Friday Favorites

Now, I can say hello from Gatlinburg! Our girl’s trip is officially underway! We will check into our little cabin today and get settled!

Here are some highlights from this week!

one. Travis and I have been eating dinner late this week (around 8:30 p.m.) so that he can get as much work done with painting our house as possible. I had a crockpot meal going on Monday so I sat outside to join him, talk, and go through some pictures.


My laptop, which I got my senior year of high school, is starting to get slower and it huffs and puffs like an old man when I have too many tabs open. All of my pictures are on this laptop, and I was starting to get worried that it would crash and leave me pictureless.

Instead of buying an external hard drive, like I was planning, we decided that I would just upload everything to Google Drive for now to keep it more secure.

Man, I love Google. (Our school got new MacBooks for teachers and students and is a Google school now, which makes it so convenient too!).

two. On Tuesday night, some of our softball team met up at Taco Lucha (another favorite of mine!) for their Tuesday night special of peanut butter tacos.

You know my love for peanut butter, so I was intrigued! They were salty and spicy with just the right amount of peanut taste!

MHK, I love you! Living here is the absolute best!

three. On Wednesday, I met up with a couple of my coworkers on the Language Arts team to talk about some things for next year. I usually try to avoid all things school for as long as I can in the summer, but since students will each have their own laptop next year, we needed to discuss how we are going to utilize the technology into our current lessons.

I love that we are getting more technology (because our school seriously needed it), but I hope we don’t become too reliant on it. My challenge for this next school year is going to be finding that balance.

four. You gotta love when you have friends who remind you that it’s National Lobster Day (last Thursday, June 15). They always have my back. 😉


five. Since I am going to be gone for this girl’s trip, I made extra trips to the grocery store to get easy meals for Travis, left him like five notes (most of which reminded him to WATER MY PLANTS!) and made lists of possible snacks/meals that he can make. I think I’m more stressed about his meals than he is. 😉

He’s a good cook, but I love cooking so much that he hasn’t had do it to in quite some time. He’s also hoping to get close to finished with painting our house, so he doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

If you see Travis this week, ask him how his meals are. He told me he wanted to grill brauts each night that I’m gone (I think he will be sick of them by around day three, but we will see 🙂 ).

Enjoy your weekend! I can’t believe it’s already the end of June! Summer is flying!

(Random) Question of the Day: Would you rather be able to control the weather or be able to talk to animals?

Coastal · Daily Life · Friday

Friday Favorites- Bar Harbor, Maine Edition

Happy Friday! This week has flown by!

My mom came down in the middle of the week to help me paint my upstairs guest bathroom and to do a little goofing off! We also bought mint plants and made mojitos and since then I’ve been putting mint in my water and trying to find allllll the mint recipes. It’s so refreshing!

I know I said yesterday that it was my last daily recap of Maine. And I know, this week has been Maine overkill already, so… I thought I’d make a full week out of it and do one last one today. 🙂

Also, I forgot to mention in my other posts the easiest way to say “Bar Harbor” and sound like you’re from the East coast: “Baa Ha Ba.”

We saw so many shirts that had sheep on them and said that. Too funny!

Today, I’m sharing (and linking) some of our favorite things that we did and places we ate in Bar Harbor, Maine should you ever want to go there (as it should be on everyone’s bucket list!!). 😉

*These are in no specific order. Also, I realize that our trip was fairly short and we missed out on many other great activities and restaurants. I am just basing this list on what we experienced.

If you missed my daily recaps, you can check them out here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Days 4 & 5.BaaHaaBaa

A * denotes items that are in downtown Bar Harbor.

Things to Do

Places to Eat

Hope this list helps if you have any interest in visiting Bar Harbor, Maine! 🙂

Have a super weekend!

Question of the Day: Any special Father’s Day plans this weekend?

Coastal · Friday

Friday Fun!

Yay! It’s already Friday! It’s been a fast week here since we got back from Maine on Wednesday.

Today’s post is going to be nice and short. I’m planning on posting about each day from our trip, and those will be up on the blog, starting next week! Get ready for lots of pictures of our hiking adventures and the cute town we stayed in, Bar Harbor. Think: nautical scenery (lobsters, buoys, boats) everywhere. It was my kind of place!

Now, I am going through the tedious process of sorting pictures from our trip. Between my digital camera, Travis’ phone, and my phone we had something like 790 pictures from Maine. Does that tell you how beautiful we thought it was?! We wanted to capture everything!

I’ll leave you with a preview from one of our trail hikes. Gorgeous, right? (And that’s just the beginning!)


We’re taking it easy this weekend with some more house projects. Hope you have a great day!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you are looking forward to doing this weekend?



Five on Friday

Happy Friday! This was my first full week of summer vacation and it was nice! I’m still waiting on it to get hot though. I had plans earlier this week to hike the Konza with a friend, but the dreary, rainy weather forced us to make it a coffee date instead. Hope next week is better!

