Trying Something New by Jen

I love trying new things, going to never-been places, meeting people, eating different foods, etc etc. My entire life story is the cause effect of such a trait. However sometimes I admit that I talk myself into not liking something without giving it an adequate piece of my time. Growing up Buffy The Vampire Slayer was all the rave. I hated it. Vampires? Please!!Β  I have no time for such nonsense! So when a friend of mind started reading the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer I couldnt help but make fun of her a teeny bit. I thought it was quite a quacky indulgence. She has read all 4 of the books now and loves them all. I laughed, yet again. Last week while sick my husband returns from the store for a get-better-heres-something-to-pass-time-with gift….Twilight.Β  I actually thought it was a joke, as a means to brighten our sickness and secretly make fun of our friend. It was the opposite. He urged me to try it. hmmmm

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It sat for a day untouched. 24 hours passed and another sick day plagued me. Why not? I picked it up last week and have not been able to put it down since! Vampires? Seriously? Ohhhh but this book is so much more than that! It’s enchanting and leaves me thirsting for more chapter upon chapter. Needless to say I am hooked. I am now the one getting the “mmmmhmmmmm, told you so”!Β  And I just found out there is a movie. Where have I been? Certainly not thinking about stereotyped vampire nonsense!

I cant wait to finish this one and read the remaining three! So, do you step outside your zone of preconcieved assumptions of things? Or is that rope too intertwined to let you possibly find a new joy? I learned another lesson this past week!

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peachy keen by megan

Happy Saturday! I love Saturdays…sunny Saturdays, specifically. Like today! Even though there are some threatening dark colored clouds floating about it is still a pretty sunny day! Lizzy and I enjoyed a power walk around the neighborhood earlier. Surprisingly it was not too, too hot. There was a faint breeze. Hey, we take what we can get down here!

The Southern Living party was so much fun last night. My mom definitely ordered more than she planned on, but what can you do when there is so much Southern Living goodness to choose from? I helped her make good decisions though and she ended up with some pretty new things for our home πŸ™‚ Oh, and my dip turned out fabulously. People could not get over the fact that I usedΒ  Greek yogurt as one of the layers. Well, I did! Stonyfield Farm Oikos plain organic greek yogurt to be exact. It was thick, creamy, and tart! Perfect addition to my Eight- Layer Mediterranean Dip. It was definitely a hit!

I enjoyed more Stonyfield goodness today, too…

IMG_7789Peach flavored O’Soy soy yogurt. This is, hands down, my favorite soy yogurt on the market.

IMG_7787I have been loving and buying this yogurt long before Stonyfield sent me coupons…the coupons were definitely an added bonus to this weeks grocery shop, though πŸ™‚

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O’Soy is so creamy and thick. I like to buy this particular yogurt in the 6 pack. The O’Soy 6 pack comes with 3 Peach and 3 Strawberry. Now, I am usually a strawberry girl…yogurt, smoothies, jam- you name it. But to my surprise the peach O’Soy is my love. The strawberry flavor is yummy too…but the peach has my heart. Now, it’s your turn to try O’Soy πŸ™‚

Alright, and it’s time for me to get some school work done before I babysit my cousin tonight. She loves Barbies and she loves to color…I already know it is going to be a fun night! Have a wonderful Saturday!

southern living by megan

Hi! Gosh, I don’t know what is up with me today but I am feeling a million different things all at once… I’m energetic, sleepy, snacky, happy, anxious. I just don’t know what my deal is!

This morning I had an early class…it was a one time meeting type deal. It’s a course we have to take the semester before student teaching. Basically I will spend the entire semester compiling a huge binder full of artifacts from my years spent in the College of Education. My artifacts have to meet a certain set of standards. This binder is better known as the “Tier III Assessment Portfolio”. Thinking about it makes me very anxious, but it is definitely something I need to think about because I can not wait until the last minute to start this monster of a portfolio. My plan is to work on it bit by bit throughout the semester. Wish me luck!

After class my friend and I hit up our campus gym…loved it! I hadn’t been to our gym since way before Hurricane Katrina. The fitness center was beautiful on the inside with a lot of equipment and huge windows overlooking campus, but my treadmill was a bit old. There was not even a spot for me to put my iPod or my water bottle. But it really was no big deal, I dealt with it! I rarely workout with a friend and it was a nice change πŸ™‚

Tonight my mom and I are going to a Southern Living party. I am so excited! My mom has been to a few, but I’ve never been to one. I am really looking forward to it. It will be something nice to do with her!

