Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Sweets

My family typically divides up the food for holidays, so that one person isn't responsible for making everything.  Luckily for me, I usually get dessert.  I love making desserts and especially trying out new recipes.  These three were all discovered via Pinterest.  Man, I love that site!

Cookie Dough Truffles
Cookie Dough Truffles

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles
Peanut Butter Pretzels Truffles

Avalanche Bars
Avalanche Bars

I made these M&M pretzel bites and  this Peanut Butter Cheese Ball to snack on Christmas Eve while we played games.  Christmas morning, we had Sopapilla and Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

It was all so delicious, but my favorites were the Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles, Avalanche Bars and Sopapilla.  Let me know if you try out any of the recipes!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish the best for you in 2012! <3

Sunday, December 4, 2011

not forgotten

Yikes! Hard to believe it's been four months since my last post. I haven't forgotten about you, dear blog. I've just been distracted.

I now have three jobs (yes, three!) that keep me fairly busy. My real aka main job is a third grade Paraprofessional at the elementary school I went to. My main priority there is teaching intensive, corrective reading to below level students. The program is completely scripted and drives me crazy. I can't wait until next year when I have a class of my own where I can be creative. Job #2 is a fun one- I'm now a Thirty-One Gifts Consultant! And job #3, I do strictly for extra money and to help out my brother. I work a couple afternoons a week at his scuba diving shop. Scuba diving just isn't a passion of mine, especially the technical aspect of it.

So much has happened in the last four months, but one especially exciting thing is that I finished Hazel's 365!
365:365 The End

Also, my nephew, Keegan turned one! I can't believe how fast that year went!

I'm hoping to start posting more frequently again, especially to share my Pinterest accomplishments!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Avocado Ranch Dip

Between Pinterest and my new job, I'm becoming more domestic. And I like it.

Tonight after spending hours cleaning and organizing my craft studio, I made this yummy dip.


Avocado Ranch Dip

1 Florida Avocado
8oz. Sour Cream
8oz. Cream Cheese
1 Package Hidden Valley Ranch Mix

Mix well. Serve with veggies or tortilla chips.

Avocado Ranch Dip

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

peanut butter pretzel bites

I made another treat from my pinterest today- peanut butter pretzel bites. They were easy to do and delicious, too! The recipe comes from Two Tiny Kitchens.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites


I also made my own variation of this tonight as well. My version was even more simple than Martha's.

Kara's Black Bean and Corn Tortilla Casserole

1 12 oz can of black beans
1 12 oz bag of frozen corn (steamed)
10 6" tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Hot sauce or salsa
Sour Cream (garnish)

Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly spray baking dish (I used an 11 x 7.5" glass pyrex dish).
Layer tortillas, black beans, corn, salsa and cheese. I had five layers in my casserole. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Easy peasy.

Tonight's dinner...

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Every beginning is some other beginning's end."

"Every beginning is some other beginning's end." Saw that on Twitter last night. It is so fitting for me right now. Yesterday, was my last day at Starbucks. I brought Hazel with me. It hasn't quite sunken in yet that I won't be going back.

296:365 HAZELnut KARAmel Macchiato

I'm heading out of town today for a mini vacay with my family in the Keys and then will be making my way up the state for Tara's wedding on Saturday. Monday I start my new job...more to come on that later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

by grace

I just found this on the floor in my kitchen. I have never seen it before. I live alone. Where did it come from? My library book? Did one of my cats find it behind the fridge (a common hangout for them)? I don't know. But I do know it was a nice reminder to come across.

By Grace

Monday, July 11, 2011

delicious

Chocolate Coconut Bars

I have a Pinterest board dedicated to all things delicious (or at least look delicious!) and I decided that instead of continuing to drool over the pictures, I would start to make them all. First up, Chocolate Coconut Bars from Martha Stewart. And they are oh so delicious!

Chocolate Coconut Bars


Oh and to counter all of the delicious things I'll be eating the future, I'm keeping up with my FITabs challenge! So far, I'm at 1060:3000 exercises.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

FITabs

Jen suckered me into another fitness challenge, since I failed at the Couch to 5k challenge. It's too bloody hot to run outside anymore. That's honestly the number one reason why I quit. Anyway, this new challenge started yesterday and is aptly called AB Challenge (3000 in 35). The goal is to do 3000 ab exercises in 35 days (seven weeks). This averages 600 exercises a week- 100 a day with one off day each week. It seems simple enough- even for me. Here's a link to more info on the challenge.

FitBlog Chats

Thursday, June 9, 2011

waiting

It's been five weeks since my last post and it was kind of a cliff hanger, I suppose. Sorry 'bout that!

