Friday, March 23, 2012

Pin It Friday!

Time for another Pin It Friday. This weeks inspiration, which I must admit, I dearly love is -- dessert! Here are some things that I am so ready to try, especially now that Spring Break is around the corner and I will have time to experiment in the kitchen.

My first pin is from -- salted caramel lava cake. This just might be to die for. And if I can figure out a way to make this gluten free for my husband, I just might make it all the time.

                                                                                        Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Staying on the salted caramel kick, here is another recipe that I have to try from It is for a salted caramel chocolate layer cake. How yummy does this look?

                                                                                        Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My final pin comes from It is french toast blueberry sandwiches. These just look so yummy good that I will definitely be trying this out soon. I will get you the results post haste!

                                                                                 Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Does this make me a bad teacher?

So yeah... I teach high school social studies for those of you who don't know. Advanced Placement Government and Politics to seniors and World History to freshmen to be exact. I have been teaching seniors for the last 8 years of my career and I love it--until senioritis sets in. Then there is nothing more frustrating than seniors. Admit it--you all remember your senior year of high school--trying to focus (especially after you were accepted to college), warm weather, spring break, counting the days till graduation--your brain just turned to mush. As a teacher of seniors I dread it. Kids can become so unproductive and I feel like I'm herding cats most days. Why am I writing this then? Today was different... what happened you may ask? Well... let me tell you.

My 7th block AP Government seniors are really a great group of kids. Smart, kind, intelligent, and really want to know about things. I really enjoy discussions with them because they contribute so much and they love to learn. But today to my surprise we flew through things--what took me 90 minutes to do with others, took me 65. So what to do? W-e-lllllll.... How about turning off the lights, blasting some wave and rain sounds from the computer, and having some relaxation time with some deep breathing and mental exercises to go with. YEP. That's right... we relaxed, or mainly they did. Can't be sure, but I even think a couple of kids actually fell asleep. All I know is that as the bell rang, my kids jumped up relaxed, refreshed and so appreciative--for the time to slow down and just be. In this busy, rush-rush time my kids reminded me that it's ok to stop and relax. So if taking time out of my day to relax with them makes me a bad teacher, then I guess I am.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blog Stalking... errr.. I mean sharing.

Now that I have a blog, I can stop looking and blogs... and looking at blogs---did I mention I look at blogs. So when Parents Magazine put out their "Best Blog Awards" I was there--and it is packed full of good family blogs to check out.

If you haven't seen Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, you have to go RIGHT now and check it out. It is hilarious. I mean FREAKIN' hilarious. Like laughing so hard I am crying hilarious. But be forewarned--it's mom humor--so if you don't get mom humor or love finding the humor in the stories that parents tell about their kids, this might not be the blog for you. I however, could spend hours on it and laugh the whole time.

Why do I love it? Probably the same reason that people love Cosby or Bill Engvall (two of my favorites)-- because I know exactly what she is talking about. I can see myself in every "crappy" picture, or my sister, or my mom friends. Adventures in going to the bathroom with a toddler, taking kids to the park, or needing a much needed mama break--been there, done that--all parents have. So go check it out an enjoy the laugh, or at least a refreshing break from the normal.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pineapple BBQ slow cooker pulled pork

Here's a little fact--it was 83 degrees outside and sunny today -- in March!!! What the ?!?!?! And because it was so warm I do not want to cook anything that is going to heat up my kitchen any more than it already was, so I pulled out my recipes to try folder and picked one--pineapple BBQ pulled pork -- and BONUS-- it's a crock pot recipe which means my house stays cooler! Thank you mamma loves food for this great recipe.

Pineapple BBQ Pulled Pork 

Simple and easy ingredients

  - one 3-4 pound pork shoulder
  - all purpose seasoning (I used Lawry's)
  - one bottle of barbecue sauce (We love Bulls Eye
     at our house )
  - one 15 ounce can of diced pineapples, undrained

- Rub pork shoulder all over with all purpose seasoning and place in slow cooker. (I also threw in a bit of
   seasoning with the the rest of the ingredients)
- Dump can of pineapples (undrained) over pork.
- Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over pork.
- Lift pork a little to let the sauce get underneath.
- Cook on high for six (6) hours or low for ten (10) hours.
- Shred in the pot and mix with the juice.
- Strain & serve!
The finished product, shredded and ready to eat!

Serves 4 -6 people

 This recipe also freezes really well and is even better the next day as left overs!

Pin It Friday--St. Patty's Edition

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, my pins are dedicated to all things Irish-- here are some of my favorites.  Enjoy.

My first  pin comes from --yummy shamrock shakes. I admit I am a sucker for these. I stalk the McD's here until they come out every March. Now with the recipe I can have one whenever the mood strikes me (and believe me it has). Although I will say that my shakes never come out this pretty.

                                                                                           Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My next pin is one of the better recipes I have found for traditional corn beef and cabbage. My husband loves corn beef, not so much cabbage and he will eat this.  It's from Now I can't wait for dinner Saturday!

                                                                                           Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My final pin is a digital image of the the traditional Irish Blessing that is often passed around my friends when one of us has a special occasion in life happening. I got this version from

                                                                                               Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Happy St. Patrick's Day! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Open Letter to my favorite teachers...

To all my former teachers and current friends (who just happen to be teachers too)--

How can I thank you for not only instilling me in me the love of learning, but for setting the most amazing example of what it means to be a gifted and caring teacher? I have always tried to make my kiddos feel about learning and love the way you made me feel. It is because of you that I am who I am today--a teacher.

