the times are changin'
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

real life

i read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. they are fantastic. i was on edge, i cried, i literally gasped from time to time...they are ridiculously good. so good, in fact, i am much less frustrated with one of my 4th block students who would not stop reading them in my class no matter how many times i asked him to pay attention. these books stirred up so many thoughts, some of which i'm sure were intended by the author and some of which are uniquely suited to the timing of my reading. i'm still processing the books and all the questions rustled up, but i thought i'd begin to formulate them here as well.
  1. we don't get it. the united states has no idea what it's really like to be at war. our country has never been ravaged by full-blown invasion (except of course when we did it to ourselves). yes, we have experienced very tragic attacks, and i don't want to in any way cast those aside as trivial. but can you imagine loss like pearl harbor or the twin towers happening over and over and over and over again? because it happens. but it hasn't happened to us. i am overwhelmed by how i have no idea what so much of the world experiences daily. and it's not just warfare. there is so much pain and suffering that i will (most likely) never understand. i do not understand starvation. i do not understand corrupt government (we have NO IDEA what it's like to really be living under a truly corrupt government. no. earthly. idea.). i do not understand oppression. such great mercy has cloaked us here. and we don't deserve any it. we didn't earn it. God is gracious. i don't know exactly know what this should mean for me in the daily life. i know it isn't supposed to be about feeling guilty or feeling like i have to do something to balance the scales.
  2. why do i get so incredibly wrapped up in books and stories like these, but have struggled to have a habit of being the Word the past couple of months?  
  3. sort of connected to the last thought, i haven't exactly savored real life recently. i've been feeling very eager to move beyond this season, beyond the student loans, beyond the waiting for direction, beyond the necessity of waiting to have kids...all of it. but what awaits me beyond this season? plenty of real life that if i'm not careful, i will be eager to to move beyond as well. i don't do well living in the real moment of everyday life. 
that's about all i have to process through at the moment. i'm sure there will be more to come, but for now i will leave you with a trailer of what is sure to be a fantastic film...

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Friday, December 23, 2011

flowered crocheted scarf

I'm not going to at this point try to write a tutorial for making this scarf. I don't even know how to read crochet patterns so I'm going to need to try to figure those out before writing a tutorial, I think. Thanks to my dear high school friend who taught me how to crochet during our production of The Miracle Worker. Here are some pictures of my latest craft endeavor.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

commmunity's glee

i think my favorite part of this episode are the "hums" in between each scene which are so characteristic of every glee episode. well done, community. well done.
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

this week's post

remember when i had 4 or 5 recipes i wanted to try in one week? well that didn't happen. i think i accomplished two of them. and there probably aren't going to be terribly many more this week because:

a. my first plays at berea high perform on friday
b. i'm starting a new unit in all my classes
c. i'm auditioning for a play and hope to have callbacks as well
d. my cat decided to fully reach puberty this week so we're having to...take care of some things...
e. there are only two weeks left til christmas break so my students are going insane
f. i may have agreed to have my classes perform a scene at the winter band/chorus concert sometime next week (and no, i have no idea what they will perform)
g. i had to get up in the middle of the "f" bullet point because i could not stop sneezing
h. i know there are things i am forgetting

i am writing this because i had committed to myself that i would blog at least once a week because i felt like it gave me a creative outlet, which was keeping me sane. so here is my blog post for this week. enjoy :)

p.s. are you as excited as i am that christmas music is playing? now i need to get back to my lesson planning with my brownie and english breakfast tea. yum :)
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Monday, November 28, 2011

a quick note about whipped cream

i think real whipped cream is just so delightful. the first time i made it for myself, it felt like magic. for those of you who have not yet discovered the magic of making your own whipped cream, let me give you a recipe.

whipping cream

1. beat it until it's whipped cream

it really is that simple. you have to add sugar to it for it be sweet...but there's just a lot of possibilities. you can flavor it or color it very easily, too. it is so worth it because, at least to me, it tastes sooooo much better and richer. 