My mom has her eye on this (I love it, too!)…

The Royal Street Urn. I love the arrangement in the urn, as well. My mom is going to have it made. There are going to be so many pretty things to order tonight…it could be dangerous, haha!

The party is at my friends home and I am bringing a dip…Eight- Layer Mediterranean Dip to be exact. It’s another recipe from my Whole Foods iTouch app (love that app!), but you can also find it here. Doesn’t it look yummy?

I am making it later this afternoon and I can’t wait to try it tonight! I love every single ingredient that is going into it, especially the pita chips used to scoop it out!

Happy Friday, y’all!

thankful thursday by megan

Hey guys! Happy (thankful) Thursday πŸ™‚ Right now, I am thankful for my warm cup ofΒ  French Market coffee that I am enjoying oh so much!

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I am also thankful that I am able to cook dinner tonight for my family! A few months ago I started cooking dinner for my family once a week, usually something healthy and easy. I really enjoy cooking and I am so thankful that I have the chance to do so. It was not until a few months ago that I began to show interest in using the stove and oven, instead of only relying on the good old microwave. I guess I thought the microwave got the job done in half the time a stove or oven would. But, I am beginning to enjoy spending time preparing meals. There is so much love and effort behind a meal. And, I really love sitting down with my family to eat what I’ve prepared…at the dinner table, at the same time (like we used to every single night when Lizzy and I were growing up…before college and jobs and boys took place)! Family dinner is a rare occurrence and is usually reserved for Sundays, but I notice our family dinner beginning to take place more and moreΒ  during the work week and it’s lovely.

So, anyway the menu for tonight is Grilled Tilapia with Smoked Paprika and Parmesan Polenta. It’s a Cooking Light recipe and sounds delicious, healthy, and simple. I can’t wait to get in the kitchen later! I mean look at what will be the result…

Happy Thursday!

first day by megan

Good afternoon, friends! Okay, well today has been…interesting. It was the first day of class for me and I was only there for 1 hour instead of 2 AND I do not have to go back tonight (for the lecture portion of the course). You see the morning portion of this Classroom Management in Early Childhood course is designated for field work, in which we spend many hours at an elementary school in one classroom. For this course I will most likely be spending my time in a preschool or kindergarten classroom πŸ™‚ So, being that it was the first day of class we obviously did not have fieldwork to get started on. So we went over the course basics and called it a day! It was nice to be home around noon rather than 8:00 tonight…like it will be every other Wednesday starting next week. Oh well…at least I don’t have to be on campus every day! Also, I am excited for this class and I love my professor! I was supposed to have a Biology Lab today but labs do not start until next week…so I was free from that too! I’m definitely not complaining!

On Sunday I pulled my sisters very old bike out of the garage. I rode it up and down the street and around the block. There are major issues with the front brake...as in it doesn’t work. My dad rigged it some way or the other though so I could take it for a spin, but I still don’t trust it. I used the back brake which works fine, but I would feel more comfortable if the front brake was up to par. Anyway I loved, loved, loved riding the bike…it had been way too long since I plopped my bottom on a bike! Riding the bike got me thinking about how I would enjoy one of my own. Granted my sister will let me borrow hers whenever, but it is a tad old…and possibly life threatening with the wonky front brake!! My bike would be pink with a basket…definitely would have a basket! I am praying it would look similar to this…

I can imagine myself riding to the grocery store for some small items, like milk or bread, to carry home in my basket or riding to Nola Beans for a cup of coffee! Of course these small excursions will not happen until we move like I mentioned in this post. But I can certainly ride a bike around my subdivision until we do move! My birthday is in October and I am thinking my wish list will include this pink bike or this baby blue one from XYZ Bikes. My friend called me a little while ago about possibly riding bikes this Saturday at Audubon Park

but we settled on walking due to my brake issue and another issue of getting our bikes to the park. Oh well, bike riding around the park would definitely be fun, but walking is just as fun! Audubon Park is breathtaking and lined with Southern Oak Trees, and once you hit the trail around the golf course you’re surrounded by Garden District mansions. It’s so beautiful…walking the park is truly a blessing and something I do not do enough!

