So this recipe was definitely inspired by my cravings for Chipotle salads lately. I was walking through Target deciding what I wanted for dinner and I couldn’t stop thinking about a nice “Fajita” type bowl. I decided to pick up the ingredients that sounded good and threw something together when I got home. My protein was strictly black beans and my husband’s was chicken and black beans. This meal was inexpensive, easy, and delicious! A lot of the ingredients I needed I already had at home!
1- 9.7oz bag of Archer Farms Cilantro Lime Rice
1- 1lb of Boneless Skinless Chicken Sliced Fajita Style
1- 15 oz can of Black Beans
Chopped Romaine Lettuce (However much you want as your bed) I used bagged/
pre-chopped lettuce for the sake of simplicity.
Sour Cream (Use as you wish)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Begin cooking your bag of rice according to the directions on the back
Chop your chicken fajita style while warming EVOO in your pan on low
Cook your chicken thoroughly on Medium-High
Place your bed of lettuce at the bottom of your bowl
Add your cooked chicken
Add your black beans
Add your toppings (Sour Cream, Cheese, Salsa, Avocado, etc.)
Phew! Finally in the clear from the nausea and fatigue. I thought since I am finally into my second trimester I would share some of the things that I found to be “Must Haves” in the first 12/13 weeks of my pregnancy.
Boppy Slipcovered Pregnancy Body Pillow
I was hesitant on spending close to $50 on a pillow, however, even early in pregnancy I had back pain. My sciatic nerve pain was actually one of my very first symptoms of pregnancy. This unfortunately has not subsided, but my Boppy pillow has been a God sent for a goodnights sleep.
Ovia Pregnancy App and The Bump AppThis is my first pregnancy and therefore I am learning as I go. These two apps have helped me to understand the symptoms that I have been having, the size of my baby boy each week, and even helps me answer those crazy questions I have late at night thinking. (Can I eat…? Is this medicine ok…? Is this symptom normal…?) I used the Ovia Fertility app as well and absolutely loved it, so I knew that I would love the Ovia Pregnancy App.
Water in my RTIC Tumbler
So this may seem like a given, but oh my goodness you wouldn’t believe how thirsty you get that first trimester…and honestly my second so far too. Being a teacher, my RTIC cup really helped because my water kept cold all day even as I refilled it.
My nausea in the first trimester was something else. I couldn’t keep a thing down even though everything tasted good. I lost about 3-4lbs during my first trimester (Don’t worry I’ve gained that back plus some at this point). During this time ginger ale was my best friend! It made my tummy so much better! Along with some Taco Bell Bean burritos of course!
Nature Made Prenatal Vitamins
I was taking prenatal vitamins even before I found out I was pregnant, but once I found out we were expecting a I did better research on finding one that is natural and that has everything I need in it. I absolutely love this one and recommend it 100%.
Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
I read to start early with the belly butter! I love the Burt’s Bees brand. I know that stretch marks are mainly hereditary but I’ll do anything I can to hopefully prevent them if possible. Another thing I have noticed since being pregnant is that my skin gets dry a lot quicker, so this belly butter is good for the majority of my body. What I really like about it is the fact that it doesn’t feel greasy or anything after I use it. It’s great!
Relaxing is very important in this stage of life so I have been running essential oils in my diffuser constantly. I absolutely love it. Don’t get me wrong, I used it even before getting pregnant, but since then it has been very beneficial.
As I sit here and write this post.. it is less than two weeks until I say I do to the love of my life. God has truly blessed me with this amazing man that I get to now call mine forever. Well, as of November 26. I can’t believe that it has already been six months since Barrett has proposed to me and that in April it’ll be five years since we first began dating.
Barrett and I’s engagement has been a quick one, like we always planned. We knew once we decided to tie the knot that it wouldn’t take us long to know what we wanted. We knew we wanted a Fall wedding but we also knew that we didn’t want to wait another year and a half to say I do and commit to one another. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so what better day to get married near but Thanksgiving.
As our wedding approached quickly, my photographer, Taylor, reached out to me and reminded me of our engagement photos that we needed to get done. So I quickly called Barrett to see when a good time was for both of us. Once the session was scheduled, I felt the panic set in. All I could think about was what are we going to wear? Do we have to match? What colors go together? Do I wear a dress? Do I get my hair done? What poses do I want? Where? What? Why? The questioning in my head went on and on. Neither of us had ever had a professional photograph session done so we were at a loss.