Today, I’m sharing five links that have interested me this week!

one. Books with suspense and a major plot twist have been taking the world by storm. Think: Gone Girl, The Woman in Cabin 10, etc. I love a good, intense novel so when I came across this article, I was intrigued. My “must-read” list doubled after checking this out. Take a look if you need a new book to read.

two.  I always read People News because celebrity life interests me (Don’t judge that I get most of my news from; it’s fine.). A few days ago, this article caught my eye. Had you heard of this? I had not so I did a little research.

Back in 1996, a teacher had an affair with her sixth grade student (She was 34, and he was 12.) They went on to have two children together, even though she had to serve jail time for it.

I was pretty young when this happened so I didn’t remember it from the news. I am so shocked and disturbed by this though. I teach sixth graders, and they are still little kids at this point. Horrifying. Anyway, after being together for something like twenty years, the couple has finally split up. (Did he finally see the light?!)

three. I like to have sweets on hand in my freezer. Travis and I don’t go through sweets very fast, but it’s nice to be able to defrost a cookie or something when a sweet attack hits. Our dessert supply is running low now, and I’m thinking that these will be the perfect thing to make next. Chocolate and wine? I’m ready to dive in!

four. Way back in high school, my friend Lanaya and I had a summer job at an office doing data entry. One of our coworkers there introduced us to the blog, Bug Bytes. It is written by a local, Kansas City woman, and specifically her posts titled “Oh Emma, Oh Kate” (about the funny things her kids say) are to die for. If you need some laughs today, go read her blog. It’s always entertaining!

 five. I knew there was a reason I drink so much wine. 😉 Check out this article!

Have a wonderful weekends, friends!

Question of the Day: What is your go-to dessert to make?

Mine is usually just chocolate chip cookies. I have a favorite recipe that is loaded with butter, but oh, so, good! I’ll have to share it soon!



Five on Friday

Travis and I like to joke that when I am on summer mode, I have no clue what day it is.

While I’ve only had a few days of summer break so far, I can already attest for this again, as I couldn’t keep straight if it was Tuesday, or Thursday, or Friday! I love summer mode. 😉

Here are some happenings from this week.

one. Another week, another meatless dish. (No, I’m not trying to go vegetarian, but I really look forward to having a meatless meal once a week!)

This week I tried Skinnytaste’s Creamy Carrot Farrotto. It is a twist on risotto dishes, but it uses farro instead, which is an ancient grain that is a little chewy and nutty.

You make a carrot puree to mix in with the farro and a salad to garnish on top.

Oh. My. Goodness.

This dish was amazing. Even my meat-loving husband had a rave review of it!

The combination of the cheesy, creamy farrotto with the tart “bite” of the arugula salad was perfection and felt so fancy. Delicious!


The recipes from the Skinnytaste cookbooks are not usually posted online, but I did a little searching and found it posted on a blog here if you want to try it!

two. I finally decided on the art to go in my upstairs guest bedroom.

I picked option “B” and think it will add just the pop of color that the room needs.

Screen shot 2017-05-07 at 10.05.57 PM
The winner: “B!”

I ordered the print download from Etsy, but I decided to have it printed on a large canvas instead of regular paper.

I ordered a 24×36 canvas, which normally runs around $175. Yikes. I wasn’t going to pay that.

Lucky for me, Canvas People, where I ordered from, is having a huge sale for all of May! With the discount code “MOM499SHIP” I was able to get my canvas for $57 total. Not bad, when you consider the size alone!

If you’re in the market for a canvas, take advantage of this huge sale for the next couple of days!

three. Earlier this week, I finished the book “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. It is the “sequel” to her famous novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

I had been wanting to read this book for awhile, but I had been putting it off because I heard it was going to be heavy and sad, according to reviews.

I actually really enjoyed it, more than I thought I would. While it lacked a well-structured plot, it had some good quotes that stuck with me.

One that I especially could relate with was the following:

I don’t know if I can tell you honey. When you live in New York, you often have the feeling that New York’s not the world. I mean this: every time I come home, I feel like I’m coming back to the world, and when I leave Maycomb it’s like leaving the world. It’s silly. I can’t explain it, and what makes it sillier is that I’d go stark raving living in Maycomb.”

Growing up in a small, tight-knit community, this quote really resonated with me. There is no feeling like that of coming “home.” Even when you live somewhere else, it always feels like home and everything just seems to make sense there.

four. Yesterday, I posted about how Travis and I really met. It’s a story full of references to Facebook and Walmart. Intrigued?! Check is out here.

fb convo 1

five. I saw this video earlier in the week on Facebook, and it cracked me up! I would definitely be as terrified (if not more) than the victims in the video, but it makes for a good laugh. 🙂

Question of the Day: If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My birthday is this weekend, and I’m hoping there is LOTS of carrot cake in my future. 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend!


Five on Friday

Another week down, and with it, my last day of school too! I always get nostalgic at the end of a school year, and this group of kids has been fantastic. I’m excited for them to experience 7th grade, but I’m really going to miss (the majority of) them!

We have a busy weekend ahead, yard game parties with friends on both Saturday and Sunday! Let’s hope the weather cooperates!

