Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mid-Week Happenings

Today I got some great news! The principal at the school that I work at told me, first thing this morning, that I have been approved by the superintendent to move out of special education to regular education!!! He told me that more than likely it will be 5th grade because that is where the openings are. I am so happy and overwhelmed. I have trouble sleeping at night because I have so many ideas running through my head. I believe I need to start keeping a notebook on the night stand to record some of the good ideas I have in the middle of the night. It is crazy what I dream about lately. Classroom arrangement, things to buy, lesson plans, seating charts, field trips, the list goes on!

Other than that I have finally heard from the doctor about my MRI. Basically I have a bad sprain on my wrist and the tendon has been injured. They recommended that I go to an orthopedic doctor tomorrow to have him check everything out. So I guess I am still playing the waiting game. I can't believe after months I am still in pain everyday. Hopefully this doctor will have some answers.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Update

I hope that everyone had a fun and safe weekend!

Friday: We skipped out on our normal La Cabana. Nick and I brought his parents and relatives from Belgium to a German restaurant in town. The food was so good and the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. Then we went home and crashed. It was a long week!

Saturday: After saying goodbye to Roger and Simone, Nick and I did some work around the house. I also made some Sunny Cranberry Nut Bread! This recipe came from Kraft Foods website in the healthy living section. I changed the recipe some to make it even healthier.

Sunny Cranberry Nut Bread

Sunny Cranberry Nut Bread
Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
Makes:
1 loaf, 16 servings
1 egg (I used egg beaters)
1 cup milk (I used skim milk)
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup oil
2 cups POST Raisin Bran Cereal
1-3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar (I used Splenda)
1 Tbsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup PLANTERS Pecan Pieces
PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Beat egg, milk, orange peel, juice and oil in medium bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in cereal. Let stand 5 min. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add cereal mixture; stir just until moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.) Stir in cranberries and pecans.
POUR into greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pan.
BAKE 1 hour 15 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 min. in pan.; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

Calories 150 Total fat 2.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Cholesterol 10 mg Sodium 130 mg CarbohydrateDietary fiber 1 g Sugars 15 g Protein 3 g


* Mine did not take the full 1 hour and 15 mins. It only took about an hour.

Later that night we at out with some friends (Jeff and Joy and little baby Ethan) that were town for the weekend. They came over and hung out for a while. I was in heaven because I got to hold Ethan the whole time!

Sunday: After church I met my parents and ate lunch. It is my dad's birthday tomorrow, so we had to celebrate a day early. Then I went to Joy's shower for Ethan. She got some really cute things. It made me want a baby even more. :) After coming home Nick and I made this AMAZING pasta. It was so yummy and very easy. This was found on Cooking Light website.

Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

This recipe scored high in our Test Kitchens for its rich flavor and ultracreamy texture. The exotic mushroom blend, a combination of shiitake, cremini, and oyster mushrooms, is sold in eight-ounce packages. If unavailable, you can use all cremini mushrooms.


Ingredients

1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces presliced exotic mushroom blend
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Minced fresh parsley (optional)

Preparation

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 12 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Add the cooked pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley, tossing gently to coat. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield

8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 336(31% from fat); FAT 11.4g (sat 6.9g,mono 3.1g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 12.1g; CHOLESTEROL 36mg; CALCIUM 124mg; SODIUM 577mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 2.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47.5g

Saturday, April 26, 2008

True Hugs


Sadly today Nick's cousins from Belgium had to leave and head back home. They stayed with his parents for a month and the time flew by fast. We enjoyed so many laughs and I will truly miss them. We ate a lot of food, drank good wine, and even learned to make real Irish Coffee. They were sad to leave this morning and we were sad to see them go. When they left Simone gave me, what I like to call, a "true" hug. What I mean by that is a hug that comes from the heart. I hug that you don't want to let go of. It wasn't a short brief hug; it was a long meaningful hug that I will always remember. They didn't want to leave, but it was time. I hope one day to be able to visit them. How fun would that be? Anyway cherish your family and friends, especially the ones that you get to see often. Give someone a "true" hug today!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tendinitis

Yes this is what I have. Luckily I have a friend, Julie, that works at the place I had my MRI. She called last night to tell me the results. She says it is tendinitis and the tendon is thin. GREAT! I am not really sure what this means. I am still waiting for the doctor to call and tell me what to do. Well that is it for now. I am off to work!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day





I hope you are celebrating Earth Day! At school the children made Garbage People out of paper bags and went around the school "feeding" them with trash they found. They were so excited about finding the trash. At the young age of five they already knew so much about helping the environment.