I did meet with the assistant principal and principal that first week of May. It was rather informal. Not an interview, just a conversation about positions that would become available for the fall. A few weeks later, I was able to officially submit my application and on the last day of May, I had an interview with the assistant principal.

Overall, I felt that the interview went well. I was confident in my answers, even though my voice shook a few times. Why, oh why, must I get so nervous? Seriously, give me a bunch of five year olds to talk to and I'm fine. One adult, and my voice quivers and I get anxious.
Maybe it was due to the fact that he told me there were 160 applicants. 160! For seven positions. :( The odds are not in my favor, considering I did not get a degree in elementary education and have had no formal internships/training. But I've been there almost every week since September. I've lead small groups, chaperoned a field trip, observed and volunteered in four classes in three different grade levels. I want to teach more than anything that I've wanted in a long time. This surprised me. I feel a strong passion for these children and that school in particular. It's the school I went to and many of the students are children of my classmates growing up. My fifth grade teacher still teaches there (my kindergarten and first grade teachers both retired in the last three years). That says a lot about the school. I want to be a part of that.

The assistant principal told me he was rooting for me and that if I tell the principal everything I told him, that he will feel the same way. I was told that I would get that chance next week or the following week in a second interview.

So, now I wait and pray and hope my dreams come true.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Ready!

*Hopefully!

love this

Found out today that I will be meeting with the principal and assistant principal of the elementary school I volunteer at on Wednesday, regarding teaching positions in the fall. I'm so nervous, but at the same time feel like this is meant to be. I've interviewed with the assistant principal twice before and the timing was all wrong- (July 2009, my teaching certificate wasn't finalized and September 2010, the position had already been filled). He keeps coming back for me, so that must mean something, right?! I only officially applied in July 2009. In September and this time, he approached me (even though I've been waiting for the positions to be listed). Anyway, pray for me. I'll greatly appreciate it and will know that if it does or doesn't work out this time around, I'll be okay. I always am.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

start moving

Last month, I went to Rachel and Brian's wedding and saw a bunch of my girlfriends from college. They all looked hot. Seriously. Hot. I felt gross. I'm a good 15-20 pounds heavier than I was in college. I decided I had to do something about this.
So I started running. Well, if you can call it that...it's more like walk, jog, walk, walk some more, jog....you get the drift. Anyway, I'm doing the Couch to 5k plan, so each week it gets progressively harder. I'm supposed to be able to run a 5k in two months. I just started week four and I have my doubts. I can't even run for five minutes straight, yet.
But I'm not going to give up, because I'm rewarding myself as I go along. It's like I'm bribing myself...but hey it's working! I'm down three pounds so far!
My week two reward was a pedicure. :)
pedicure
Week three's reward was a spiffy new bike. I rode it for the first time today and loved it! My plan is to ride 1-2 times a week and run another three days.
My new ride!!!!

Soo....now to figure out what to reward myself with next....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kibou

I learned today that Kibou means Hope in Japanese. Hope is my word; everyone knows that. I have hope that things will get better in Japan because despite all of the bad in this world, the good will overcome and rise up and care and help one another. I believe it. I do. I believe in Hope and Love and Compassion. I came across a few dolly related raffles and auctions today that have proceeds going towards the Tsunami Relief in Japan. Many of which are listed on Eurotrash's blog. One that really touched me was Rag Pets' Kibou...a rag doll kitty...her raffle proceeds will go toward animal rescue and relief in Japan. Let's help the kitties (and humans too). By a raffle ticket, donate somewhere, search and see what you can do to help. Have hope.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WE DIDN'T START THE FIRE - Flagler College Edition

As a Flagler College Alum and Liberal Studies Major (History was my focus) this video makes me extremely happy! Thank you, Annie for sharing it on facebook!

Back in my history studying days, I wanted to become an adjunct professor just to teach a class based on this incredible Billy Joel song. I would have wanted my students to write another verse as their final project. Hmmmm...maybe someday I will do this...



At least three of my professors and academic advisor are featured in the video...even my favorite, Dr. Graham (who retired a few years back)!

I failed an exam once in Dr. Graham's Great Depression Class. I was typically an A student and he knew it. It was my senior year, I was working full time, class full time and partying a lot. Therefore, studying was thrown out the window. Dr. Graham wrote a note on that exam that will forever stick with me. It said, "You can do better than this." It made me cry (and skip my next class to go have a drink)...yeah, my priorities were (and are) a little whacked. Anyway, five years later, I still think about that class and Dr. Graham and how I can always do better.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

explored!

One of my photos is on Explore on Flickr! I can't believe it! I feel so honored!