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

recipe #2: layered pumpkin pie toffee cheesecake

yes, that's right. two of the best things not combined but stacked on top of each other. this is not pumpkin cheesecake...this is cheesecake with pumpkin pie on top of it. the original recipe can be found here at our best bites. i tweaked it a little bit with the pumpkin pie because libby pumpkin pie is so good. i followed their instructions for the whipping cream instead of evaporated milk and 3 eggs instead of two since i'm no chemist and have no idea how that might affect things since this cheesecake bakes about an hour longer than a libby pumpkin pie. since eating on it over thanksgiving, i've decided that if i were to bake it again i would change the cheesecake to pumpkin pie ration from 1:1 to 1.5:.5....making it a lot more of a cheesecake. the pumpkin overpowered the cheesecake. i think i would also try it with marscapone cheese because it's stronger and just so dad gum good.

2 c cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (just short of 2 sleeves)
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 bag toffee bits
1 15-oz can pumpkin (or use homemade, it’s 1 3/4 cup)
3/4 c whipping cream
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
Cool Whip or sweetened whipped cream for topping

1. heat oven to 300. spray 9" or 10" springform pan.
2. mix crumbs and butter.
3. press mixture into bottom of pan.
4. bake crust 15 minutes.
5. in large bowl beat cream cheese, 1/2 c sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
6. beat in 2 of the eggs.
7. stir in 1 cup of the toffee bits.
8. mix pumpkin, whipping cream, 2/3 cups sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and 3 eggs.
9. spread cheesecake mix over crust.
10. carefully pour the pumpkin mix over the cheesecake.
11. bake 2 hours (still at 300).
12. turn oven off; open oven door about 4 inches or so. leave cheesecake in oven for about 30 minutes. 
13. run spatula around the edge of pan. cool 30 minutes.
14. refrigerate at least 6 hours.
15. run spatula around edge of pan. remove from pan.
16. pipe with whipped cream or cool whip and top with toffee bits.

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rainy nights + old friends + earl grey

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

jersey shore goes wilde

although at times inappropriate, this video series is hilarious. well played, boys. well played.
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sometimes the little things help

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

first recipe of the week: lil' promise pies

the recipe i found on pinterest called for kisses...but i decided to use dove promises a) because they were on sale b) because they are so much more delightful and c) because i knew i would have leftovers since i was just doing a trial run tonight rather than a major project (i.e. there would be leftover chocolate to savor)
here is the original recipe for your reference and for oh-so-better pictures. remember that wish list? i really want a good camera. i mean...i could have used a point and shoot or my iPod rather than my phone, but the fact remains that i want a higher quality camera.

1 refrigerated pie crust, thawed
10-15 individual chocolates
1 egg white + 1 tbsp water (whisk together)
2ish tbsp granulated suger
powder sugar to dust (optional)

1. preheat oven to 350
2. lay out pie crust on your working surface
3. place the chocolates out on crust
4. cut a circle of pie crust around the chocolate
 5. wrap the pie crust around the chocolate (make sure to pinch seams together well so it doesn't come undone while baking)
6. once you run out of space on the crust, ball it up and roll it back out just like when making cookies with cookie cutters
6. i placed the lil' pies on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. i put it on parchment paper simply to make it a cleaner process
7. brush the lil' pies with the egg white concoction
8. sprinkle them with the granulated sugar
9. bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
10. let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with the powdered sugar if you so desire

these little guys are oh so delightful. they are so simple and yet so good. i mean, what's not to love? pie crust and chocolate. duh. it's a winner. and so easy to make.

linked to this partyLink Party

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recipes for this week

cinnamon roll pie crust, pumpkin pie toffee cheesecake, lemon-blueberry swirl pops, kiss pie, caramel in a can....yummmy lookin stuff. stay tuned for the recipes, process shots, and lessons learned...i am so excited about the fact that i only have to teach two days this week :)

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wish list

here are some new (and not so new) products that i'm hoping for in the next year or two:

What's awesome is that it comes with this software that automatically organizes the information. Quick and easy tracking of expenses. You can also use it for any other document, which just sounds awesome...because I tend to lose important papers no matter how hard I try to organize them.