Some of my most cherished moments of school are the amazing projects you enabled me to do. I remember running home to share my newest Letter People or waiting with anticipation to find out the Biology cheer of the week. I remember being given the gift of music through singing and playing in the orchestra--honors choir performances, tryouts, musicals, and my favorite spring show every year. I remember fundraising my tail off to attend one of the most amazing hands on experience in government (i.e. Close-Up) in Washington D.C I have ever been to or watching you stand on a desk, shouting the words to the preamble of the Constitution, just to make a point. I think it was during those days that I developed my LOVE of all things politics and history.

I also probably owe a much belated thank you for all the hours of tutoring in math, chemistry, and physics many of you did just so I could get my B. Or an apology for trying to cheat on my spelling test in 5th grade because I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to spell the word neighbor. I swear to this day, that is the only time in my life I have ever tried to cheat-- and getting caught was most likely the best lesson I could ever learn--plus now I know how to spell neighbor and neighborhood to this day without batting an eye! It was a difficult lesson to learn then and one that I have to teach more than a few of my own students now.

And to those of you now who give me such inspiration--can I just say that you ROCK!?! Where else can I feel safe in my "social studies bubble" or vent my problems out and know that someone will be there to give me a hug or better yet chocolate and a Dr. Pepper. Who else can save the day with an lesson plan, help me through the day with an understanding smile, hold my head when I  get sick at school (yes folks, it's happened to me more than once!) or celebrate a students' success? You give of yourselves--not only to me--but to kids. You chaperone field trips, dances, and share in a perfect moment of graduation...and so much more. You really are the Bees Knees!! If only more people could see you the way I do...

Thank you!!!

Love always,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bathtime = FUN

Thanks to pinterest, tonight we have created a new tradition in our house -- bathtub paint. All I can say is was a HUGE hit with Duncan who spent almost an hour in the tub playing and making a mess--umm-- I mean masterpiece :)  It really is a breeze to make -- all you need is shaving cream, food coloring, a muffin tin and a paint brush.

Yes... it really is this easy folks!

 The finished product--green, red, yellow, blue, and purple paint! (yes, I know... the purple looks funky, but it's purple!)

Duncan really enjoyed making a mess, but the shaving cream makes it a breeze to clean up (ie. just rinse it away with water).  Sometimes its nice to have an extended bathtime since it means Duncan can get to be creative (and get some more energy out) and I get to get some quality time in. It really is a win-win :)

Playing with my paint

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pin It Friday!

Time for another Pin It Friday! This weeks theme is for my home. I've been collecting and dreaming of a new house since we moved here to VA. Trying to sell our home in Colorado has been a real challenge, so we are currently in an apartment. And I will tell you, going from an 1500 Sq. ft. place to 937 sq. ft. has been a real killer. We have a storage unit crammed full of furniture and home items (like half of what was my living room, kitchen, and study)! So until then--a girl has to dream--and pin!

My first inspiration comes from Idea Interiors in Montreal. You can follow her blog here. I really like this idea for a wall gallery--very simplistic, modern, classic, and stylish. What do you think?

                                                                                          Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My next pin is such a great idea. It comes from Young House Love. This is a terrific blog that has been featured nationally on many websites and magazines. I have no idea where this woman gets her creativity from, but I consider it a blessing!
                                                                                  Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Finally I am in love with this idea from My style is somewhat eclectic, but I am drawn to things that are natural and comfy. I love real wood and simple clean lines. This is so right up my alley.

                                                                                                Source: via Kate on Pinterest

So what are some your inspirations? I'd love you to comment and share with me! Until next time, Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This is a test... it is only a test...

This week has been a test--of my patience, organization, and sanity! Between a "small" snow storm that ended up dumping 7 inches here in 7 or so hours (really unusual here), prepping for my senior students class project--yes that mean all 250 some seniors will be participating in this shin-ding on Friday (and I am one for 4 teachers coordinating this thing), trying to get lesson plans made, spend time with my husband and child, cook and take care of things around here--I might just flip out. But then I remember that I am a super hero in training and this is just a test, it's only a test and if I can just find my calm, relaxed, centered self, all will be ok.

So to help remind me that all things come in due time and with patience all things are possible, I went looking for some quotes. Here are a few I copied for myself, and hopefully they will help you too. Enjoy and may we all have a wonderful rest of the week.
  • Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
    John Quincy Adams
  • Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. it's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.
    Barack Obama
  • Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.
  • Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.
    Saint Francis de Sales
  • You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
    Franklin P. Jones
  • A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.
    George Savile
  • Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
    Harriet Tubman
  • For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.
    John Burroughs

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pin It Friday!

One of my favorite social media obsessions is pinterest. I love it...searching and finding what others have found that I too can find inspiration from. I felt it was time to share, so I am starting what hopefully will be a Friday tradition of sharing with all of you some of my favorite new found inspiration.

My first pin comes from I want to thank my friend Dana for finding it. And since my child loves dinosaurs, this will be a great rainy day activity to try out.

                                                                                                  Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Next up comes a pin from Again, I have to give credit to yet another friend, Summer, for finding this inspiration. I will definitely be doing this with Duncan to help with reading and word recognition.

                                                                                                 Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My final Friday pin comes from  Talk about a great family blog. You really should check it out. Tons of inspiration to be found. Ummm....What is it? Home made bathtub paint made from shaving cream and food coloring. I will soon be blogging on this new bath time excitement in our house.

                                                                                                Source: via Kate on Pinterest

If you want to get involved in your own Friday Pin it, you can start by heading to and check out there great link up for Pinterest Pin Friday.  The blog is covered with great mommy ideas, blogs, sites, even stores to help all moms out.

Happy Friday all!