8:52 Tainted Love>

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

rooted in hope

Here it is- my new tattoo!

rooted in hope

I decided to get it on my foot. Chris at Peter Tattoo in Fort Myers was my tattoo artist. He looked at my sketch and did his own take. He drew it out in a ball point pen first and kept tweaking it until I was completely satisfied. I'm really glad I allowed Chris to convince me to color the leaves green.

rooted in hope

Now for a little background on why I choose what I did and why... I decided back in November that I wanted a seedling on my foot to represent new growth and starting fresh. I wanted it on my foot to start from the ground up. There are three leaves to represent the Trinity. The roots symbolize continuous growth and the fact that what you see on the surface is just the beginning. And since "hope" is my new mantra, I had to work that in!

hidden heart

Last night, I discovered there is a hidden heart in the roots which I think makes it that much cooler! Anyway, I am very pleased with it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy heart day

I think it's all about good friends (maybe because I'm single?)...thoughtful, sweet friends that send you text messages like this. Yeah, Annie, I'm talking about you!

hope

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm off to spend it with the ones I love....oh wait, that's not entirely true. I got called in to close on my day off. But I do love my job and guests, most of the time. Today they'll either be happily in love or completely bitter. I can't wait to find out, chat and make them a caffeinated beverage! As for me, I'm hopeful love is still out there somewhere.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

tattoo sketch

I sketched this out on Sunday evening. I'm meeting with the tattoo artist in a little over three hours to discuss the particulars. I may thin out the roots a bit so that "hope" is more visible. I think I decided to have it done on my hip, and eventually have some vines and other whimsical things connecting it to my swallow on my ribs. I want a whole side piece eventually...just building it little by little. :)

Anyway, I'll have some fresh ink come Friday afternoon/evening. I'm so excited!

tattoo sketch

Sunday, February 6, 2011

128:365 hold on hope

Bought this lovely "Hope" magnet at ArtFest Fort Myers. "Hope" has become my motto lately during this hellish beginning of 2011. Latest...my favorite cat, Mischa died this week and my niece had emergency surgery to remove her appendix. So yeah, I'm holding on to hope...things will get better. They always do. God is faithful, even when I'm not. :)

128:365 hold on hope

Friday, February 4, 2011

Down By The Water

I'm participating in a 52 Weeks of Blythe Photo Challenge to encourage me to take more pictures of my Blythes (other than Hazel...I'm doing a 365 with her). We're in week five. All of my pictures correlate with a song I'm currently digging. This week was Down By The Water by The Decemberists. I really like their new album. And I think I really just dig harmonicas.

5:52 Down By The Water

help please?

I'm learning to trust God again. I had walked away from Him, but I know that I'm struggling more because I'm not allowing Him in my life. I want to change that. I am a stubborn person and I don't like getting help from others. I think I can do everything by myself, but then I get overwhelmed. I shut down and don't accomplish a single thing. I need God's help.

On a whim tonight, I looked up Hope in Wikipedia. There was a reference to Hebrews 6:19. So I busted out my bible (for the first time in a long time) to see what it had to say.

Just in case you don't have a bible handy, here's what Hebrew 6:16-19 says:

Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

So, I'm going to continue to Hold on Hope and trust in God.

seek peace. respect others. have hope.

three important things to remember.

seek peace. respect others. have hope.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

disconnected

An old friend from college called tonight. She was her usual chipper self and asked how I was doing. I told her okay. She replied, "Okay?" I then replied, "Well my grandfather did pass away a week ago." Her response, "I'm sorry. I didn't know."
Of course not, because we've become disconnected. Partly my fault, partly her's. She's busy planning her upcoming nuptials and I've been busy moping and complaining about how terrible my life is. I don't blame her for not calling as much as she used to. But honestly, it makes me sick to hear how fabulous her life has been the past couple of years, so I haven't called either. I rarely talk to any of my old friends anymore. I hate that. But I hate hearing about how well things are going for them, because it makes me feel worthless. I think what I hate more though, is how miserable I truly am. Sure, I can hide it from day to day, but it's there and I am rotting on the inside. I hate that I hate my life.

Friday, January 28, 2011

this time around

I've tried the blogging thing a time or two (or three or four) before and always pitter out. I give up. I expect too much from myself and the blog. I try to have it be "themed", post so many times a week/month, gather followers, etc. When I don't meet the goals and expectations I've set for myself, I get upset and quit.
So this time around, I'm not going to set goals and expectations (okay, I'm going to TRY not to), but rather hold onto hope and faith. I want this to be a growing/learning experience for myself- a place where I can come and write and not worry about anything else.
I'll leave you with a video from Mumford and Sons. It's for their song "The Cave". It's where I drew inspiration for my blog title. Take what you may from the song...but I feel like it's about a man struggling with life and purpose and choosing to seek the truth and rely on God-thus finding freedom. It gives me strength.