Well, I am rather sleepy this afternoon and I am thinking a nap is in order (or just some Julie & Julia reading)! Probably because I slept about 5 hours last night! I was tossing and turning for a good hour/hour and a half. I just could not fall asleep. Every little worrisome thing that could have popped into my head did! It was rather annoying, actually. When this happens I need to remember to remind myself that God has it under control and it does no good to worry…especially when it cuts into my sleep!! Does this happen to any of y’all?

Happy Wednesday!!

good eats by megan

Hey y’all! Oh my today has been quite a Tuesday, let me tell ya. I have been so busy getting school stuff organized for tomorrow and I just feel like the organization process will never end! I feel like I will never be just as organized as I would like to be, but I am going to try!

Last night I experienced a bit of a mishap involving a school, but I got it straightened out thankfully. The only bummer is that I had to add a class. This was not something I was expecting and it most definitely was not an easy feat considering it was the first day of classes and most were full!!! Grr. Let’s just say I acted pretty dramatically over this last night. It all turned out fine though because I managed to get an online (!!!) Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism class. It is an elective so I am praying it will turn out interesting since I do not know anything about HRT. I know God has it under control though, what a relief!

Yesterday before all of the drama took place I snacked on one of my new Larabar flavors…Tropical Fruit Tart.

IMG_7775Please go buy this, y’all! To me it tasted just like a pina colada. Also, I liked how it was crumbly like a cookie. Well, mine was crumbly! I don’t know if it was supposed to be, but I liked it that way! There were chunks of dried fruit in there and I liked that too. Yay Larabar!! This is a sure winner in my book.

And just a few moments ago I enjoyed another delicious snack. Today I chose Stonyfield Farm Organic Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt

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and I topped it with Welch’s Dried Fruit Snacks in Tropical Sensation (pineapple, mango, and papaya).

IMG_7781I love these little snack bags of dried fruit. This was actually the first time I tried it as a topping…and oh my gosh! It was so yummy! I mean look at it…

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IMG_7783I like things sweet, so the tartness of the Greek yogurt and the sweetness of the dried fruit was perfection! For me atleast πŸ™‚ I am so grateful that Stonyfield sent me all of those coupons over the weekend…I can’t wait to stock up on Oikos and other Stonyfield goodies! This snack made me one happy girl, that’s for sure!

Alright, I am off to tackle some more organizing. Wish me luck! Happy Tuesday!!

Tasty Tuesday by Jen

Happy Tuesday! Yesterday was gorgeous here in the South. Cool(er) weather hit us. I do hope it’s not simply just a teaser but generally for this time of year it is! One thing that comes with the chilling weather for me are thoughts of comfort food. (Ok so it wasnt really cold but the cool breeze flashed memories). I love having time in the mornings to prepare a hot breakfast. Generally that means oatmeal with different mix-ins. But today it will be pancakes. Spicy pancakes that offer a touch of Fall. The best part is that you can share these with someone you love, or save to reheat the next day.

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Whole Grain Autumn Pancakes for 2

1/3 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar or sucant

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

tiny pinch of cloves

1 large egg

1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup milk (cow’s, soy, almond, hemp, etc)

2 tsp expeller pressed canola oil

1 small apple, peeled & shredded

chopped nuts (optional)

In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. In a small bowl beat the egg until fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla. Mix and then add the milk and pumpkin.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients until mixed. Fold in the apple and nuts (if using). Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes before cooking.

Preheat griddle or large skillet to medium heat. Laddle about 1/4 cup of the batter at a time. When the top begins to bubble, flip once to allow the bottom to golden.

Serves 2, about 2-3 pancakes each. Serve with REAL maple syrup! Enjoy πŸ™‚

summer’s over by megan

Happy Monday! Well, summer’s over…for the South anyway. I am pretty sure all elementary schools, high schools, and universities are offically back in session after today. As for me, I do not start class until Wednesday! This is my last semester before student teaching in the spring and I am very anxious to see what God has in store! I love the beginning of each new school year…a fresh start! So, yes Wednesday is my first day back and I have yet to get my school supplies together. I have purchased them…I just need to transfer them from the Office Depot bag into a tote and fill the binders with paper. Oh, how I love school supplies! Since I only have 1 class and 1 lab this semester I did not need too many supplies…but I am happy with what I found, so I thought I would share them with you…

IMG_7772Yay! I am most excited about my Wilson Jones accordion folder and my multi-colored R.S.V.P. pens πŸ™‚ Oh, and I totally scored that Vera Bradley binder at TJ Maxx for 3 bucks. The same day I found my linea pelle bag…oh, it was a good shopping day! Indeed it was.

