Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIAW: Halloween of Oz

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

I just got home from taking my little cousin trick or treating. We didn't get much candy in an hour but enjoyed some fun Halloween decorations and people watching.

We are fortunate enough that a man, whose kids I went to school with, spends $250,000 and tons of time to put together a neighborhood Halloween show. His neighbors participate, but he plans and pays for it all.

We got there by 6:30 and could not find a parking spot! The track is huge, parts of it were closed, and police directed traffic.

This year's theme is the Wizard of Oz.

They even had farm animals!

My day was packed!

I woke up at 7 and polished off my last pumpkin spice English muffin.

headed to the school. I'm observing classes for the heck of it and ended up in a world history class. Some of my kids are in the class and though I wasn't working, I still helped. It's unnatural not to.

I enjoyed the use of technology and the focus on literacy. One of the reasons I loved history was the lack of multiple choice tests.

Then it was off to "work." We had a sub so I took over on an easy day - movie and food! I made the spicy chicken tortilla roll-ups with some rotisserie chicken.

After eating just 3 of those and half a Luna protein bar, I was too full for my typical lunch (chicken salad).

I came home, napped, and completed a 20 minute quickie workout: Blonde Ponytail's Total Body Tabata Home Workout. It's my go-to workout.

Before heading out, I made and ate a couple of chicken spring rolls. It was perfect fuel for walking around outside. I can say fall is officially here in Southern California! We were frozen without jackets.

Now it's time for MAGIC, "Magic Mike" that is!

Halloween got in the way of studying, and my nap wasn't quite long enough, so I'm wiped out.

This week is Red Ribbon Week! They still pass these out.

Does your city or neighborhood hold any big Halloween celebrations?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Foodie Penpal

The Lean Green Bean

This month's Foodie Penpal package went to Carla. The post office was out of the square boxes so I ended up shoving everything into a long, rectangular box!

I was ecstatic to get Jenny as my October Foodie Penpal. She owns Sweet Six Candy and got me a fun package.

Right on top was one of her candies.

All the swag (yes, I just used that word):
  • Edamame - right up my uncle's alley
  • Peeled dried fruit - (see below)
  • Pumpkin chips - I love pumpkin, but these were super salty. Yikes!
  • Cold blooded ice tray - (see below!)
  • Lychee candies - real lychee taste
  • Calming tea, green tea, and Egyptian Licorice tea - Hey Jenny, you probably didn't know that Egyptian Licorice is my favorite tea ever!
  • Jelly Belly buttered popcorn jelly beans - So I always avoided this flavor in the mix bag. Hopefully my kids will eat them.
  • Sarasota honey - (see below)
  • Sweet Six Candy - (see below)
Brown sugar candy with crispy bacon! I love the vintage-y label.

Jenny didn't know I've been craving figs and dates because of all these fig recipes floating around this season. I just didn't want to commit to buying a lot of them. This baggie has dates, figs, and apricots - perfect!

Fun and informative card!

You have no idea how much I've needed honey. There are tons of recipes that require honey, which I never buy for myself.

I loved the vampire teeth ice cubes. So much fun! We made them immediately.

Have you tried anything in this box? 

What would you want to try?

Monday, October 29, 2012

MIMM: What I Did Sunday

Went to a gentle yoga class at lululemon. My friend Alison taught this one.

Made pumpkin chocolate chip pudding cookies. Using pumpkin spice pudding mix gave the cookies pumpkin flavor without making them too soft.

Dressed up the dogs for Halloween. Kind of. The black and white one in the back got upset and stood in that position till we took it off.

Signed up for the big test. It's coming in less than one month and you cannot imagine how nervous I am! It's the stepping stone to a job, more tests, more certifications, etc.

Went to a meeting at work. Got my second annual sippy cup.

Oh, and I bought Reebok CrossFit Nanos! 

Other fun happenings from the weekend:

Won the bell. Good job Chargers! We have a giant inflatable bell in addition to a metal one.

Made a tortilla pizza!

Taking these as prescribed. They're anti-stress supplements.

What is or was the biggest road block to getting to your dream?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

1. Workout 2. Study 3. Eat

Yesterday was simple Saturday. I was tired from all the events on Friday that I fell asleep pretty early. Still, I woke up at my usual time, prepared breakfast, and debated what to do.

Always on my mind: a workout. I wanted to wear my new shoes so went to BodyPump and a bad yoga class. The gym's yoga classes are a toss up and this was extremely disjointed. Strangely, the same teacher taught a fine BodyPump class.