Nick and I started recycling paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum several months ago. You would be surprised how less trash you throw away. I also plan on buying the new Wal-Mart bags instead using all the plastic ones. I heard they were giving one away today. Too bad I missed that!

Also today I went for my MRI. What a grueling experience and I hope I never have to do it again. I never thought it would be so hard to lie still for 45 mins. The fact that I was on my stomach didn't help. I should get results tomorrow. Wish me luck!

What are you doing for the environment?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back on the Wagon

Yes I fell off the diet wagon! I fell hard and have been off for a while. I worked so hard and lost about 17lbs at the beginning of August. I ate right and worked out 4 to 5 times a week. Then when Christmas rolled around, well we all know what happens at Christmas time. I ate and ate and completely stopped working out. I had all intentions of beginning my workout regime in January, but then I hurt my wrist. My normal workouts included lots of hand weights and well I can't do that right now. So starting yesterday I am back on the diet and exercise. I plan on still doing the 30 min. workout on Fit TV with Gilad, but just not use weights until I am back to normal. I hope to lose the few pounds I gained back plus lose a little more. Wish me luck!

As for the weekend, it has been a relaxing one. Friday we had the normal La Cabana and we got to eat outside. It was so nice! Then we went to Michael and Amy's and sat by their new fire pit and enjoyed more of the beautiful weather. Saturday we went to Anderson where we met up with my parents and my niece Brinsley. We ate Olive Garden and the shopped at the mall. Today we are going to my parents to celebrate Nick's, Brinsley's, and my dad's birthday. Should be fun!

What are your weight loss tips?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WARNING-VENTING-WARNING

Okay I am warning you I have to vent. If you remember about a month ago I injured my wrist at work. Well it hasn't quite healed since. Then yesterday I injured the same wrist again and worse this time. So after a hectic day at work (annual reviews and writing IEP's) I sat in the waiting room for an hour, then waited in the room for another 20 mins, had an x-ray, waited 10 more mins, and then was told the x-ray did not show anything so I would have to schedule an MRI! FUN!! So when I finally came home I discovered I am AGAIN not pregnant this month. Can anything go right? AHHH! Ok I am finished!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend Update

Friday: Nick and I left bright and early to head to Atlanta. Since it only takes about 2 hours we stopped at the Mall of Georgia to find some clothes for Nick. I actually didn't buy one single for myself! Aren't you proud! This is Nick and I leaving MOG and heading to the big ATL.
We arrived around 2:00 so we had plenty of time to relax before dinner. We stayed on the 55 floor of the Westin and the view was amazing! Here are some shots.

This is right before we left for dinner. We are doing some major grinning! I didn't take pics at the restaruant, but the food was delicious and I would recommend the Azio. The fact that it was literrally across the street helped also.

Then around 7:30 we headed out for the Atlanta Civic Center to watch The Lion King. I only got two pictures becuase we could not take pictures during the show. All I can say is that is was AMAZING! I think my mouth was open the entire time. They came down the aisles with giant elephants and giraffes. The actors were great and young simba was played by an amazing 9 year old that blew me away. If you have a chance you should check it out!

Now that my Spring Break is over I am a little sad, but I am actually kinda happy to be back in the groove of "normal" life!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Getting Ready!


First thing tomorrow morning Nick and I are heading out on the open road. We are going to Atlanta to see the Lion King. This is part of the Broadway Across America production. I am sooo excited. This is for Nick's birthday, but I think I am more excited. Before we go to the show we are going to stop by the Mall of Georgia. I am sure it is going to be crazy, but maybe it will help that it will be Friday morning. Keep your fingers crossed! We are staying over night at the Westin Downtown. From the pictures this hotel looks very nice. We will not be there long, but oh well! We also have reservations at Azio Downtown which is a nice Italian restaurant. We have never been, but the menu looks pretty impressive. Also Eric, Nick's brother, is coming down from Chicago for the weekend. We will get to see him tonight and when we come back Saturday so that is pretty exciting. Well I am off to pack. I will update Sunday with tons of great pictures!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Banana Bread Part 2

OK this is my last post today I promise! I just finished the Banana Bread that I posted earlier today. Here are some pictures!!
Here are all the ingredients

The dry ingredients

The wet ingredients
All mixed up
Into the oven
Hot and Yummy!!
I just had a slice and it was delicious. You do not miss any of the fattening ingredients. I will be making this again very soon.


