Sunday, March 25, 2012

Everthing is better with . . .

I just finished eating the most yummiest sandwich ever.  It inspired me to blog about it and about my latest obsession (like I need a new one)  . . . food blogs!

First, I want to say thank you to all who entered my giveaway.  I will most definitely be using your top ten ideas.  I appreciate your continued support of my ramblings.

Second, this post will have nothing to do with teaching or parenting or running.  Just food.

Third, curse you Pinterest for making me try all these new recipes and for gaining a few extra pounds.  Thank goodness I am running and doing my crossfit training or it may be a few more pounds.

So on to my post.  I just finished eating a BLT on a baguette.  This is one of my favorite sandwiches.  I think because it reminds me of when I lived in Brussels, Belgium AND because it has 2 of my favorite foods, bacon & bread.  As I finished my sandwich, in between licking the bacon juice off of my fingers I told Mr. M (on his way out for a run)  that if I ever owned a restaurant I would call it Everything is better with a Baguette!  If I had really been thinking I would have taken a picture, but I ate it too fast and did not have the patience.
This got me thinking of all of the delicious recipes I have been making and eating lately, in large thanks to Pinterest.  I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites.  Also, last night we were able to grill out for the first time this season, and we didn't even have to put the grill under cover!!  This was huge because just 3 days ago we had a late start because of 3 inches of snow.

Have you visited The Cilantropiost?  This blog is where I found this sandwich which Mr. M and I had a few weeks ago. I made it was gouda, bacon & honeycrisp apples.

 This next site had given me so many good recipes, including the hamburgers I made last night.  The best recipe is her Green Monster Smoothie.  Head over to Annie's eats to try it yourself.

Last week we made these mini calzones.  SO fantastic and easy.  I used pre-made dough and we put our favorite fillings inside.  Check out A Golden Afternoon for the recipe.

One of the very first Pinterest recipes I tried was this one from For the Love of Cooking.  Since I have discovered this blog I have made many recipes, all of them yummy.  If you are in the mood for Mexican try these Carne Asada Tacos.  I uses a flat iron steak instead of a flank steak.

It wouldn't be a meal without dessert. Here are 2 recent recipes I made.  The first was extremely easy and absolutely delicious.  I made the Easy, No Bake Peanut Butter Bars from Six Sisters' Stuff.  I put them in my staff room at work and in less than 2 hours they were gone!

The other dessert recipe I just tried was called Better Than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake - and it was! It was from the site Dozen Flours. Again, I took it to a staff luncheon we had and it disappeared.

Tonight I am revisiting Six Sisters' to try their Peanut Butter Cup Pudding Cookies. If I don't post tomorrow it will be because I had to go on an extra long run to burn off all the cookies AND it is crossfit night!

If you were to finish the sentence "Everything is better with  . ." what would you choose?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Losing Spring and a Few Winners

Today is officially the third day of spring and this is what I woke up to this morning . .  .

At least it got me a 2 hour late start so I could get in this blog post!

Congratulations to commenter 8, 4 & 13 (I still do not know how to put the picture of into my blog . . I know, I know)
Rachel, Laura at Kinder Kraziness & Bonnie at Living a Wonderful LifeI will contact you via e-mail to deliver your prizes! 
Thanks so much for following my blog.  Who knew that 1 year ago when I was home with my daughter on a sick day that the blog I started would still be up and running!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Top Ten favorite teaching lessons with Eric Carle (and last chance to enter my 1 year anniversary giveaway!)

One thing about living in the Northwest is that even on the first day of spring ~ you know there will be no signs of spring.  Not until May.  It even snowed yesterday!  So I'm am trying desperately to bring myself out of my winter doldrums by thinking of fun, colorful ideas for teaching.  My student teacher is just beginning an author study on Eric Carle.  I thought I would help her out by creating a list of ten fun Eric Carle lessons. 

Also, tomorrow will be my 1 year blogiversary (is that even a word?)  To celebrate I am having a small giveaway.  If you have not entered, now is your chance.  I will choose the winners (yes there are multiple prizes) tomorrow evening.  Go here to find out more.

1. Make fingerprint art using Eric Carle books as inspiration.

The Grouchy Ladybug

2. Use the book Little Cloud as a resources for learning about weather and clouds. The First Grade Parade has tons of great resources to go along with this book and weather.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a wonderful book for teaching subtraction!

4. Create an Eric Carle alphabet just like Melissa did over at Joyful Learning in KC!

5. Many of Eric Carle books are patterned.  Use the pattern of one of his books to write your own book.

6. Do You Want to be My Friend? is a wonderful book to teach beginning readers about inferring.

7. House for Hermit Crab is a wonderful story to add to your science unit on teaching homes and habitats.

8. Compare Eric Carle's books another one of your favorite authors like Tomie dePaola or Nancy Carlson.

9. Art!  There are SOOOOO many fantastic art projects out there.  Deep Space Sparkle has quite a few including a wonderful art lesson for the books Mister Seahorse and The Mixed-Up Chameleon.

10.  Writing, writing and more writing.  You can use Eric Carle to practice responding to literature or interactive writing or a how-to book and an all-about book. You name it.

What are some of your favorite Eric Carle lesson ideas?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten (on a Wednesday becasue I was so busy reading a book!)

I had the BEST intentions of posting last night but I'm currently reading the final book in the Stieg Larson trilogy The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  I finished it!  So GOOD!  Now my next job will be to watch the movies, the Swedish version of course.  Hello spring break!

