Five on Friday

Good morning!

I made it through conferences and have today off as a comp day. Halle-freaking-lujah! It’s officially spring break!!!!

one. My mom’s big birthday was this past Tuesday. I won’t say which birthday, but it was a big one, which means there will be lots of celebrating! 😉 Travis and I are going home for the weekend, which I am so pumped for. I’m planning on staying a few days of next week too. We are overdue for some family time/being in the country time.

two. Along with two other coworkers, I helped throw a baby shower for my coworker, Erin on Wednesday after school. It felt like a crazy week after having conferences Monday and Tuesday nights, but I made sure to do my baking last Sunday so that I wouldn’t be too stressed during the week. 🙂 I made my new favorite flavored popcorn again, pumpkin spice flavored, which I’ll have up next week on the blog!

Erin is having a baby girl so we enjoyed decorating all things pink and making some sweet treats to share as we showered Erin with advice (not me though- because I kill my houseplants so I’m not the best to ask 😉 ) and gifts.

I’m so excited for Erin, and I’m really going to miss her next year, as she and her husband are being relocated to Alaska. She has become my teaching “bestie” and she’s my favorite person to plan with, complain with, and just talk with when we’re avoiding working. 😉

three. On my first Lobster Loves post, I mentioned wanting to try this teeth whitener. Well, I bought it last week and have been using it every night in the evening before I brush with regular toothpaste.

It’s definitely a strange feeling to see the black charcoal all over your mouth, making your teeth look dingy, but I’m hopeful it will work! I love that it’s not inconvenient to use (just brush with it before normal toothpaste) and you don’t have to sit around with whitening strips on for awhile. Maybe it’s me being a little too optimistic but I feel like it’s already made a slight difference on my teeth just in a few days.

four. I have to share another Pinterest recipe win because I’ve tried enough bad ones, and you just never know until you try sometimes. This Basic Bulgogi recipe was divine! You cut the pork loin into very thin strips and let it marinate for awhile. The end result is tender, slightly charred bites with a teriyaki flavor.

five. One of my boy students asked me on Wednesday if we would have poetry homework over Spring Break and complained when I said we didn’t. I told him to write me a poem over the break, and that genuinely made him excited. I’m loving that this group of kiddos have become little poetry fanatics. It’s the small things that make my teacher heart very happy! 🙂

Travis started clearing out our front landscape beds this week, which means next week might be landscaping time! Our house has been in dire need for some curb appeal. I’m loving this weather and the longer (brighter) evenings! Have a great weekend!

Question of the Day: What are you most looking forward to this weekend?


Weekend Recap

Hi there and happy Monday!

This is the week before Spring Break, but it’s also Parent/Teacher Conference week, which means it’s going to feel three times longer than it actually is and it’s going to have me utterly exhausted by the end of it...I just know it.

I have conferences on both Monday and Tuesday night from 4-8 p.m. so I might be a little quiet on here this week as I feel like I basically live at the school during conferences.

This weekend was fun, though it started out in a bad, bad way. On Friday morning, I had a PLC/Work day at school, and after having a head cold all week, I let myself sleep in that morning, which meant I was scrambling to get ready and out the door. In my hectic rush (and my Nyquil hangover), I wasn’t paying much attention when I did something basic like, I don’t know, try to back out of the garage, and I nicked the top of our garage door. I nicked it enough that it wouldn’t go fully up or down and was at a stalemate.

By this point I was beyond embarrassed (because seriously, who does that?!) and I had to call Travis to come help me, which lead to him driving me to school. I worried all morning that we would have to buy a whole new garage door, but luckily, we called over our friends, Coleman, Zach, and Emily, that night (after bribing them with beer and pizza!) and the guys helped Travis bend a couple things back. In less than an hour, it was as good as new. Wheh! They stayed and watched the game with us that night too.

On Saturday, I got up early to be productive and tackle some more essays. I got about 15 more done before lunch time and then did some laundry and cleaning to prep for that night.