Finally, I sat down and took these steps:
Let your photographer pick out the place to take pictures if you’re not sure. Photographers are photographers for a reason. They have a creativity that some of us may lack. (We all have our strengths and this just does not happen to be one of them)
Go on pinterest and find a couple of cute picture ideas, put them on a board, send them to your photographer, and be done. Let her take the lead. Again, she is the photographer for a reason.
Pick out your outfits ahead of time. Make sure to not be too matchy, because you want these photos to be a realistic resemblance of your love. Coordinate, but not too much.
Relax and be real. Barrett and I had so much fun with our photographer for our photos because we were just real. We did the poses and we made them ours. I feel this made the photos turn out well because we were doing them but with our own touch and personality.
Remember to have fun! You only get to do this once!
If you are a huge blog follower…you will understand the excitement of this post. If you are not a huge blog follower…you will still understand the excitement of this post. Because if you have ever had someone who makes you want to work harder and be better…then you will understand.
I have some bloggers who I look up to immensely and who inspire me each and everyday. Rachel Hollis from The Chic Site, Kate Bryan from The Small Things Blog, Maggie Whitely from Maggie Whitley Designs, Jessica from Fantabulosity, and Emily Ley…just to name a few! When my best friend sent me a Facebook message that Emily Ley was going to be at a Barnes and Noble only 40 minutes away from us for a book signing for her new book Grace Not Perfection, my heart jumped through the roof. Emily Ley is truly such an inspiration to me and I have been following her for about two years now. So to have the chance to actually MEET and CHAT with her… oh my goodness.
My friend Shawnee and I got there about 30 minutes early and saw everything set up. We were so nervous but so ecstatic at the same time. We went and got her book off the shelf and purchased it while our minds were racing with excitement. We walked over to the section where she was going to be…we were the first ones there. We got a seat in the first row and held our breath as we waited. I turned around and saw her walk through the door and couldn’t believe that it was real! We were being such fan girls, but we didn’t even care. It took her some time to come over, but once she did she was the sweetest person you’d ever met. She literally pulled up a chair and started chatting. She was incredibly underwhelming in person and so real. So real…that she pointed out that she forgot to wipe the deodorant…she thinks that’s what it was but she has almost 2 year old twins and admitted it could be spit up.. off of her dress before leaving the house. This fact made her even more real and more inspiring.
Emily talked about her reasoning for writing the book, balancing her life as a mom, career woman, and author while still taking time for herself. As well as finding time to follow the standard of Grace and not perfection.
One of the questions I asked Emily is how even through her struggle of getting pregnant… how did she continue to have faith? Her answer to me was “Someone once told me that if god puts a baby shaped want in your heart or a shaped anything in your heart, he intends to fill it one way or another. Our plan may not always look like his plan, but it is always what it’s supposed to be.” Her words gave me so much more faith and so much more acceptance in life. God put her in my path for a reason and I am truly blessed to have had this experience.
An organized closet makes me feel so good! What stinks though is it all gets messed up just a few days after I get both Barrett’s clothes and my clothes organized. I always organize our shirts by type (Tank top, dress shirt, t-shirt, etc.) I then organize our dress pants/dresses together and our casual daily clothes together. Somehow though throughout the week they get all crazy mixed up.
What I am coming to the conclusion of is that the system that I have chose is just not working for us. Therefore, I am looking to try something new. I have been doing some crazy research on Pinterest and have found some really cute ideas. I first thought that these would be a great idea, but I then came to the conclusion that Barrett and I both have careers that require us to dress up and the majority of our clothes need to be hung up.
So, after doing some more research, I have decided to try out these. I figured that I could use the blue tags for Barrett’s daily outfits and the pink tags for mine. I feel that by organizing our closet by outfit will not only keep our closet more organized in a way that we need it to be.
Stay Tuned for an update on how our new system is working!
There is absolutely nothing better than blueberry muffins fresh from the oven…made from scratch of course. I am going to share my favorite and best recipe for melt in your mouth chocolate chip blueberry muffins! You’ll want to bring them to every staff meeting and brunch.
