May 19, 2017

Love. Like. Hate.

Love. It is Friday.

Yeah, I'm still watching New Girl. 

Like. This shampoo and conditioner. It has the best smell. In fact, I bought new bottles almost as soon as I realized I liked it, just in case I had trouble finding it again. I'm set til August at least.

I think it was $4 a bottle. 

Hate. We got a hail storm yesterday. I spent some time trying to save the plants. Fingers crossed. Our field trip is canceled today because it's cold and rainy. I would really not like a replay of 2015 (also, see here). Also, I tried Siggi's yogurt this week. Gag. Might as well buy plain Fage or Oikos and put your own fruit into it. That's a hate for sure. I couldn't eat it straight out of the container. I'm sure it'd be fine mixed up with fruit and craisins and some granola.

Fridayyyyy. Whew.

May 18, 2017

S&T 5/18

Somehow it's only Thursday (morning). It's been a tumultuous week.

This came up as the verse-of-the-day on Monday and I had to laugh:

And I did actually laugh out loud.

Like if I made a list of silver linings and happy things, it'd exist but it'd be short-ish. So I'm also not going to complain today. I'll just leave it because pity makes me feel bad too.

I'll just wish you an easy end to the week and you can do the same for me.

May 15, 2017

This weekend I....

...slept til 8 both days. Usually I'm up by 6:30 so this is rare.

...spent some time helping Scott ready the garden before he leaves.

....ate a veggie burger for the first time. They're just the MorningStar frozen ones but OMG were they good.

....watched The Secret Life of Pets with Jett. My favorite thing about Jett, aside from the fact that he is loyal to a fault, is that he watches TV. He was enamored by this movie. Scout got up and left the room as soon as I sat down though because he has a low tolerance for closeness.

....saw this friend blooming again. The climate here is very odd and there are plants that do pop up every year, no matter what. 

...watched the dogs dig a hole from where I was on top of the roof. They legitimately thought they were doing that unseen and froze when I yelled their names.

...the shed roof is just as high as the house roof. 

I did pull in a few Starbucks cards and some flowers for Teacher Appreciation Week. I attempted to start a new book. My Pilates calendar for May is looking sparse. And I haven't been drinking nearly enough water. 

And I did NO schoolwork because grades are in and work is done and all I have to do is show up for the next 8 days. Cheers to that.

Linking up with Biana. 

May 12, 2017

Love, Like, Hate

Love. There are like 8 days left of school. I'm cleaning things up, packing things away, and purging what's no longer needed. The end of the year is so refreshing and uncluttered.

Love. Creating a rough to-do list for the things I *get* to do this summer. Just having the time to breathe and accomplish is nice, right?

Like. I *liked* this book, Into the Water. Didn't love it because I thought there were way too many points of view, but it was a well-constructed plot and different than I thought it would be.

Like. I got a new laptop at work. My hard drive on the old one up and died. My laptop just wouldn't work on Monday. Tech came right away and were like "sorry".  I didn't have a lot on it because I trust Google Docs and my at-home laptop with my important things but it's really hard to teach "interactively" without a laptop. That was the major inconvenience. I had a new one the next day and I'll start over fresh, I suppose. Sometimes you need things to just go away in order to make a fresh start. I would highly suggest backing things up though because I definitely did not.

Hate. Fidget spinners. May they die a slow death. THEY ARE LOUD. Kids spin them on desks and take out the ball-bearings and drop them on the floor and trade them back and forth. They are a bad idea. Period. They cause more harm than good. They are not a way to help kids concentrate; they're just a way to further distract from learning.

Hate. Scott is leaving again for a type of deployment. Hopefully it's not for long but it's quite possibly the most inconvenient thing/time ever and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. As in, I wake up every day and lament my luck. This is really the reason for my malaise-like behavior and general disgruntledness lately.

But. It's Friday, so there's that. 

I've been watching New Girl reruns lately just because those first few seasons make me happy. 

May 11, 2017

Pinned.Did.Done (S&T 5/11)

Garlic Parmesan Halibut.  This was the first way we ever had halibut in Alaska. It's not healthy but it's tasty. I made it a few weeks ago when Scott came home with halibut from Costco.

Baked Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal.  This was good. Out of all the baked oatmeals I've made, I'd go with this.

One-Pan Sausage and Veggies. LOVED this. I'll probably make it often from here on out. Scott despises chicken sausage but I find it solves my problem of "need more protein" in a very practical way. Regular chicken gets old pretty quickly.

Vegetarian Chow Mein. I don't even remember if I tried this. I made it. Scott loved it. Something about it didn't appeal to me though once it was done.

Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos. I just did the shrimp part, and didn't make them into tacos. It was fine. I'm always looking for new ways to cook shrimp but, like any red-blooded American, I prefer my shrimp deep-fried and breaded.

Baked Pesto Chicken. Easy and quick. And i usually have these ingredients on hand.

Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad. Tasty enough to repeat. I made it a month ago and I made it this week. VERY good.

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean and Shrimp and Rice. This was good. I ate around the shrimp because I really think I have an aversion to seafood sometimes but the rice was tasty.

One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake. THIS WAS SO GOOD. I don't know why anyone would ever make a "regular" chocolate cake after they try this one. It stayed moist in the fridge for days. I didn't make the icing vegan because seriously now...but I would do a peanut butter icing next time. This will be my go to whenever I need a chocolate cake from here on out.

Coffee Cake Doughnuts. These were really good. After days on end of The Great British Baking Show* I wanted to make doughnuts. I dug out that doughnut pan I just had to have five years ago...I've used it three times now in five years...and went to work. We ate them all in one day.

Alright. That's what I've Pinned and Done in the last month or so.

What's your favorite Pinterest recipe lately???

*The Great British Bake-Off is the name of the show as it airs in the U.K. In America, it's called The Great British Baking Show because Pillsbury (makers of all things processed) has trademarked the term "bake-off", and therefore it cannot be used on a t.v. show (be it on PBS or Netflix) that Pillsbury does not own. Gag, right?

May 9, 2017

April Books 2017 (the slim month)

Things I learned about myself in April:
1. I do not read when I'm feeling stress.
2. I would rather start a new book than plow through one I like but don't love. I liked all of these, but I kept starting new ones because it was more fun than continuing on with what I was already reading.

I don't know that I've had a month like this in forever. I just kind of stopped reading. Or caring? I don't know? It's a long story. So there's not any ratings here. Maybe a book shouldn't be reduced to a letter grade or a star count? Here's what I thought about the books I tried...what I attempted and what worked and what didn't:

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith As I said on Instagram, this reminded me of what Pride and Prejudice would've been if I'd liked Pride and Prejudice. I liked a lot of it, but it did start to drag toward the middle. Also, I know it's taking place right before WWII happened, but it seemed to take place in the 19th century because they were living in a very old-fashioned way.
Also, Topaz? Really? I couldn't take that seriously as a character's name, so I had trouble believing she was as strong and resourceful as she was written to be.

The Winds of War by Herman Wouck DNF This was my 45 hour audiobook. It was fine. I like the WWII aspect (if you proclaim to "love" know, that forgotten "genre" everyone seemed to discover after The Nightingale?...try it).
I didn't not like it. But my attention span is at about .0005% right now so back it went. Oh well.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders DNF I normally love weird, alternate histories. This was promising in the first chapter and then it just got too weird. It reminded me of The Graveyard Book. It was short (7 hours) but I couldn't do it. This felt like a major fail.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan This was my favorite of the books I attempted to get through in April. It was the easiest to read and most enjoyable. I was able to just sit and read because I was really interested in what would happen next. I had trouble putting it down. I liked the first half better than the second half, but I liked it. Macmillan's other book, What She Knew, was one I read in January, and I think I liked The Perfect Girl better.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison I went back and forth between the audio and the Kindle, as it was the whispersync version. The audio was fine, though Aubrey was not an endearing character to me at all. The writing in the ebook wasn't good, so that didn't impress me. It really started to drag around the 60% mark.
The story was fine. It reminded me of Everything We Keep but I liked Everything We Keep better.

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker This was a Daily Deal and I'll try most things if they cost $2. I wasn't familiar with her writing but it was like reading a blog so it was easy to breeze through. I picked up some tidbits that were helpful to me in this season as well:

I liked it and it was an easy read that had humor, truth, and a bit of conviction all in the same place.


Well. That was a sad month. I don't anticipate May being better because I seem to have lost my taste for audiobooks. Which is just weird so I'm not sure what to make of it. I've been listening nonstop for the last three years. I'll say, shamefully, that I've been listening to backlog of Reality Steve podcasts because it is mildly stimulating nothingness and that's what I prefer to get through the day. Just to give you the parameters of where I'm at mentally.

What have you read and loved lately? Or, better yet, read and hated?

Linking up with Jana and Steph!

May 8, 2017


I don't even remember Friday. Is that bad? 
I know Scott got home late. I know I didn't sleep well. 
Saturday morning, I had an appointment and then Scott had to go to work. I sat at his office for a bit. Went to the grocery store. Tried to take a nap. Worked outside for a bit.