Travis’ good friend from home, Paul, came up to celebrate in our “mini” Fake Patty’s party, and later, Coleman, Zach, and Emily came over to partake too. I convinced Emily to make a Target trip with me, which in Travis’ words, was “the worst person I could have picked to go with me” because we both have a shopping obsession with Target and all things home decor. 😉 Emily and I restrained ourselves for the most part surprisingly- ha!

We came home to find the guys playing beer darts outside. It was getting chilly so we got blankets to snuggle up with as we watched their game and talked.

Later, we grilled dinner and moved inside to play another intense game of spoons. There was only one time this game where we thought our sliding glass door was going to be broken, so that’s an improvement from last time. 🙂

On Sunday, we let ourselves sleep in and had a lazy morning. Paul and Travis talked a while and I started doing some more essays (only about 50 more to go!).

We did some small house projects that afternoon and I did a little baking for the baby shower I’m throwing this week. Between making cookies, flavored popcorn, and some oatmeal for breakfasts this week, it felt like I was in the kitchen all afternoon. I snuck in a workout and then it was already time to make dinner. 😉

All in all, the weekend started on a terrible spot with my “mishap” but ended up being a great one with friends!

I’m just trying to get to Friday, when our Spring Break officially starts!

Have a good one!

Question of the Day: What was the highlight of your weekend?


Friday Favorites

Hi there! Long time, no talk! It’s been a whirlwind of a week around here, as parent-teacher conferences are next week. I am struggling to stay afloat under 80 essays that still need grading, among making lesson plans and grading poems that students have written this week (Who was the idiot that assigned three written poems to 85 students this week? Ya…didn’t think that one through!). Add to that the fact that I’ve had a minor cold for most of the week, unable to breath and feeling like my nose could fall off because it’s so tender, and I’m beat.

We have a PLC work day at school today, which will give me a few hours to attempt getting caught up. These days always seem so promising to get work done, but every single one usually ends up with a coworker or two in my room talking about something for most of the time. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I love the socialization because I really do have the best coworkers, but the work time flies by too quickly already!

As if this post isn’t random enough already, here’s a few more random thoughts to finish out this week.

one. I made this Thai Peanut Chicken and Sweet Potato Noodles dish from Iowa Girl Eats, and my taste buds were singing praise to the high heavens. I could eat peanut chicken everyday and not get sick of it (In fact, I had leftovers of this for lunch three days this week, and still wanted more!). The sweet potato noodles were the perfect savory base too!

two. Without going into specifics, I got some good news this week about a switch that I’m making for the next school year. I’m not moving schools or anything like that, just possibly switching to teaching a different class at my school. I’m learning that change is scary but so exciting too! More news on that later…

three. This weekend is already Fake Patty’s Day! While we have no plans to fight the crowds in Aggieville, we are planning on having a lowkey get together at our house in the evening. The weather is set to be rainy and crappy, like it was last year, but we won’t let that stop us. 😉

four. I saw the below picture this week on Facebook and thought it was pretty interesting. One thing I learned early on in teaching is that there’s never enough time to get everything done and that it’s okay to go home, even when you still have work to do and papers to grade. You’d go crazy otherwise!

five. I had multiple students accidentally call me “mom” in class this week. 😉 I strive to create a warm and welcoming environment in my classroom, so it kind of melts my heart when they feel that comfortable with me. (What does not melt my heart is receiving the kind of sass that they give their real moms too- ha!). We have been working on poetry this week, and while almost every student I have claimed to hate poetry in the beginning, I’ve had a surprising amount say, “This is actually fun!” while writing a poem. It’s even been some of my tough boy students.

I always stop class, and say, “(Student), what did you say?!)

Student: “I said this is actually fun.”

Me: “Ok…one more time…a little louder.”

That gets them smiling even more. Getting middle school students (most of them being boys) to smile while writing poetry feels like a miracle in itself!

Have a great weekend!

Question of the Day: What was a “win” you had this week?


