all up (with a stamp and everything) before realizing i wanted a picture of it.  then, i didn't rip it nicely... but i'm too cheap to put it in a new envelope because i'd waste a stamp. so, tons of tape instead. classy, eh?

4. i made cupcakes. but ran out of cupcake liners. i thought, "oh, that's okay. i'll just have some in liners and some not." this created some not-cooked cupcakes in liners and some over-cooked and wildly misshapen cupcakes without liners. not my best decision.

and here is that fun card. my sister-in-law just had a baby. 

also, i'm about to throw the computer on the ground for not cooperating. (happy birthday to the ground reference. take that.)

and the end.
maybe i'll post tomorrow... that'd be some kind of record for me.
pray for a snow day!

just call me mrs. green thumb.

okay. so i'm not so good at plants. not that i really know, but i kill poinsettias over time every year... i just forget about them. they sit on the floor... i don't know.

but i bought a plant.
a logical plant.
a basil plant. now i can have fresh basil whenever i want! as long as i don't kill it.

here she is.

(it did funky stuff to the edge of this picture... i don't know)

and here's what i made with the first fresh basil...
bruschetta chicken. translation (matt's words): could be the top recipe at someone's restaurant. he's being kind, but it was dang good.

i made up the recipe, but basically you do this:
marinade raw chicken in italian dressing for like an hour.
cook in a pan for about 5 minutes on one side. flip.
once flipped, put the bruschetta mixture on the cooked side.
cook 5 minutes. and then ready to serve!

bruschetta mixture:
-one finely chopped roma tomato
-about 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil (thank you, plant friend)
-a quick squirt of italian dressing
-a quick dump of olive oil. (jealous of my cooking terms?)

okay. these pictures are going haywire. this one's sideways, but you get the idea. 

finished product. (no, it wasn't all sitting on orange jello. things are just going crazy in my mac world.)

hopefully, there won't be any casualties from this situation. i can feel it now. i'm going to turn into a crazy gardener. the constant gardener, you could say. (catch that movie reference? great movie. not about gardening.)

choosing joy. finally.

i had posted a while ago about looking for joy in the midst of being busy.

and i sucked at that. all week. i mean, i was a literal terror to matt. my stress made me awful. i actually requested to SKIP VALENTINE'S DAY. which is saying something. because i'm a giant cheeseball.

then this happened. 
i love all my students equally, but this little note somehow meant more to me than the average little note. made me cry a little. and remember why i do what i do.

life is good. no matter how busy we are, we've got to choose joy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the best of the best.

okay. so i'm obsessed with cooking. so what. who cares. (snl reference, anyone? you should definitely watch it, by the way.)

but here are some stellar meals and desserts from lately. GOOD, GOOD recipes. really. try them. you won't be disappointed.

first up, chicken caesar salad pitas. pretty normal, but with roasted red peppers and brianna's caesar dressing... talk about delish.

then, garlic shrimp linguine. the recipe is here. i mean, words can't describe this. matt almost died. it was crazy good, and healthy, too!

finally, steak stir fry. it's basically normal, but made with asian sesame dressing. yummm.

now, on to desserts. (these were both for the super bowl party we went to).

martha stewart's polka dot cupcakes.

one of the best things i've ever eaten. with a little orange zest, these otherwise normal cupcakes are amazing. plus, i did piping for the first time on the top.

and, football rice krispie treats. but made with cocoa krispies and peanut butter mixed in to the marshmallow. delicious and so cute (there were some young kids at the party).

that's it. now, off to a youth group retreat allllllll weekend. no baking, homework, or lesson plans for me!

the joy in life.

joy is my favorite word.
all of my first graders know it... they bring it up in as many conversations as possible, just so i'll squeal with excitement.

but, in all the busy things that have been happening, it's hard for me to slow down and see joy.

in our young married's small group, we each took a challenge from james 1.
i took verse 12:

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

so, my challenge to myself was to find joy in the trials of life.
i'm supposed to be journaling each day about it. our whole group is. i haven't been. because i've been busy (ironic, right?). so, i thought i'd put it on here as a challenge to myself and anyone else... to find the joy in the difficult trials. or just ridiculously busy times.

what's the point of just living to get through to the next thing? i'm going to be intentional about finding the joy.

my joy of the day: watching the 23 loves of mine literally glow as i told each of them the fruit of the Spirit i saw in their lives each day, shining out at me. you would have thought i gave them a million dollars. it's incredible how far a little encouragement goes!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

lots o food.

welp. it's food blog time.

first, the beginning of our entertainment book travels.
the oxford inn.
matt got ribs.
 i got my amazing salad that i'm obsessed with. bleu cheese, candied walnuts, red onion, dried cranberries and cherries... and salmon. yummm.
and with the entertainment book, we got this amazing stuff for the same as what we spend at applebees. i'll take it!

then, created recipes.
asian roll ups. here's the recipe. it was great!

then, a regular. but so easy and delicious, i decided to put it up. salsa fiesta chicken. basically, raw chicken, salsa, crunched up tortilla chips, and cheese. bake it for like 30 minutes. and it's incredible. especially with spanish rice and fresh cilantro. (ridiculously easy and you probably already make this. so i'm sorry.)

and finally. chicken caesar salad pitas. what makes these special? roasted red peppers. a definite splurge at the grocery store, but it makes these. they're just lettuce, croutons, cheese, seasoned chicken, roasted red pepper, italian seasoning and caesar dressing in a pita!

happy eatings!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

my day.

these things were my day:

 lesson plan central.

 coconut chocolate bars.

 washed the dog. then she curled up and fell asleep in the towel.

 the outdoors. a place i didn't venture all day.

and some reading.

now, off to a fire in the fireplace and a book. then, a relaxing night with modern family and quality time with the love of my life. life is good.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


happy snow day.

my day tomorrow will be filled with a lot of this...

they are amazing. and the CD just came out. go to grooveshark and listen to it for free. or buy it. it'd be worth it.