Here are the great finds that I found on my solo shopping yesterday.

I plan on wearing this to the Lion King Friday and it is from TJ Maxx for only $19.99
This is also from TJ Maxx and I believe it was $12.99

This blouse if from Belk

This is another find from TJ Maxx and this is a bad picture. It is cuter in person.

The two tiered iron rack is from TJ Maxx and I got the flowers today at Wal-Mart

This basket was also from TJ Maxx and it holds two stacks of magazines perfectly. It was only $6.99!!

Happy Birthday Nick! I love you!!


Banana Bread

I just found the website Hungry-Girl and she has some great recipes. She takes normal recipes and makes them healthy! I found this banana bread and it sounds really good. I am making this for breakfast for the morning we leave for Atlanta. Eric is staying at our house while we are away, so he will have something to eat also.







HG's Top Banana Bread

HG's Top Banana Bread


Go Bananas!


Banana bread typically has pretty horrific nutritionals, so we set out to create a guilt-free version. And (tada!) here it is. FYI, if you're looking for a cake-tastic sweet treat with a POINTS® value of 2*, a fat slice of this stuff topped with Cool Whip Free is the way to go...

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Optional Toppings: no-calorie spray butter, Cool Whip Free

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour, Splenda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (in other words, all dry ingredients). In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, egg substitute, applesauce, and vanilla extract (all the wet ingredients). Add this mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir until just blended. Spoon batter into a large loaf pan (about 9" X 5") sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into 8 slices. If you like, spritz with some spray butter or spread on some Cool Whip Free. MAKES 8 SERVINGS



Serving Size: 1 (thick!) slice
Calories: 140
Fat: 0.5g
Sodium: 267mg
Carbs: 31g
Fiber: 3.75g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 5g

POINTS® value 2*

Meal Planning

As everyone knows most of the cooking that takes place at my house is not done by me. My husband is an amazing cook and he enjoys it so much. However, I do know that cooking is an essential skill that I do need to have. I would also love to cook with my kids one day and pass on family recipes. I plan on jumping into the kitchen more and creating my own meals. I found this website that I believe will help. It is called Tasty Planner and with this website you can create a week full of meals. You pick the recipes from their huge database and they compile your shopping list. What a brilliant idea! I like having a recipe so that am more likely to cook something edible. HA! I want to start this next week, but tonight is Nick's birthday. I am using a recipe from Meghan's blog. It is called Buffalo Chicken Lasagna. Doesn't that sound amazing? So wish me luck in my cooking.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
12 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
1 lb. Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed (i use more)
3 Cups Hunt’s Four Cheese Spaghetti Sauce
1 Cup Very Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 1/2 Cups Water 15 oz. Nonfat Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Egg Substitute
9 Slices 2% Pepperjack Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook chicken over medium high heat for 4 minutes or until almost done. Stir in sauces and water. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg substitute. Spray a 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 Cup of sauce in the bottom of pan. Arrange 4 noodles over the sauce. Spread more sauce, then a layer of ricotta mixture. Add another layer of sauce, and repeat the whole process until you end with a layer of sauce. Cover and bake 70 minutes. Uncover and place cheese slices on top, then bake for another 15 minutes uncovered. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serves: 9 Per Serving: 285 Calories; 4g Fat (13.7% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 41mg Cholesterol; 1710mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Lean Meat; 0 Other Carbohydrates. WWP: 5

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Shopping Spree

What a better way to spend Spring Break than shop!? I took of this morning to Anderson for some solo shopping. I love shopping by myself because if I choose to look at a shirt for 10 mins. or go back and forth and back and forth till I make my mind up, then I can. I went to TJ Maxx. I love that store. I bought a dress for this weekend when we go to see the Lion King. I also got a skirt, blouse, shoes, and capris. I got a few decorative things, but I will hold off on those until I get pictures. Then I headed to New York and Company and bought 2 pairs of capris, shirt and sunglasses. Then I went to Belks to buy Nick his birthday presents. I will post pictures of those later. Wheew! I am tired! Sorry about the delay in pictures I need more batteries for my camera. Well that is about all for now. Have a great day!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weekend Update

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend!