Weekend Recap

Hi there!

I’m still catching up on sleep and routine from the weekend. It was a good one (so good that this recap is going to be ultra short!)!

On Friday, our school had our annual “Fine Arts Fair” in the afternoon, bringing in lots of local artists and talents to showcase for our kids. It’s always the best day of the school year and so much fun, but it’s also exhausting! I got home from school and laid down for almost two hours, trying to rally for the night ahead (A nap and several chocolate covered espresso beans did the trick and perked me up!).


That night, our friend Emily had rented a party bus for her birthday, and it arrived in city park at 9 p.m. to pick our group up.

We had a blast riding around, talking, and drinking for two hours. I’m thinking getting a party bus for each friend’s birthday needs to be a new tradition. 😉


We stopped several times for bathroom breaks, and we all had to laugh when one of the stops was Dillon’s. It felt kind of strange going into a grocery store in our dressy clothes after drinking a bit- ha.

Around 11 p.m., the bus dropped us off in Aggieville to keep the celebration going.

IMG_4916.JPGWe pretty much stayed at Yard Bar (#RustysForever), but we did stop at The Lou for like five minutes (long enough for Travis to get a pickled egg- gag!). By that time, it was around 1:30 p.m. so some people branched off and went home and some got in line for the Varsity Food Truck.

We had a little too much fun throughout the night, and all of Saturday was rough. There’s not much to say there. I got caught up on some shows and lots of sleep. 🙂

We laid low all of Saturday, just venturing out to get groceries.

On Sunday, after the typical church/errands thing in the morning, we did some cleaning and I finally decided to do the inevitable and start grading essays (only 80-some left to do. Cue the tears). We made a few stops in town that afternoon, and just enjoyed another easy day.

And, now we’re back to reality already. Why are the weekends so short?!

Question of the Day: Did you get outside and enjoy the nice weather this weekend?



Five on Friday

Happy Friday! What an accomplishment it feels like to complete a full week of work. 🙂 The warmer days this week were a perfect teaser of spring, and I’m officially beyond ready for the spring weather to stay!

Here are some tidbits from the week! Let’s go! (It’s a little short this week because it’s been a crazy one!)

one. Tonight, our friend Emily has a party bus rented for her birthday. We will ride on it for two hours, and then it will drop our group off in Aggieville to keep the party going. After a long week, this sounds like the best stress reliever. I think there are about fifteen of us going on the bus, but that number might have changed! Bring it on!

two. We had a couple recipes from Pinterest this week for dinner that were both so yummy. This one combined two of my favorite things: buffalo chicken and sweet potatoes. So good! I’m a fan of a sheet pan meal for a quick option during the week, and this one did not disappoint either! Skinnytaste never fails!

three. In my classes this week, we began our short poetry unit, and yesterday, they read the poem “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss. I’m apparently a bad English teacher and didn’t even realize it was Dr. Seuss week this week. All my students thought that was why I picked the poem we read, but really I didn’t know at all. (Maybe this actually makes me the BEST English teacher since it aligned so perfectly- ha!). 

They were able to connect the themes of the poems to larger world and historical issues, which made my teacher heart so happy. 😉 Wins like this haven’t seemed to happen much this year (at least that’s how it feels!) so I’ll take them when they come!

four. Can we get three cheers for warmer weather? Whoop, whoop, whoop! There’s nothing like having three snow days last week, and temperatures in the seventies this week (#Kansas). Travis and I tried to get outside to walk in the evenings as much as we could. There’s something about the crisp air that just rejuvenates me! I would get home from our walks and hop on the treadmill to run an extra mile or so too because I felt ready to take on the world (maybe a bit of an exaggeration- more like avoiding the 90 essays I need to grade 😉 ). I’ll take the extra energy and motivation when it comes too!

five. Sorry- no fifth one today. It’s already late (Thursday night), and Travis has the tv pulled up to a new episode of Shameless. Off to veg for the next hour before bed!

