Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Let's Look: Favorite Reads!

Hey There!
I'm back again today linking up with Shay and Erika.
It's a Let's Look Tuesday, so let's get looking!

These are our topics for the year and today we are looking at...

your favorite reads!

I'm so excited to see what everyone else has to share. 
I love getting excellent recommendations and ordering too many books from the library!

Here's what's been filling up my time. 
I love Jenny Colgan and was so happy to read another one of hers!
A Jenny novel + a bakery + Christmas=bliss!

I'm counting down until Rachel Hollis's new book comes out!
Girl, Wash Your Face was amazing and uplifting!

Swear on This Life was heart wrenching to me. 
I loved every second of it. 
It's kinda the total opposite of Grey's Anatomy, but there's something about the writing of Grey's Anatomy that I'm just smitten with. 
This one was a page turner for me!

Tuesday's with Morrie might always be my favorite book. 
I just love the life lessons and quotes.

If you're wondering what the other posts are for the rest of the year, check out their graphic below.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Business Boutique 2018

Happy Valentine's Day Week!
We don't really celebrate V-Day much, but I think it's exciting to have something to look forward to. 
The winter days are long and dreary, and I'm itching for spring. 

Today I'm going to share lots of pictures from the Business Boutique conference I attended in Nashville, Tennessee last November. 
If you are thinking of starting your own small business or are in the process of building and developing one, you should definitely check out Christy Wright and the whole Business Boutique brand!

Christy is so passionate and energetic!

We had a Dave Barnes concert!

Annie F Downs was rocking it with the DJ!

Planning and preparing! 

Some more Christy and Dave Ramsey on Day #2!

Christy and Megan Tamte from Evereve.

Christy and I!

This was SO much fun!
It was inspiring and motivating and encouraging!
I might say that it's the best thing I've ever gone to!
Enjoy your Monday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Blueberry Muffins

Hey There!
Today I'm sharing a family recipe for blueberry muffins. 
I've been loving going through my grandma's recipes. 
There are some new recipes and some tried and true ones. 

I found this one last weekend and since Alex brought me home two containers of blueberries instead of one, I decided to make muffins after making a blueberry cake the week before.

What You'll Need:
2 TBSP. Flour
5 TBSP White Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 TBSP. Butter (Softened)

2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 C. Butter (Melted)
3/4 C. White Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. Lemon Peel
1/2 C. Milk
1 1/2 C. Blueberries

For the streusel topping, combine the first set of ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter). 
Cut up until fine pieces.
Set aside.

Set the oven to 375 degrees. 
Line muffin tins with wrappers.

Combine flour. baking powder and salt. 
Set aside.

In mixer combine butter, sugar and vanilla. 
Mix well. 
Add two eggs. 
Mix again. 
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and adding the milk.
Fold in blueberries.

Pour into muffin tins. 
Sprinkle with streusel topping. 
Bake 20-25 minutes. 
Cool in pan 5 minutes. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Book Review: January 2019

Happy Monday!
It's a weekday and we are actually in school!
It's going to be nearly 60 degrees today in Ohio and not even a week ago it was about -20!
If you're looking to experience every season in one week, head our way!

Today I'm sharing my book review from January!
My goal is to read three books each month, and I did just that!

The Power of Moments

Image result for the power of moments

This book was all about living more intentional. 
It was about how to make the most of each moment that you have. 
If you like inspirational books on how to make your life better or how to improve certain aspects, this book is for you!

While I love a good inspirational book, this was my least favorite of the month. 
I liked the idea behind the book, but it didn't really hit it home for me. 

Girl, Wash Your Face

This next book was absolutely fantastic!
I just recently jumped on the Rachel Hollis bandwagon, and man is she good!
A lady who built her million dollar business with a high school diploma and a Google search bar. 
Girl, Wash Your Face unpacks lies that women believe and how we can isolate ourselves because we're always down on ourselves. 
Talk about high energy, kick yourself in the butt and get it going!
You have to read this book and then start listening to her podcast. 
Her next book comes out later on this year, and I already have it ordered at the library!

Swear on This Life

If you're looking for a realistic love story about two kids who grew up in poverty, then this book is for you!
I read this book in not even two days!
It made me cry and want to bawl like a baby. 
I swear the lives that Em and Jace live are the same lives that some of my students are living. 
I teach in an extremely rural area where some of my students don't see an adult within the day outside of those of us they see at school. 
I teach where some students don't have water or heat, and yet my kids are fabulous!
They're kids!
They laugh, they cry, they want someone to correct them and love them!
They are no different than kids living in cities, except they aren't privy to many things. 
They know what it's like to hurt and be hurt. 
They know what it's like to go without. 
I love my students so much, and I thought of specific kids as I was reading this book. 
My hope is that my own students find a way to make it out of the struggle that was portrayed in this book.
I hope they make it and move out and flourish in life!