Sunday was more of the same. I got the urge to wash the curtains, so that's what I did. The guestroom feels much more ready for guests now. I also cleaned the bathrooms because avoiding schoolwork means I'll get a lot of other things done. 
Some friends brought dinner over, which was nice, and we ended the night by watching The Leftovers but I can barely abide by the weirdness of that show. Has anyone read the book? Also, I hate Nora and that hair is the worst I've ever seen. 

Watching weather. 

Started listening and this was what I did to pass the time during my cleaning spree...

Bought strawberries for the first time this season and they did not disappoint. This is the best part about summer. 

And motivation of sorts...

"Happy" Monday. I have tomorrow off so today is more than doable... :)

Linking up with Biana

May 5, 2017

Disgruntled gifs.

1. Scott has been working until 9-10pm every night. It's not going to get better any time soon.

I'm semi-hating everything these days but I don't have as much of a reason to as Scott does.

He's been watching t.v. and falling asleep on the couch and he said that Scout woke him up the other night, very angrily, because he didn't have any water in his dish. Scout has been known to do this. I swear I fill that jug up every day.

2. The dogs bounce and pounce out of bed to greet Scott when he comes home, but then come back to the bed to sleep with me immediately because there's no way they'll downgrade themselves from a king-sized bed to a couch. They also don't like to be awoken in the middle of a sleep.

3. This article on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement only works if there are consequences. You need to know what TO do in order to be reinforced. That parent's "question" makes me want to throw up.

4. And then this one...comparing teachers to doctors...if a student performs poorly it's the teacher's fault. Just like if a patient dies, it's the doctor's fault, right?

5. And, in more disgruntled teacher news, my former college professor is a Dean of Education now and he runs a podcast called Busted Pencils. He gives the honest answers and truths about education. He did that at Penn State and it's truly part of the reason why I believe things I do about education. I STILL use the model for teaching Social Studies that he taught us. That doctorate in Social Studies Education that he has is pretty much my dream degree.

Anyway. It's Friday. Good thoughts appreciated as we trek through the next few weeks of constant work and such. 

May 4, 2017

Stuff and Things...What's new? Everything.

Stuff, Things, etc.

There's a lot new around here but it's overwhelming to talk about so we'll get to that later. Maybe. At some point. I despise vague-blogging but it is what it is. The army life will never leave you complacent anyway. 
I do swear that one day I'll start posting actual information again about my life.

Watching a winter storm roll in.

Said storm.

A side-eyeing dog. Not new.

Snow pants because of the wind chill on April 30th.

At least it melts quickly. 

It was chilly enough to wear a jacket, pants, and boots yesterday so that's new. And I highlighted my hair for the first time since January. I've got the process down to an hour and ten minutes now. It used to be an all-night project (way back in 2011).

The dogs photobombed me so that's nothing new either.

Linking up...

What's New With You

May 2, 2017

Grown-up Green Beans

I first made these green beans in November. Since it was just the two of us for Thanksgiving, I did not want to make a whole green bean casserole that would likely go to waste (of course, we took food to the barracks on that day so it would've worked out okay in the end). 
I don't remember how I came up with it exactly...but I remember them being delicious enough that now I make them about once a week. This is a 3 INGREDIENT RECIPE (5 if you count salt and olive oil) and it packs a lot of flavor. I tend to make a meal out of this and then just leave some for Scott for when he gets home from work. 
The pictures were taken at dusk with an iPhone. Forgive that, please. 

Over medium heat, put 3-4 cloves of garlic in a saute pan with some olive oil. Make sure the garlic is thinly sliced, not minced or chopped. This is what will make it sweet. 

Cook until the garlic is slightly browned and toasted. 

Add in 1/2 cup-ish (maybe more) of sliced almonds (slivered works too).

Continue cooking until the almonds are toasted. Stir often and don't let the garlic burn. Put the mixture onto a plate so the garlic doesn't burn while you crisp up the green beans. 

I buy the bags of fresh green beans that you steam in the microwave for 3 minutes. I add a bit more olive oil to the pan and then saute them...

...over pretty high heat because I want them to get crispy.

Once they're slightly toasted and have some color, add the garlic and almonds back in. 

And that's it.

Sprinkle with salt...I use kosher salt but you can use whatever seasoning you like. 

I've also added mushrooms to these, along with French fried onions. Shallots would be good too. Halved cherry tomatoes usually go in if I have them on hand. You can dress them up anyway you'd like!