1 pinch of Salt
1 cup of blueberries
As many chocolate chips you feel necessary (about 1 cup preferred)
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of white sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flower
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 of cup of milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine with sugar.
Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
Mix in milk and flour mixture alternately in three parts, starting with the milk.
Gently mix in blueberries and chocolate chips.
Drop batter by tablespoons into muffin pan
Bake 20-25 minutes
Check with toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Blueberries might come out on it but that’s okay. You just don’t want the batter coming out.
Instagram is probably the app that I use the most. I love Instagram because I am able to see and share quick snapshots of everyday life.
Snapchat is great because its like reality TV. It’s fun to see the behind the scenes of friends lives.
The Netflix app is so amazing. I use it for car rides when going on vacation or when I have time in between something but I don’t feel like going home.
Pinterest speaks for itself. Pinterest is inspiration! It’s Pinspiration!
First 5 is a great way to spend more time with God. This app allows you to dedicate 5 minutes each day with God. Lysa TerKeurst has done a phenomenal job creating this app and creating meaningful bible studies.
ColorStory is a great app for editing photos. I like that I can overlay filters, which I can’t do on Instagram. When done with your photo you can share it right on Instagram or Facebook.
JoyFM Radio is one of my favorite stations to listen to in the car. I downloaded the app and realized that I can listen to it live from my phone while I’m cleaning, exercising, or just relaxing.
Periscope is great for live video chat. I follow my favorite bloggers on Periscope, like Kate from The Small Things Blog. It’s great for Q&A sessions or just if you have something really exciting to share.
So as some of you know, Barrett and I recently bought our first home and we absolutely love it. It is amazing the amount of space we have in comparison to our itty bitty one bedroom apartment. Although we miss our apartment just a little bit, because it was our first place together, we are in love with having something that is ours.
Something that we found ourselves doing even before closing was finding projects we wanted to do and things that we wanted for our house. Although this was exciting, it got expensive quick when we started to add it all up. So of course, we had to take a step back and look at our priorities. We knew that we needed a washer and dryer right away because…well we like clean clothes. We did not, however, need a new kitchen table right away so we put that on our lower priority list.
What we have done is created three separate lists. Our first list contains everything that we absolutely need and is first priority, things that need to be done within the next month. Our second list contains everything that we really want to get done but is not an absolute necessity, things that we want to get done within the next 4-6 months. The last list that we created contains things that we want but we know that we really won’t be able to afford for a while, things that can be completed within the next year or so.
There is really no way specific way to choose which category your projects fall in to except for what is most important to you. What can you live without for now and what you cannot live without.
A Teacher’s Passion
Teaching is my greatest passion in life. Ever since I was a little girl, I have known that being in the classroom is all that I want. Every day when I wake up in the morning, I don’t regret, even for a second, choosing this wonderful profession. Being there for my students and helping them fill their brains with knowledge is enough fulfillment to last me a lifetime. There’s a certain feel about a classroom that makes my heart skip a beat when I walk in. The smell of dry erase markers, the desk plates that show ownership for each kid, the set up, the furniture, and the accessories that go along.
Organization is the key
To have success in the classroom, organization is a must. Training your students to keep everything neat and tidy is crucial to your sanity. The best way to do that is to provide all the tools for them to keep your room organized. Having office bins can be helpful as well as supply bins for each table. I am also a huge fan of color coding my tables with the the supply bins so that you can call your students up by table colors and organize all of their folders, binders, and book covers according to the color of their table.
Having motivational and educational posters around also helps the room to feel more warm and less bare. Having a cute border around your bulletin board that matches the theme of your room always makes the room come together. I have noticed that when your classroom is done up nice, the students respond better and feel more at home.
The Reading Corner
Having a nice reading corner is always so important to me as a teacher. The kids need to love reading and when they have a reading corner with comfy seating, good books, and pleasant lighting! Reading should be relaxing and it is our job as teachers to make sure that our students have a comfy reading corner to enjoy.
The Mini Lesson Zone
This area is so important to students learning and collaborating. The mini lesson zone is where the whole group learning happens. You want to be sure to have a comfy classroom rug where each student can have their own space. You also want to be sure to have a nice comfy chair for read alouds.
I hope that these four tips help guide you to inspiration for your classroom! The environment that we teach in is so important not only for the students, but for us as teachers. If our classroom is bland and boring, then we will probably be bland and boring!