Two of these three books were fabulous!
One made me really excited and motivated and the other really touched my heart. 
I'm onto my first book of February and can't wait to see what the month has in store!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Chicken and Noodles

Hey There Wednesday!
I'm back with a delectable treat for a frigid day like today. 
This is comfy, cozy food at its finest. 
There's nothing better than a bowl of chicken and noodles on top of mashed potatoes.

What You'll Need
1 Pound Chicken Breast (I used thawed)
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Cans Chicken Broth
1 Stick Butter
1 Package Frozen Egg Noodles (24 oz.)

Get out your oval Crock-pot. 
Trim any extra fat off of the chicken. 
Place the chicken in the bottom of the Crock-pot. 
Pour the soup on top of the chicken. 
Add the chicken broth.
Put the stick of butter on top. 
Set the Crock-pot to low for about 6 hours. 

Take the chicken out and put in a separate bowl. 
Shred the chicken. 
Place it back in the Crock-pot.
Add the frozen noodles. 
Mix in. 
Cook for 2 more hours.

*I have to give credit to Pinterest for this recipe.
I adjusted it a bit, but I got the original recipe from there.
I couldn't find who posted it, but it was a Pinterest win!

I was considering putting these on top of a warm biscuit but Alex requested mashed potatoes. 
So, we had warm chicken and noodles on top of mashed potatoes!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Ronald Reagan Macaroni and Cheese

Happy Monday!
By the time you are reading this I hope I'm back in my classroom. 
I went to school one day last week and that was for a professional day of meetings.
It's rained, snowed, been -4 degrees, been 50 degrees, and flooded all within the last week. 
Our weather in Ohio is crazy, and as I'm typing this I think I have cabin fever. 

On Thursday it was snowing at 4 am and then an inch or two of snow an hour later. 
I waited until Alex got home to take me to grocery store. 
I had gone running in the morning and it was even slippery to run, so I was a bit hesitant to head to the store. 

I've been baking all kinds of good recipes while I've been home. 
My only caution is to not bake too many things because we're only two people and can't eat it all. 
I typically share a lot with my parents and that helps make things go faster.
Today I'm sharing a recipe that I've found several times in my grandma's recipes. 
Ronald Reagan's mac and cheese must have been the rage at the time!

What You'll Need:
1/2 Pound Macaroni
1 TBSP. Butter
1 Egg (Beaten)
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Dry Mustard
1 TBSP. Hot Water
1 C. Milk
3 C. Grated Cheese (I used Cheddar-in the future will try American)

Cook macaroni as directed (usually about 9 minutes).

In the meantime, butter a casserole dish. 

Add butter and beaten egg to macaroni. 
Add in cheese. 

Add salt, dry mustard and hot water to milk. 

Pour macaroni in buttered dish. 
Pour milk on top. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 
The last 10 minutes add a little cheese on top. 

The recipe called for you to pout the milk on top of the macaroni; however, in the future I might might it all together and then put it in the dish. 

I can't quite handle boxed macaroni and cheese anymore. 
I just don't like the taste for some reason.
Any kind of macaroni and cheese used to be my favorite, so I'm not sure what has happened along the way.  
This was a great alternative.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday Favorites: Snow, Snow Days, Menu Plan

Happy Friday!
The buzzword last week was "winter storm".
We braced for a big one last weekend.
They weren't sure if it would be all snow, snow and rain or what combination.
If I'm being honest, I was hoping for snow.
I love a big snow, but I pray people stay at home and are safe!
We went to bed last Friday night anticipating snow all day Saturday-the forecast was about 8 inches.
I jumped up out of bed Saturday morning and found rain-ALL. DAY. LONG!
Without further adieu, it's a Friday Favorites kind of day!
Let's see what this week had in store...

As always, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week, too.

Winter has returned!

Winter made her return a couple weekends ago!
We had big plans to go to the outlets, which then led to just go to a mall, which then led to stay at home!
I ran Saturday morning. 
It was calm with a dark winters sky. 
I got to run with the deer across town; this is one of my favorite things because they actually are the same exact deer that I used to look out my bedroom/bathroom window and see. 
Over the years I just started talking to them like they are regular people or animals. 
When I saw them I asked them what they were doing so close to town. 
They turned around and ran back up to my parents house. 
There's something about those creatures that always make my day, except when it involves driving and deer!