I told you that was a short one! Enjoy your weekend!

Question of the Day: What are your plans for the weekend?

Daily Life

Currently (February 2018)

Good morning!

I have to say that I’m pretty excited to see February come and go. To me, it means that we’re almost to spring break, which means that we’re almost to the end of the school year. This year, more than ever, I am ready for that to be here.

Since this month is a dreary one, we haven’t been doing too much. Nevertheless, here’s a little life recap for February.

Watching: Travis and I are still on the Shameless kick. We usually watch one episode each night right before we go to bed. These later seasons aren’t as good as the earlier ones, but they’re still pretty entertaining and still pretty darn crude too.

I’ve given up on The Bachelor. Yep. A few weeks ago, I was watching one of the episodes thinking, “Hurry up, this isn’t even good” so I decided it wasn’t worth my time this year. I can’t quite get into it, and Arie honestly drives me nuts. I’m still curious to see who wins, but not so much that I’m going to be watching. I’ll just read the articles on 🙂

Listening To: My music choices have been pretty much the same as usual. In my classroom, my students for Foundations class just gave speeches about the Japanese American Internment Camps. We have been talking a lot about good public speaking skills, and students practiced a ton to be ready. Needless to say, I think that had some of their speeches memorized after hearing them so often. 🙂

Shopping For: Last week, after my three snows days, Travis came home each day and asked me, “Okay, what did you buy today?” (He doesn’t have much faith in me, huh?)

I actually didn’t do any shopping until the snow day on Friday, and even then, I reined it in. I picked up some decorations for a coworker’s baby shower that I’m hosting and a few random things at Tuesday Morning. I’ve been looking for some cute curtains for my office, and I found some that fit the bill, but I just can’t decide if they’re “the ones” as they’re a little short and not as full as I would like.

Wearing: I’m still throwing on my fun, new leggings to relax in at home. With all of those snow days last week, my permanent outfit was patterned leggings and a workout shirt. If I could wear athleisure clothes all the time, I would do it, no questions asked. I have to remind myself to buy normal clothes when I go shopping because athletic wear is what I always gravitate towards. (I guess I could become a P.E. teacher and kill two birds with one stone, no?! 🙂 )

Loving: I’ve been sticking to my New Year’s Resolution to exercise more, and I’m loving how I’m feeling! I like to do a couple miles on the treadmill (a mix of walking and running) and then I try to throw in some kettlebell work and a little bit of a workout video in there too (things like yoga, pilates, dancing, etc.). I don’t get in a workout everyday because let’s be honest, some days, I am flatout too exhausted, but I always feel so good after I do exercise for awhile.

I truly love the feeling of running when I am in shape, and it’s exciting to feel like it’s already getting easier. Plus, Travis has upped his working out as well so if he says he’s going to run on the treadmill, and I haven’t done my workout yet, I feel like I have to. My motivation is a little competitive with him, I guess. 😉

Looking Forward To: This weekend, our friend Emily is celebrating her birthday a little early by getting a party bus for a bunch of friends to ride around on. We’re excited for some good ole party bus cruising (who doesn’t love a party bus?!) and to get together with some of her other friends who we met this past summer on our big float trip!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you are loving lately?


February Books

Hello there!

After not reading many books over the last couple of months, I sure made up for it this month!

Sit back, relax, and prepare to find your next read! It’s a mix of romance and suspense this month!

1. The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner


Johnny and Sarah have a picture perfect life in their small town in Washington. Johnny, a doctor, is away for work one day and chaos ensues for Sarah at their house. The couple tries to pick up the pieces of their life and learns some secrets along the way that make Sarah question everyone she knew: her neighbors and especially her husband. The book questions, “Can we ever really know the ones we love?”

This books started out strong and really intrigued me, but it fell flat pretty fast. It was strange and interesting, but it didn’t quite do it for me.

