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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Easy Snow Ice Cream

Who doesn't love this fluffy, frozen treat? Floridians? Southern Californians? Hawaiians? Get where I'm going with that? I can attest to the fact that this icy indulgence is a staple in my house anytime we get a substantial amount of snow... well, enough snow to scoop several cups from the surface. There is more than one recipe for snow cream, many of which call for sweetened condensed milk. But if you're like me, that ingredient isn't always in the pantry. Therefore, there must be a plan B. My plan B is to use a different method. My Mom's method, which calls for ingredients I always have on hand. It is quite tasty and totally does the trick when it comes to getting my snow cream fix. Don't tell Jimmy Buffett I said this, but THIS is my idea of the perfect frozen concoction.

Please keep in mind that I am no food stylist. I simply plate things up and play with angles to find a shot I'm happy with. My picture is very amateur but it is a picture of my snow cream, nonetheless. I took it outside because I felt the lighting was best... plus I felt snow in the background made it feel more authentic. I got the shot I wanted but I have reason to believe that my toes might have a hint of frostbite. But that's neither here nor there.

Mix together the following ingredients:
1 Cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup sugar
4-5 Cups clean, unpacked snow (I go on the heavy side because I like it a little thicker)

I find that using my stand mixer gives it a smoother consistency but spoon stirring works just fine.

Enjoy! I am off to try and save my ailing toes.






Friday, December 6, 2013

I Heart Black and Brown

Who said you can't wear black and brown together? Well, I can assure you it wasn't me. I have always been confused about the taboo attached to this has-been of a fashion faux pas. This outfit might be considered a melting pot of, well, stuff. At first glance, it seems a bit busy. But once I put it all together I thought YES, this is it! Kate Spade probably won't be calling me anytime soon for fashion advice but I can live with that. The red nail polish... I just felt there needed to be something from a different part of the color wheel. I need color. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with darks and earth tones. As long as there is at least a small touch of color. In this case, red polish does the trick for me. I also love a splash of animal print occasionally, and this scarf seemed like the perfect addition to this outfit. Yes, the glasses are also animal-inspired. Is this too much? Maybe. I typically prefer only ONE piece with animal print. However, the glasses seemed subtle enough so I thought I'd throw them in simply because I think they are way cool.

Warm in black and brown


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Disappointment

There isn’t one person on Earth that has never been disappointed about something. The disappointment I am feeling at the moment is a little overwhelming. Writing/blogging is therapeutic for me. So instead of wallowing in this, I choose to let my fingers make sweet music with my keyboard. I hope the end result is a renewed sense of optimism.

For most of the past school year (2012-2013), I worked feverishly on something called National Board Candidacy. It is a certification educators can achieve by jumping through what seems like an infinite amount of hoops. Throughout the process, there is an extensive amount of writing. We video. We document. We produce artifacts. We reflect. We provide evidence. Evidence, evidence, evidence. Blah! That word exhausts me. I spent months working my heart out to provide EVIDENCE of my worth as a teacher. I’m ad libbing here, mind you. Nowhere during this process has my worth as a teacher been questioned. I am simply feeling a bit cynical at the moment.

The first stage was spent gathering evidence, videoing myself teaching, providing artifacts to “prove” certain things, and overall jumping of the hoops. Once that was over at the end of the school year, the next step was to spend 3 hours inside a testing center having six writing prompts thrown at me in rapid fire form. I had 30 minutes per prompt to respond. I like to write, and I like to talk about education. What I don’t like is being put under pressure and having to provide aforementioned evidence impromptu style.

Anyhoo, after it was all said and done I felt a relief. The monkey was finally off of my back after months of stress and worry. I felt pretty good about the first stage of it all. I was very up in the air about the second stage. The impromptu writings. I felt really good about two of them, not good at all about a couple more, and undecided about two.