BodyPump worked up much better today than it did on Monday morning.
  • Tracks that went well: squats (usually good), back (could add a little more weight), triceps, biceps (used dumbbells because I favor one arm if I use the bar), lunges, and shoulders.
  • Tracks that need more help: chest (still problematic - maybe should use dumbbells) and abs (as always).
Second, study. Okay, I watched "Dexter" and fell asleep, but I reviewed 2 chapters and am still studying now.

I also paid for the exam and will take it in less than ONE MONTH!

I talked about this new-found motivation last week - I've worked in schools for 6 years as everything short of being a full-time teacher. I'm ready to get in there!

Well, this weekend, I got a little upset and competitive. Let's be real. The competitiveness in me breeds motivation. I believe that hard work and passion will take me anywhere. It irks me to see others find success without hard work.

I know not everyone is fortunate to find their passion so I should be thankful. I know not everyone can fulfill their passion, but since I can, I need to buckle down and study like crazy.

$260 is not all that much considering the test is three parts and 6 hours, plus four short essays. I'm using each of those 21,600 seconds. Wow, that doesn't seem like much now.

Woo! That's a lot of stress. Here's how to reduce stress: make a meal plan so you don't have to worry about the little things.

Pumpkin spice English muffin + 2 egg whites
Oatmeal protein pancakes

Chicken salads
Shrimp spring rolls
Black bean guacamole

Tortilla pizzas

Funfetti Greek yogurt
Cinnamon apple sticks
thinkThin bar
Luna bar

To bake?

And I continue into my budgeting.

Groceries - $38.92
  • Trader Joe's pomegranate & blueberry green tea - $1.39
  • Stevia soda - $0.88
  • thinkThin bar - $0.69
  • Luna bar - $0.49
  • Pumpkin spice English muffins - $2.50
  • Marinara sauce - $0.32
  • Butternut squash ravioli (for tailgating) - $8.89
  • Fage 0% - $4.36
  • Earth Balance coconut peanut butter - $3.99
  • Awesome gummy bears - $1.53
  • Chocolate chips - $1.99
  • Black beans - $0.89
  • Green juice - $4.75 
  • Breakfast (Au Coeur de Paris) - $6.25
Other - $19.59
  • Calcium, magnesium, & zinc - $4.30
  • Socks - $7.06
  • Yogurt (for my cousin) - $3.64
  • Kettle chips (for tailgating) - $4.59
Gas - $40

Total (thus far) - $98.51

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Night Football

My co-worker Alison and I started texting early this morning to wear our awesome new socks and meet up before the assembly.

I was so excited, I took today as a rest day to run errands and buy new sneakers. I saw the green Reebok CrossFit Nanos on sale and went to Sport Chalet to pick them up. :) They were super comfortable all day.

Today was a big deal because it's the Bell Game, the big rivalry between my high school and the high school where I work now. The winner gets a real bell and we have a giant inflatable bell too.

It's hard not to get sucked in. The students lined the schools with posters.

They were extremely detailed like the one below:

I wore my cousin's tank top, which she ended up giving me. In these outfits, we look like teenagers ourselves.

After work, I went by Costco to pick up butternut squash ravioli and chips for tailgating with our department. We have tons of leftovers since the group ended up being small.

My cousin and I also stopped by my little cousin's pep squad pizza get-together to show some support.

She cheered at the game while we watched. Though we went to the rival school, I've completely given my heart away to my new school. *I never liked high school much, which is surprising since my dream is to work in one.

Plus, my high school hasn't won the bell since I was a senior in high school. Tonight, we clinched our 8th win: 21-3.

What extras does your job include? Cook-offs, team sports, etc.
Do you hang out with your co-workers?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Ok Thursday: Cake making & semi-studying

Its Ok Thursdays

It's Ok
  • that my cake balls were not as pretty as the cake pop my student gave me.

  • to make a mini layer cake that looks more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • to take a 2 hour nap
  • to call back a friend a week after she called. We talked for 30 minutes.
  • that I didn't get dinner until after 8. Not obsessing over eating is a good thing for me. :)
  • to fall down in yoga (on Sunday)
  • to start studying now. I finished section 1 and am just getting to section 2.
  • to watch "Dexter" while studying. :)
  • to be obsessed with tea!
  • to have leftover cake batter (strawberry cake mix + Greek yogurt + water) in the fridge. I microwave a little each night to accompany my yogurt.
What's your favorite tea?
What snacks do you make and keep in your fridge?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oh How Pinteresting: Fall & cozy

I haven't done a Pinteresting Wednesday in a long time so this will be a "doozy."

Tonight's dinner, and because I'm a creature of habit, I'll be eating this for a few days probably.

An attempt to post more entrees

And back to the sweet stuff

The weather is signaling fall.

We are still house searching. It's a hard process.

Its been awhile since I've painted my nails. They're brittle so I've cut them super short.