Sunday, July 15, 2012

what we've been up to...

so it has been an incredibly long time since i have posted on this here blog... it has been with good reason, i promise! we were unexpectedly busy with lots of things and the blog took to the curb! hopefully that will change this go round. let's try for a month by month re-cap...

in march i unexpectedly got a long-term sub position for a first grade teacher, hence why i was so busy. there was already a sub scheduled for when the teacher thought she would be leaving, so i only had the class for this month. the kids were so much fun to be with and i loved the school i was in. it was a great experience for me to be the only teacher and be able to do what i wanted with the students and move around our schedule during the day as i saw fit. we even went on a fun field trip and got to eat lunch in death valley! 

during this month i started a new long-term position at another school in first grade. this was an easier transition for the kids because they knew their teacher would be leaving for the month of may. i had a good experience in this classroom and enjoyed getting to meet another set of kids! this month i also went to a wedding for one of my college friends, anna beth! i loved her wedding and it was so fun to see friends. 

the month of may was very busy for us! i finished my long-term position at school #2 in the middle of the month and the rest of the month was nearly a blur. i started selling thirty one and had a kick-off party at our apartment. we had weddings back to back weekends (one of which i was in). i loved getting to celebrate with sweet friends! we also celebrated our one year anniversary with dinner and dessert downtown and then exchanged gifts at home. 

{thirty-one party}

{bethani and jimmy's wedding}


{rachel and matt's wedding}

the month of june was fun, too! some of our friends from cp group had a beautiful baby girl, we went to another wedding (third weekend in a row!), travelled to louisiana for the southern baptist convention, and went to myrtle beach for a seminary class with GLINK. 

{welcome to the world, hannah marie}

{SBC convention}

i'll just post one picture from that trip, i'll do another post (hopefully) this week about that trip and our GLINK seminary class week.

this is officially the longest post i've ever done. so many pictures! 

just a thought. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

toffee crunch cheesecake

i love making anything that includes cream cheese.... i am probably an addict. i had originally planned to make a toffee cheesecake for sean's birthday but we had some left over birthday cake from his surprise (success!) party that we decided to hold off on the cheesecake for a bit. we had a few friends over for chicken tortilla soup so i made some cheesecake for dessert. i cheated with this one and used a pre-made pie shell... worth it when you don't have a ton of time. 

toffe crunch cheesecake

2 packages of cream cheese, softened (total 16 ounces)
1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped Heath bar (can substitute for Heath bits)
2 eggs
1 graham pie shell (6 ounces)

1. preheat oven to 350.

2. combine sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla. beat on medium speed until all combined.

3. add eggs one at a time and scrape bowl in between.

4. stir in 3/4 cup of chopped Heath bars and pour into pie shell.

5. sprinkle remaining bits on top and put in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. cool in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. keep leftover cheesecake in fridge after serving.

i hope you enjoy!

just a thought.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

crock pot chicken tortilla soup

we recently had friends over for supper and i made a variation of this recipe and it was delicious!

what you need: 
2 cans mild rotel
2 cups chicken broth
1 can mexicorn (regular corn would work just fine)
1 package mild taco seasoning (or chicken taco seasoning)
2 chicken breasts
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans 
tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheese

1. trim fat pieces off of chicken breast, rinse chicken, and place in crock pot.

2. add 2 cans rotel, chicken broth, beans and mexicorn to your crock pot.

3. turn crock pot on high for ~6 hours or on low for ~8 hours. before serving take chicken breasts out of crock pot and pull them using two forks. by this time your chicken should be very tender and easy to pull; if you are having trouble pulling the chicken it is because it is not cooked enough and needs to be returned to the crock pot. i always use my meat thermometer to make sure my meat is fully cooked through- chicken should be 180 degrees.

4. set crock pot to warm or low depending on when you are serving. to serve crunch up a few tortilla chips in the bowl before adding your soup. top with sour cream and cheese and enjoy!

there are definitely ways to change this up, but i just used what i had!

just a thought.

Monday, February 6, 2012

miscellany monday.

life lately has been busy and fun! this is a total random hodge podge of life as of late.

i recently graduated from clemson- such a sweet time with friends! for the ceremony i decided to decorate my hat so that my family would be able to find me! there were some crazy hats there!

we have lots and lots of babies coming in our cp group, we recently had a diaper shower for baby kayleigh and my friend ashley and i made the diaper cake for it... it was lots of fun! we had four tiers of diapers with baby shoes, bows, and a hooded towel wrapped around one of the tiers. ashley was the mastermind behind all of the decorations and i helped put it together! we were so pleased with our first attempt.

kayleigh's mommy, erin, also made an incredible diaper cake for joel and allison's twins- jackson and luke. isn't it awesome!? i am so impressed by her talent... i have never seen a motorcycle cake done in person!

i also switched over to the iPhone and made my own DIY covers, check them out here.

i hope that life is treating everyone well! i am trying to be more intentional about blogging in 2012... it is seeming to go well thus far!

just a thought.