By evening we had this amount of snow. 
We got a few inches and thankfully it fell over the weekend, so we didn't have to miss a whole day of school.

Fast Forward one week later and we got all rain...
That then turned to snow Saturday night and we woke up to about 8 inches Sunday morning. 
We shoveled and shoveled and plowed. 

I made soup and a cake for comfort food. 
Fast forward to Monday morning when it was negative degrees with a -14 windchill. 
We had a professional day on Tuesday, so while the kids didn't go, the teachers did! Yay! 
I about biffed it getting out of my car. 
It was too cold for the salt to work and there was a layer of ice beneath all of the snow.

Then, we jump to Wednesday when it warmed up to almost 50 degrees. 
It rained all day Wednesday, and then early this morning (I'm writing this on Thursday) it turned back to snow. 

I honestly have no idea what's in the future. 
We are currently on a two-hour delay and I'm hoping we actually go, so that we don't have to take anymore days off.

Insta Posts

I always enjoy seeing quotes on Instagram. 
Who doesn't love every shade of black?!

At our team meetings we have a weekly agenda. 
On the week that you are in charge of hosting the meeting, you are in charge of the agenda and adding some memes to it just for fun's sake. 
This was my meme for last Wednesday.
Then, it was freezing snow/rain and school got cancelled (again)!

I listened to a podcast with Christine Caine the other day. 
I loved how encouraging she was, so I jumped online and looked her up a bit more. 
This quote really spoke to me!!

Snow Day Fun

We actually haven't had as many snow days as it seems!
Thankfully, a lot of our big snowstorms have fallen on the weekend. 
While I feel like I have cabin fever, a lot of it is from staying in all weekend for the last few weekends straight. 

We are crossing our fingers that this weekend we can get out and about. 

In the meantime, I've spent a lot of time sippin' cocoa and watching my girl Kelly!
I love Kelly and Ryan!

I've also spent a ton of time reading and drinking milkshakes.
You need to read Girl, Wash Your Face-->More on that on another day! 
This was the coldest day of the year. 
Literally the high that day was about 12. 
Alex thinks that's too cold to run outside, so I worked out inside that day. 
Then, he brought me home a milkshake.
On the coldest day of the year!!
It was good nonetheless. 

I've also been doing a lot of cleaning. 
I'm getting our Spring cleaning out of the way now, so that we can enjoy the sun and warm weather when that time comes. 
I know we have a good at least two more months, but I'm getting it done!
Last week I cleaned out the bathroom and all cabinets, both bedrooms and the living room.
Dusted, swept, washed the floors, dusted blinds, washed, ironed and rehung curtains!

Seed Sowing

It's almost time to start sowing my seeds for this coming summer. 
I ordered my seeds last week. 
They've arrived, and I just need to get some soil when I actually make it out of the house again. 
Then, we are all set for planting!

I'm working on making a yearly menu. 
At the end of last year I felt so overwhelmed with meals.
I was still trying to plan ahead, and I was asking Alex for ideas on what he wanted. 
I just felt like things were chaotic. 
I never felt like I had the recipes in one place. 
I'd look here and there and still forget something. 

Somewhere along the way I decided that I would make a menu for the whole year. 
This has been an ongoing idea in my head. 
I wasn't sure how I would make it happen, but I had been keeping track of meal ideas in the notes section of my phone. 
Now, I've transferred that over to a Google spreadsheet. 
I'm currently making a tab for each month and putting down our meals on there. 

If I'm using a recipe from someone who blogs (like Shay's recipe books below) then I simply put a hyperlink to the already blogged recipe. 

If I'm using a recipe that hasn't been blogged (like the recipes below) then I take pictures and plan to add them to my blog and put a hyperlink to them. 

I have all of the my grandma and her best friend's recipes. 
At first it was super overwhelming because I didn't know what to do with them or how to keep them. 
Some of them are organized and some not. 
I'm slowly pulling out a few recipes at a time and keeping them close by. 
Each week I'm going to make a new dessert recipe, so that a little at a time I can add those tried and true recipes to my blog. 

I'm super exited for this menu plan!
I hope to blog more about it as it takes shape later in the year. 

Whether it is sunny and 75 or cold and snowy or rainy and gray where you are, I hope you have the best weekend!