Now that's out of the way I can get to my top ten this week.  Like I stated in my previous post, my friend gave me a wonderful idea for a top ten and I am running with it.  Have you read the book The Wonder of Girls?  I have, many times, and I still marvel at the things that my two young girls do.  I absolutely feel for Mr. M who is the lone male in our household.

Here are the top ten things about raising two girls:
1. Every time they ask for something, there is drama.  Let me explain.  "Mom, I am DYING of thirst, I really need something to drink."  Really!?  You couldn't of just said, "May I have some milk please?"  Even the 2 year old does it!

2. We have more pink in our house than in a bottle of Pepto Bismol.  When Maddie was born I tried very hard to steer clear of "girlie" things like the typical pink covered onesie with bows and fringe and glitter (we will get to that later).  It's inevitable that friends and family will give you pink things with bows and fringe and glitter.  Now that we have 2 girls it's everywhere.

3. Girls hang onto their emotions FOREVER!  When something happens, like they get into trouble or make a mistake or fight with a friend, it takes days and weeks to get over it. My oldest daughter will mope around the house about something that happened last week.

4. There is hair everywhere.  Our oldest daughter has long hair and our youngest has long hair and they both leave a trail of their hair everywhere.  Although if you were to ask Mr. M I do the same thing.  You should see our bathroom drain!

5. There is glitter everywhere (from the glitter, pink covered onesie and princess costumes)  Last weekend I woke up with glitter on my forehead after an evening of dress up!

6. Mr. M knows all the names of Strawberry shortcake and her gang.

7. They roll their eyes so loud you can hear it across the room.  I'm sure that boys do the same thing, but with girls it is VERY dramatic ( isn't everything?)

8. Everything is cute.  Enough said!

9. They are great at sharing their emotions.  With our girls you always know exactly what they are feeling and why.

10. They always tell you they love you!  And I love them very much too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Wall, a Giveaway AND an Award All in One Day

Those of you who perform any sort of exercise and physical activity or those of you who teach children or those of you who are parents or those of you who have any long  term goal at all are going to be able to relate to this post.

I have hit "the wall".  I hit it a few weeks ago in regards to my blog.  I always try to come up with a post that is current and relevant to my life as a teacher, mother and "runner" and when I sat down to write a post a month ago I could not think of anything!  You would think with a student teacher in my classroom I would have plenty of time to write, but no.  Not only did I not have enough time, I could not think of ANYTHING interesting to write.  I thought, "This is it!  My short-lived life as a blogger is over."  I have hit THE WALL!

I have hit the proverbial wall many times in running and still do from time to time, but I thought it would be easy to sustain a blog.  I was wrong.  I wanted to write posts that were inspiring and honest and helpful and I ran out if ideas.  So I got a little grumpy and simply gave up.  I always smile when I read a blog where a blogger has started out, "So sorry I have not blogged in a few days . .  ."  For me it's like, Sorry I have not blogged in a few months ~ my life is boring!

So I had to step back and think about why I started this blog.  What was my reason behind sitting down and sharing my life with the world?  I wanted to document my teaching career as I ventured into kindergarten, I wanted to share stories and let others know that they are not alone in this endeavour of teaching/parenting/life and I wanted to share my ideas with others since I have spent so many years stealing other's ideas.

Then over the weekend we had some friends over for dinner.  Our girls were all playing together and dressing up in a princess costume with a crap ton of glitter on it.  By the time the evening was over our house was covered in gold glitter.  Then we started talking about the amount of glitter on the floor and my friend suggested I write about the "joys" of raising 2 girls for my Tuesday Top Ten.  I realized that it didn't matter if my blog posts appealed to the masses, what mattered was that they appealed to me! I wanted to have something I was proud of. So thank you friend for renewing my enthusiasm for my blog and for helping me see that this venture is a fun one. 

I also want to thank the followers who take time out of your busy lives to comment/e-mail/give me awards.  You also help me see that this work that I do is important and I appreciate you.

So, did you make it through the beginning of my post?  I didn't put you to sleep yet?  Good because you are in for a treat.  In 10 days, on March 22nd I will celebrate my 1 year anniversary of being The Accidental Teacher!  To celebrate I want to give back to my friends that have given so much to me.  This giveaway will be easy.  All you need to do is:

1. Be a follower ~ let me know through a comment on this page
2. Suggest an idea for a top ten.
That's it - so easy!  Please leave your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you!

For your efforts I will reward you with a few goodies.  One lucky winner will receive a copy of No More I'm Done by Jennifer Jacobsen.  You know how much I love her! One lucky winner will get a $10 gift card to (another obsession of mine, books!) and one lucky winner will get a $10 i-Tunes gift card. 

I will choose the winners on March 22nd!

Thanks so much to Michele over at New Adventures in First Grade for awarding me the One Lovely Blog Award.
I'm terrible at following directions so I apologize in advance. Here are a few of my favorite blogs that have inspired me over the past year. If you are not already following them, I highly recommend it!

Runninghood ~ Amanda is a runner, mother and very inspiring and honest on her blog.  She is also local (to me that is)

Joyful Learning in KC ~ Some of my best ideas have come from Melissa's blog.  Currently I'm using her Very Hungry Caterpillar math book.  Thanks Melissa!

Restart, Rinse, Repeat ~ This is a shameless plug for my husband's blog. 2 years ago he quit his job and decided to go back to school and get his master's in teaching.  Oh yeah and he went back to running, barefoot AND decided to blog about it.  His insights are funny and honest and make me feel better. 

The Elementary Art Room ~ some of my best art project ideas have come from this fantastic blog.  She posts ideas by grade level and artist.

Chickadee Jubilee ~ Laurie is so great at updating her blog with pictures and descriptions of what is happening in her classroom.  I would love to be a student in her room!