Friday, February 3, 2012

DIY iPhone cover

i caved... after all kinds of trouble with my droid and needing to pay a deductible of $100 to get a new phone because my screen was cracked i decided against paying for another droid and using the $100 to get an iPhone. wow, what a world of difference! i love it. the only issue that i had with my phone was that i could not find a cover that i liked enough to spend $30+ for. i found this post and decided that i could make my own cover, too! 

i traced my phone on a piece of scrapbook paper and fit it to my case, then traced the paper while it was inserted inside the case so that i could cut out the portion for the camera. 

i made a few more since i already had a template created... i am so excited to be able to switch it up and not be locked into one case for a long time.

how appropriate to use photos from my phone for this post? :) 
i have really enjoyed my phone thus far!

linking with

just a thought.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

crock pot pulled pork bbq.

there are few things i enjoy more than a good bbq sandwich served with mac&cheese and green beans. 

this is a recipe that my mom told me via her own experiments, so the measurements might be a tad off. i love being able to cook in my crock pot so that i can leave it all day and essentially forget about it!

what you need:
boston butt (these cooking times based off of a 3lb. butt)
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar 
1 beef bouillon tablet
light brown sugar
garlic powder (or 1 clove of garlic)
onion powder (or fresh onion)
2 cups of water
bottle of bbq sauce of your choice... my choice, however, will always be mustard base :)

1. add 2 cups of water, beef bouillon tablet, and meat to crock pot. add apple cider vinegar, pouring on top of meat.

2. sprinkle brown sugar, garlic, and onion on top of meat to coat the top completely.

3. drizzle bbq sauce over meat and let sit in crock pot for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 on low. make sure to test your meat with a meat thermometer before pulling.

please note that this picture is not watermarked... not that you would want to steal this anyways!

4. when meat has been fully cooked remove from crock pot, cut off any visible fat, drain crock pot into a large jar and pull meat using two forks.

5. return pulled meat to crock pot and pour remaining sauce over meat, tossing until desired consistency. turn crock pot to low or warm, depending on when you are eating.

serve with desired sides and enjoy!

linking with

just a thought.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

oatmeal butterscotch cookies

"these are the best cookies that you have ever made"-sean

disclaimer: i am not a huge fan of butterscotch so these are in fact not my most favorite cookies, but everyone else who has tried them loved them, so i figured it would be worth sharing!

 recipe adapted from the bag of hershey's butterscotch chips bag.

oatmeal butterscotch cookies 

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups butterscotch chips

1. preheat oven to 375.

2. beat butter, granulated and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. add eggs and vanilla; beat well. combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. stir in oats and butterscotch chips; mix well.

3. roll approximately 1 inch balls between hands and place on cookie sheet. i usually fit 20 cookies on a sheet. bake for approximately 12 minutes, rotating cookie sheets after the first 5 minutes and then after each 3 to ensure even cookies. cool slightly on cookie sheets and then move to wire rack. cool completely. 

yields 4 to 5 dozen cookies, depending on cookie size.

i hope you enjoy these cookies! i didn't get a chance to take any pictures of them because they didn't last long... note to self: take pictures of food before offering it to the bearded wonder.

just a thought. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

happy birthday!

today is my husband (what!?) sean's birthday. i cannot even begin to list the ways that i am thankful for him and for his leadership. everyday there are so many things that sean does in order to serve me and show me how much he loves me- he always leaves me notes on the fridge, takes out the trash (which is actually a bit of a hassle in our apartment), helps me clean the apartment without being asked, and a million other things he does just to show me that he loves me. i am beyond thankful for him.

what a stud. i love you to the moon (and back)!

just a thought.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

jumping back on the bandwagon.

looking at my blog archive it is clear that 2011 was not a very productive blogging year for me! 15 posts!? that is crazy. i can definitely say that 2011 was crazy busy- i really cannot believe that i fell that far behind on blogging... i am hoping to get back on top of this blogging machine! hoping that my friends can help keep me accountable on this one! i have been doing lots of baking and cooking lately, which i can promise will be topics coming up in the near future! i have a few fun things to share, hopefully i will actually share them! for now i will just leave you with a photo from this Christmas. 

just a thought.
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