There are SO MANY things you can do with this! I remember seeing something like it in hobby lobby once and thinking...umm what a waste of money. But then I saw tons of tutorials, etc. on all you could do with it. I am now a believer. (Although I still think it's really expensive...good thing they're apparently having a great black friday sale on their website.)

From all I've heard and read, a great camera for my budget constraints. It's still waaaaay too expensive at the moment, but maybe with some good holiday sales, saving up, etc., who knows?
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new photos...

some new photos posted on the photos page....check it out using the button to your right. here are some samples:

submitted to 
a content housewife 
for her brand spankin' new link party!

check it out!

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

new day here at the times are changin'

got a whole new look today. hope you enjoy :) it was much more enjoyable for me than lesson planning or grading papers! (except now i have a slight headache from being on the computer pretty much all day)

p.s. so thankful for the button tutorial from my dear friend at...
a content housewife
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silhouette giveaway

i really want to get one of these for christmas. except that i actually want it before christmas so i can use it for christmas pleeeeeeeease giveaway! thanks to all of these lovely bloggers for the giveaway! ends on monday, guys! get going to the sites!

1. Infarrantly Creative 2. The Idea Room 3.  Crap I’ve Made 4.  Eighteen25 5.  Shanty 2 Chic 6. Ucreate 7. I Heart Naptime 8. Our Best Bites 9. Prudent Baby 10. Little Miss Momma 11. Make It and Love It 12. Skip to my Lou 13.  Kara’s Party Ideas 14.  Craftaholics Anonymous 15. Tip Junkie 16. I Heart Organizing

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Friday, November 4, 2011

project #6: braided scarf

i found the tutorial on my pinterest. i didn't take any process shots because they are on the tutorial. the only thing i changed was that i made it a lot shorter so that it wasn't awkwardly hanging too low, and the colors i chose didn't work well wrapped twice. it took me the second half of glee and 2 episodes of the vampire diaries--for a frame of reference. i did mess up a step, though, and had to correct it. taking that into consideration, it should probably only take about an hour and a half--probably would be quicker if i weren't watching tv at the same time :)
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011


so bruce and i have been going through the friends series....and i didn't realize how seasons 8-10 would be so bad for my impatience with not being able to be at home full-time right now. it also doesn't help that i've been finding some very awesome homemaking blogs through pinterest these days, which is great for finding cheap homemade christmas gifts but bad for being content these days...

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

nap time...

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Saturday, October 22, 2011


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

whole-grain blueberry muffins

i've been dying to make this recipe from one of the latest Real Simple magazines, and i decided that this lovely Sunday afternoon would be just the time--one last hurrah before school starts back tomorrow. yes, baking blueberry muffins is a "hurrah" for me, especially when my house smells like a creamy pumpkin (thank you, Mom, for the trip to b&bw), when i know there's a fall breeze outside, when i've been off work for 4 days, and when i have a don chaffer genius playlist playing. oh, and i'm drinking a cup of tea. yes, these are the hurrahs i most long for these days.

here's the recipe:

1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c flaxseed meal*
1/4 c pecans
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt**
1 c plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp grated orange zest***
1/4 c orange juice
1 large eg
2 c fresh blueberries or one 8-oz bag frozen blueberries

*i didn't feel like a trip to trader joe's for one i left this out
**i didn't notice the kosher part...i used iodized
***my orange went bad before i could make the i left this out

Heat oven to 375 F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (or these supercool silicone ones like i just got and used for the first time today).

In a food processor, process the flour, oats, flaxseed meal, pecans, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until finely ground.
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, butter, orange zest, orange juice, egg and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated (do not overmix). Fold in the blueberries.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22-25 minutes.
Enjoy! I suggest with a cup of tea :)

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

dating cards...what now?

i guess we have upgraded from the scribbled number on a napkin to this...

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