Rating: 2/5

2. My Story by Elizabeth Smart

my story

I remembered hearing about Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping when I was younger, and I was so excited to finally read this story because her whole kidnapping was so surreal. The book didn’t leave any details out, and I felt like it really captured Elizabeth’s “voice” as she filled in the details that the news left out. It highlights moments from her life from before the kidnapping to later, years after, when the kidnappers were sentenced. I’m amazed at the strength, perseverance, and grace that Elizabeth kept throughout her whole experience. What a great read!

Rating: 4/5

3. The Widow by Fiona Barton


Recent widow, Jean, has kept quiet about the crime her husband was accused of committing. Now that he has passed away, Jean is ready to break her silence. Everyone wants to hear her story, and Jean is all too excited to finally be heard.

This thriller was so mysterious in the beginning that I really expected more once I got into the story. It was an alright read but nothing extraordinary.

Rating: 2/5

4. If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

only knew

This book shadows Jenny, a woman recently divorced who designs wedding dresses for ritzy clients, and her sister Rachel who seems to have the picture perfect marriage and kids. Jenny decides to trade in the big-city life to move back to her hometown and be closer to family. Throughout the book, Jenny tries to find romance and Rachel discovers some hard truths about her husband and her parents’ supposed “perfect” marriage.

This one was “the book” of the month for me! Kristan Higgins knocked it out of the park on this one! It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book with such likeable and relatable characters (not that I’m divorced or going through marriage problems- the characters just seemed so down-to-earth and real!). While the plot wasn’t anything extraordinary, the characters are what made this book. I felt like I knew Jenny and Rachel and was rooting for them!

Rating: 5/5

5. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris


One night, on a stormy drive home, Cass decides to take a shortcut through the woods to get home and sees a woman in car broke down on the side of the road. She tried to stop for her, but the woman doesn’t seem to need help. Later, Cass learns that the very woman in the car that night was actually killed and found the next morning. Cass makes herself sick wondering if she could have helped or if she herself would have been hurt too. Since that night, now Cass is forgetting every little detail in her life. The only thing she can focus on is that woman and the frequent silent calls that she keeps getting. Is Cass still in danger or is it all in her head?

I had read “Behind Closed Doors” last year by this same author, and loved it. It was suspenseful, strange, and totally caught me off guard with a plot-twist at the end. This book also had a big plot twist at the end that blew my mind, but the rest of the novel was just okay. It was suspenseful (that’s for sure) and worth the read, but it wasn’t my favorite.

Rating: 3/5

6. The Girl Before by J.P Delaney


Apparently I was really feeling the strange and suspenseful books this month because this one was odd. It goes between narration of two girls, Emma and Jane, who both move into an architectural masterpiece of a home called One Folgate Street, designed in minimalist style. Emma is “the girl before” and Jane is the girl who moves in after Emma’s untimely death. The strange thing is that the house comes with an extremely long list of “stipulations” the tenants must follow. The architect who designed the house has complete control. Emma story ended in tragedy, and Jane, who eerily looks similar to Emma, begins to follow the same patterns and experiences the same terror Emma faced as well.

Once you get past the strangeness, this one really is good. I was completely surprised by the ending!

Rating: 3/5

7. Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins


Millie Barnes is finally coming into her own. She is a new doctor, just decorated her cute new house, and is getting healthy and losing weight. The only thing left to do is snagging the man she has oodled over for around fifteen years, Joe Carpenter. He is perfection, and she just knows that they have a future together, even if he’s never noticed her before. There’s just one little problem. She didn’t expect local policeman, Sam Nickerson, to be so distracting. 😉

After being so impressed with “If You Only Knew,” by Kristan Higgins, I was eager to read another book by her. This book read like a cheesy Hallmark movie, which sometimes is just what I need: no thinking, just an over-the-top love story. 🙂 There were a couple moments where I thought, “Oh my gosh, that’s too much,” (just like in a true Hallmark movie, right?!), but it was a fun, fast read.

Rating: 3/5

*All photos from

Question of the Day: Which book looks the most intriguing to you?