Here is a picture of me in July 2011.
As I began 2011 I made the same resolutions as every year before: find a new job, get healthy, and get to know the Twin Cities better. When I rang in 2010 and made these resolutions I did not realize that the year would go by and how little I would accomplish. As 2011 ends I am smiling because I have made some major changes in my life and am proud of where I am heading. The blog is an outlet for me to share, but I have kept one part hidden for a couple of months(my health). When I turned 27 in August I made a birthday resolution to hit the gym, eat healthier, and join Weight Watchers. Five months have passed and now I am 2 pounds away from a 30 pound loss. I am sharing this with you to challenge all of you to go for those resolutions whether be health related , job related, etc.
I’m sure you all read that I found a new job in September this year. I teach a 4 and 5 year old class. I enjoy my work and love the amazing gals that I work with. I am so much happier and enjoy seeing the progress my students are making.
As for exploring the Twin Cities… Every day I feel I I learn something new. I am relying less and less on the Tom Tom. I still ask for help from Justin GPS ( my husband) but who doesn’t call someone when they feel they are heading to Timbuktu instead of Target.
Not the best picture but… Here I am today!
I recently heard a quote and it continues to stay with me (can’t remember where this was from) do not stand on the sidelines of your life. Take charge and make things happen!
Happy New Year!
I adore Pinterest! I think if I let myself I could spend all day on the site. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest let me tell you about it. It is an online pinboard that lets you create boards that interest you. You pin things that other people have pinned on the site. It feels a bit like Show and Share in my preschool classroom. When I see something I like I can pin it to a board to remember it. My two boards that I pin to daily are Recipes and School Ideas. This weekend I decided to tackle my recipe board.
1. Nutella Puppy Chow- AMAZING! I ended up convincing a friend to make this with me on Saturday morning. We shared it with our friends after our Christmas Eve dinner of Chinese food.
2. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rice Krispy Treats- two great combinations! Who doesn’t love rice krispy treats + Cinnamon Toast Crunch? This was an easy recipe that you could truly tailor to your choice of favorite cereal.
3. Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies- this was my only recipe that I feel I did not accomplish. It could not be easier to make. ( one box cookie mix, food coloring, and sprinkles) I made the cookies and then divided the dough up into bowls so I could tint it. After tinting I followed the directions and grabbed some dough from each bowl and made the multi colored balls. Then I had trouble.. I could not get the dough to roll into a snake. I might try this recipe again but with homemade sugar cookie dough and not a boxed mix.
Also I couldn’t end this post by not showing off the cutest picture taken this weekend. Leo went for a haircut this weekend at Bubbly Paws. When I picked him up they had attached this handsome Bowtie to his collar.
I’m going to try and make some quick coherent thoughts for y’all! I apologize ahead of time for any rambles/ misspellings this gal is going on about 4 hours asleep. I have a friend I live with who I will not name who woke me up this morning at 2 am snoring… Needless to say it’s about 7:30 p.m. and I am starting to yawn.
My weekend could be summed up as successful.
2 batches of party mix
1 batch of chocolate peanut butter balls
1 batch chocolate peppermint fudge ( I tweaked this recipe and used chocolate chips and instead of vanilla extract I used peppermint extract.) Justin said this was a keeper!
I also managed to make dinner tonight
Here are some snaps from the week!
Thanks Anna for telling me to check out Athleta. It is such a cute store. I found a great pair of yoga pants that I am having shipped to me because their petite department isn’t available until January.
How was your weekend?
Today I went to my first cookie exchange! My friend Anna invited me and about 12 other girls. She told me to pick a type of cookie I would like to make and then bring between 8 to 10 dozen of that kind. I knew right away that I was going to make Ginger Snaps! I got a great recipe a couple of years ago from one of Justin’s parents friends. I ended up quadrupling the recipe. I made the dough during the week and froze it in logs that I wrapped in foil. This was the best idea because all I had to do today was bake the cookies. (super easy) I came home with two tins full of cookies. I ended up giving a tin to a friend and I am sending the other tin with Justin to work. I took some snaps of all the cookies for y’all.
What is your favorite cookie?
I had such a blast making cookies and exchanging them that I got to thinking…
I would like to do a mini cupcake exchange maybe in February around Valentine’s Day.