Friday: The gang went to La Cabana as we have done every Friday at 7:00 for years. We had a crowd this time. Jeff and Joy brought along a new member of their family. This is Ethan Grey! Such a cutie! I wanted to take him home.

This is Michael, Amy's husband. Doesn't he look terrified? ;)

While at La Cabana we celebrated Nick's birthday. It is actually not till Wed, but they sang anyway!

This is Nick looking very surprised, even though on the way he told me that he hoped they would sing so he could get some fried ice cream.
This is me looking equally surprised. I am not sure what I was thinking.
Singing "Happy Birthday!"
Cake in the face!

Saturday: We spent the morning being lazy- my favorite pastime. Then we went to Anderson to do a little "necessity" shopping. The we have great steaks at Longhorn and off to see the movie "21." It was a great movie. I wasn't bored for a second.


Sunday: We went to church then the grocery store. This is becoming our little Sunday routine. Don't you just love routines? I strive on them. Anyway when we got back we worked in the yard pulling weeds. Then Nick cut the grass and I planted a few more flowers. I love spring, but it feels like a lot of work.

Now I am off to relax and prepare to grill out later tonight. I am going to enjoy my spring break this week!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

50 Things about Me!

I got this idea from Carrie and Amy. I am not sure if I can think of 50, but here we go...

1. Purple is my favorite color.
2. I use to be the pickiest eater EVER, but now I eat pretty much anything.
3. My favorite soda is diet coke.
4. I am in love with Italian food. I could eat it every meal.
5. I hate most sports.
6. I love the outdoors, but hate it when it is cold.
7. I am terrified of grasshoppers.
8. I use to collect pig things, such as stuffed animals.
9. If it was financially possible I would have 10 kids.
10. One of my best friends is my sister Carrie.
11. Many people say that I can be shy. I think I am just a good listener and I don't need to hear my own voice all the time.:)
12. I drive fast wherever I go.
13. I always wear my seatbelt.
14. I went to the prom 4 times.
15. I love reading and have ever since I knew how.
16. I love to do crafts.
17. I am officially too old to watch anything on MTV (except The Hills ;).
18. Big Brother is my guilty pleasure.
19. I have lived in the same town my entire life and I have no desire to leave.
20. I hate drama and people that have it usually bring it on themselves.
21. I hated math in school, but it is my favorite subject to teach.
22. I have been teaching for 3 years.
23. Me favorite flowers are tulips and daises.
24. My favorite movie is Dirty Dancing.
25. My favorite book is The Notebook.
26. I love to organize things.
27. Cleaning keeps me sane.
28. I hate to clean showers- with a passion!
29. Spit grosses me out- keep in your mouth people!
30. I love to groom myself (manis and pedis).
31. I have curly hair that I HATE.
32. Shopping is my vice.
33. I can be the most patient and impatient person all at the same time.
34. Sleeping is my favorite past time.
35. My parents are my heroes.
36. I will never be happy with my weight or height.
37. I am obsessed with reading blogs.
38. I love decorating for the holidays and seasons.
39. Going into a hospital makes me sick to my stomach.
40. I hate when it rains.
41. I always wear socks to bed and then end up taking them off.
42. I have a million pairs of shoes. Ok not a million, but a lot.
43. I love the smell of cleaning products.
44. I would love to own a preschool one day.
45. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
46. My husband is my best friend.
47. I am scared of tall bridges.
48. I could live without desserts.
49. I have tons of candles in my house.
50. I am very clumsy.

Wow I had no idea I could that. Try it yourself!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

With the good comes the bad

I am glad I didn't allow myself to get too excited about that 5th grade job. This morning I got some very bad news. The teacher that was going to retire is no longer. So there goes my hope and dreams of that job. I am still waiting on a 3rd grade job that may be added. More than likely I will not know till the summer. I feel like I have no control over anything anymore. I just want to SCREAM!!! Between that and the whole pregnancy thing, I am just sad. I am trying to stay positive because I do have so many blessings in my life, but I am allowed to be sad once in a while.