Here’s a few favorites from this week.

one. A few months ago, my Clarisonic Mia bit the dust. I ignorantly thought that it would last forever! It only lasted about four years though. I loved the feeling that my skin had after using my Clarisonic, but I didn’t want to dish out over $100 for a new brush.

I saw some online recommendations for this Letigo Sonic Cleansing Brush and for just under $15, I figured it was worth a shot. I’ve been using it off-and-on for about three months and I’m impressed! For being a cheap brush, it does a good job of still giving my skin that smooth, soft feeling like my Clarisonic did.

Check it out if you want a cheap alternative to higher-priced brushes!

Source: Amazon

two. With the end of school also came the finale of our newspaper project for the book “A Long Way from Chicago.” My students’ creativity this year was incredible, and they put such hard work into making these newspapers. Tensions were high on Wednesday (“Newspaper Production Day”) as students rushed to lay out their papers and create fillers to fill the space, but…they made it!

Yesterday, for part of class, we shared favorite parts of our newspapers and then students “read the news” to check out different hours’ final products!



three. I have been extra tired every evening this week (There’s no tired like end of school teacher tired), and it has been a struggle motivating myself to get up and make dinner.

Last night, it was 6:45 p.m., I still hadn’t made dinner, and I found myself digging deep into our double fudge brownie ice cream.


While I considered calling that good for dinner, I finally got my act together and made Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Stir Fry Veggies, from Skinnytaste (Who else?!). Eating some healthy foods made me feel a little better about my earlier ice cream binge. 😉

This recipe was also the first time that I have cooked with bok choy. After our poor experience cooking with fennel a few weeks ago (also a first time try), I was a little hesitant, but we were pleasantly surprised! Bok choy is delicious!

four. If you missed my post this week about more Middle School Mayhem, check it out here.

I cleaned my classroom earlier this week and found some more good notes and comments from students. I will have one more round of Middle School Mayhem next week, and then I’ll pick it back up again in August.

five. I keep mentioning that my upstairs guest room is a priority once summer starts. I have new lamps and now I’m narrowing down my favorite art options to go above the bed. Just for reference, the bed frame is painted a light turquoise color.

I have really been loving “aerial beach” art pictures (Think: Gray Malin, except I can’t afford his pictures) and thought that was definitely what I wanted. However, last week I came across an abstract art design that is completely different than what I was envisioning, but I am surprisingly loving the bold pops of color (I’m usually a neutral girl!).

Now, I’m torn because I think both would look great.

Comment below with which one you think I should go with:

(I think I’m know which way I’m leaning, but I always love getting input 🙂 )


Source: Etsy


Screen shot 2017-05-07 at 10.05.57 PM.png
   Source: Etsy

So: “A” or “B”…? Help me decide!

Have a great weekend!


Five on Friday

We made it!!! Happy Friday!

Today I’m sharing five favorites from this week! Let’s get started!

one. As I mentioned earlier this week, we have my brother-in-law’s high school graduation this weekend, which of course is making me feel all sentimental.

It’s been SEVEN years since I graduated high school, and it scares me how fast time is flying! I feel like I just started college, not that I have been out in the “real world” for two years!

Just for fun, here’s a couple throwbacks to when Travis and I graduated high school. Man, we didn’t know how good we had it then- no worries, and the things that “stressed” us out were so insignificant. 🙂

Also, notice the timestamp on the photos- old school!

L gradge

L ffri gradge


two. The posters that my students made from their family interviews turned out SO cute! We had a gallery walk to view everyone’s on Monday and we laughed at some of the bizarre responses on the posters.

One of my students’ grandma remembers shooting her own sister with a bb gun when she was little, which sounds a lot like the main character, Grandma Dowdel in our book, “A Long Way from Chicago” who scares people with her gun too. We joked that she has a “real life” Grandma Dowdel in her life!

This is about a third of the students’ posters hung up in sixth grade hallway!


three. Warm weather means more salads for dinner. This one was a new recipe (shocker, I know!) from Skinnytaste: Turkey Santa Fe Taco Salad with Avocado Crema, long name for a delicious salad!


four. Target sucked me in…again.

I went to pick up some snacks for students for our last day of school activities next week. We always have a play day in the morning full of games and by mid-morning they are starving after running around so much.

Of course what was meant to be a short trip just to get the fruit snacks ended up with me spending thirty minutes in the clothing section, trying on a huge stack of clothes, and buying another lamp for our guest room.

Isn’t that how it always goes at that store?!

Target, you’re good…real good.


five. I saw this online earlier this week, and it couldn’t be more true or hilarious!

I was the last one of my friends to upgrade to a smartphone (I thought it was unnecessary to have Internet on your phone at the time #RockingTheFlipPhone #NowImAddicted) and I vividly remember doing exactly this.

I never clicked so fast as I did after accidentally hitting the Internet button.


We are headed back home tonight to start off the big graduation weekend! My brother’s girlfriend is home too and apparently she is cooking a big Greek meal for all of us! Travis and I usually just have pizza on Fridays so I am pumped!

Have a great weekend!

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