I needed this weekend! It was a very busy week at work and throughout all of the craziness I knew that this weekend would be about getting organized and recharging the battery. Justin is in Bismarck, North Dakota this weekend so the pup (Leo) and I have had a lot of time to bond. This weekend I did a bunch of different things: dinner with Alli, Muppet movie with friends, tons of trips to Target, lesson planning, dyed pasta green for school, had the girls over for a movie night, went to a bris, and hosted a latke making program!
One of my favorite things I did this weekend was make these S’more bars! I’m giving you a link to a blog because I followed her recipe to a t! I know I tell y’all to make the recipes but seriously make this one like….NOW! They taste exactly like a s’more which is great for when you lack a fireplace and it looks like a winter wonderland outside.
I had to change the tree for winter!
How was your weekend?
Hello weekend… hello first snow for the season… I know we were warned but really I did not expect it. I realized I was quite unprepared when I stepped out of the car this afternoon at the outdoor shopping area in Maple Grove. I have decided to use this as a learning experience. Uggs+ a light fleece= no good in 28 degrees!
I am jet setting off to upper 60′s in a couple of days and I could not be more excited! Hello sunshine, the fam, and Chickfila.
Now you know who was prepared for the snow? This little fella…
If I could talk right now (For some reason.. I woke up this morning with no voice… Which is not great when you have 12 preschoolers to teach ) … You could hear how excited I am about this dessert. I attempted to try my hand at fudge for the second time and I was super pleased with the results. This recipe was much easier to follow and I love the addition of marshmallow fluff. Thank you Sweet Pea’s Kitchen for this delish recipe. Also I must thank the sweet woman who works at Byerlys who helped me find a candy thermometer.
The only changes I made to the fudge was omitting the nuts and I halved the vanilla extract and added a 1/2 teaspoon of maple extract.
Side Note: how cute is this picture from my parents house? I can tell my mom is already getting excited! It’s a good thing Leo isn’t coming with for Thanksgiving… He would be terrified of that turkey. Haha
Can you guess who got to these before I photographed them?
Thanksgiving is upon us and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s amazing to think back to where I was and what I was doing last year at this time. I am so much happier with my job and how I have taken charge of my health.
Justin reminds me every year of how long he has been at my family’s Thanksgiving and what his favorite dessert is that my mom makes. This year it is his 9th Thanksgiving and his favorite dessert is still Pecan Bars. I have never made these before because I think was a bit intimidated by the homemade caramel sauce. This year I caved and. Decided to try my hand at them. These bars are very easy to make and require little clean up.
1 package Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix
1/4 cup butter
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup whipping cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees.place cake mix in a large bowl and cut in 1/4 cup butter. Press loosely in jelly roll pan. Top with pecans. In a large sauce pan combine 1 cup butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and turn in whipping cream. Pour over pecans. Bake 17-20 minutes on the lower rack of the oven. Let cool and cut into squares.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?
Justin doesn’t love pumpkin but I do! If you love pumpkin make these bars. I made them on Sunday and then sent half with Justin to work and took half to my work. One of my coworkers asked me today if I had any bars left over. I didn’t but promised her I would make some more for her soon. It’s a great combination of minimal ingredients and not too much prep or cook time. Thanks Williams Sonoma for a great recipe.
1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
3 large eggs
1 jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide yellow cake mix . Place all but one cup in a mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 by 13 pan. Mix the jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter with two eggs and milk. Pour Pumpkin butter mixture over the cake mix. Stir the reserved cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, softened butter, and cinnamon. Mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the pumpkin layer. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into squares.
I love holidays! I think I get it from my mother. I love to bake for them and I love all the decorations. This week I have attempted two recipes so far for Halloween. My Halloween Funfetti Cake came out GREAT(of course it’s from a box) and my white chocolate pumpkin fudge (from scratch)was a flop. I am trying another new recipe this afternoon and I am crossing my fingers that it works.
I went to a Halloween party last night with a bunch of friends. We had a blast dancing in a very dark room with a ton of people we didn’t know. ( random guy dressed up in a workout leotard)
Here is a snap of Leo’s costume. It didn’t really fit him perfectly.