So far today I enjoyed spending some time with God this morning in Romans, ate some cereal and blueberries, went to the gym, went to the bank, went to get gas, and ate lunch. It has been a wonderful day so far. Not to mention it is absolutely gorgeous outside! I have been driving around with the windows down...love doing that, I definitely don’t do it enough. I should be spending more time outside today enjoying this weather…I am thinking some reading is in line for this afternoon πŸ™‚ I started reading Julie & Julia last night and I can’t wait dive back into it!

Have a great day, y’all!

Change by Jen

Happy Sunday! It’s a beautiful day here in the South. Like Megan mentioned in her las post, we don’t start to get cool(er) weather until later in October. So… If that’s the case then why in the world do I have a cold? I believe the hot, humid air allows the cold virus to breed even more rapidly. Sure enough, Thursday my throat started to hurt a bit and Friday the sickness took full force. I can’t recall the last time I was sick with a cold, I believe I was a young girl, early teens maybe. Yes, it’s been that long. You’ve heard the say “when it rains, it pours”- that’s how my body reacts to sickness. I rarely get sick but when I do it’s full blown. There is one upside to having a voice that can hardly whisper due to a very sore throat……Β 

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Icecream!!!! My favorite kind, vanilla!!! Stoneyfield ranks top of my list too- with all natural ingredients, none of that high fructose corn syrup. It soothes the throat ever so well!

Changes. How well do you cope? Do you follow your heart or listen to others? I admit many of the events in my life have been a result of listening to others-what they think is best for me. I often let that lead my decisions. To be quite honest though, I end up unhappy. It’s taken me a while to learn that I just need to follow my own heart. We can’t make everyone happy, even those close to us. My in laws tend to think they know exactly how I should live my life and what I should do, anything otherwise isn’t good. In their eyes. Not mine. The thing is, we are each unique in our own ways. What makes out heart burn with passion won’t be the same for others. After highschool I just followed suit and did what others wanted me to.Β  Here I am, mid 20’s, unhappy in my own career but unhappy with what the family wanted me to pursue again my quest to return to school again. The past week went from being literally depressed at the thought of doing something again that would leave me unhappy into my 30’s in a career that was lead by not my own heart. I couldn’t do it again. So, long story short, I am returning to school to pursue elementary education. I am quite happy. πŸ™‚Β 

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Are you following your heart? If not, what’s stopping you?

super saturday by megan

Happy Saturday, y’all! Today has been great so far πŸ™‚ I did some yummy yoga, baked tomorrow nights dessert (and licked the spoon hehe) and received some fun surprises in the mail!

A humoungous thank you to Kristina from Stonyfield Farms for this…

IMG_7768A handwritten note, a magnet, Food, Inc info, a reusable bag, and COUPONS galore for Stonyfield’s yummy yogurt! IΒ  can’t wait to head to Whole Foods and put these coupons to good use. Thanks again, Kristina!!!

Also, my favorite issue of all time arrived today…

IMG_7769The September Vogue. I love the September issue and have been collecting them since 2004. The massive amount of fall ads are my favorite part of the Vogue September issue. Fall is on its way…I’m definitely ready for the cooler weather. But living in the South cooler weather is not expected until mid October. If we are lucky! Heck, my some of my family members wore shorts last Christmas Day! Oh, how I wish we experienced all four seasons down here…

Oh, and last night my friends and I had a movie night…a Jane Austen movie night! We watched Emma and Becoming Jane. I loved Emma! I think it is now my favorite of all Jane Austen novels/movies. Although Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility are wonderful. I just love Emma’s character. She was such a gossip but tried so hard to be kind hearted! She was so loving. And, Becoming Jane was so beautiful, but the ending was too depressing. Have any of y’all seen Becoming Jane? I want to see The Jane Austen Book Club next.

Tonight I am babysitting my cousins while my aunt and uncle attend a wedding. I love spending time with my cousins! They are so much fun when they are little πŸ™‚ Hopefully we get to color a lot, my favorite thing to do!

Happy Saturday, friends!