We recently received an email stating that we should prepare for score release. Yes, I finished in May but had to wait until November 23 to receive my scores. Don’t ask me! Yesterday I tried not to think about it. I’d already spent enough time anticipating this. I didn’t want to spend a Friday on edge. Last night, I didn’t want to prevent myself from getting some sleep. I worked through the nerves, told myself I’d check this morning. And I went to bed. I woke up for a drink of water. I pressed the button on my phone to look at the time. It was just shy of 4am...3:50 to be exact. When my phone lit up, I saw a Facebook notification from a friend and fellow National Board candidate. She had messaged through the night, saying that scores were up. I rushed to the living room and opened up my laptop, logged in to the website where scores post, and there it was. In black and white. Much to my chagrin, I did not pass. To add insult to injury, I only missed it by one point. ONE POINT. And the part that made me miss... the impromptu writing. Those six 30-minute assessments! Well, technically, 4 of the 6. I did ok on 2 of them. Nonetheless. I sat solemn for a moment and caught my breath. I read the report outlining my scores. I began wiping tears. Then I began watching profanity dance through my mind. I closed the lid of my laptop, and sat back in the chair. I just didn’t know how to feel.

I sat for a while simply processing information, reflecting on the entire journey, pondering my next step, battling anger and sadness, thinking about all of the money and time I had spent, etc. etc. I worked up a sizable headache. But alas, I was completely out of BC Powder. It’s my go-to headache relief. This was simply unacceptable. I had no control over my scores, but by golly I was taking the proverbial bull by the horns and getting me some BC. I threw on a hoodie to cover the t-shirt I’d slept in, I put on some boots without socks, put my hair in a ponytail and I headed to the 24 hour gas station. On the way there, I was focused on getting me some BC and hoping not to see anyone I knew. I pull up, I look at the truck in the parking lot and think to myself, “Hmm, that kindof looks like the truck of a friend of my sister. Sure hope he doesn’t see me.” As it turned out, my sister was with him... they were headed hunting. It was quite embarrassing, but she still loves me. I got my BC powder, a coke and powdered donuts. Those things are comfort food to the Nth degree, and I don’t need any evidence to prove it!

So there I was. Headed home. Rounding 5am. Braless and in my PJs. Tears rolling down my face. Cramming powdered donuts down my throat. Swilling my Coca-Cola. Listening to Gene Autry’s Frosty The Snowman. Yes, this is a true story. I can’t make that up. It was quite a moment. One of my all time lows, I’d venture to say. I’m thankful there were no witnesses.

BUT... after it is all said and done, I must do as George Michael instructs and have faith. I will retake the necessary sections. I will pass next time. I will have a different story to tell a year from now. And after ending up with donut powder in my nostrils (don’t ask), I shall never eat that particular comfort food while crying again.

Disappointment. It is inevitable. It can make us or it can break us, but that is for us to decide. As for me, I choose not to break. I choose to be optimistic. I choose to go forward with my weekend plans and have the fun time I know I will. This too shall pass.


GO HOGS!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Eye Candy, Part Deux

This, my lovelies, is my second installment of Eye Candy. It has been a while since I've shared my favorite eye candy (Click HERE to read Eye Candy, Part One) with you all. I will make mention of one bit of candy from part one. Other than that, they are all new to the list! This is my way of keeping it fresh, and giving credit where credit is due.

I will begin my second installment the same way I began the original. First, once again, my numero uno piece of eye candy... my dear hubby!






Isn't he cute?! As I said before, I dearly love this man. I am also well aware that there are several pieces of eye candy in celebrity land.



I must issue this disclaimer: I have not deviated from my affection for any of the men in my previous list. In addition, Josh Duhamel still tops my list. For that reason, he is the only one who gets a repeat appearance.

Here he is, the object of my eye candy affection. The celebrity apple of my eye. Since his days on All My Children, he has made quite the voyage into the lives of many people... most recently, Nicholas Sparks fans, thanks to Safe Haven on the big screen. Since I am including a “repeat offender” in the list, I will at least give you fresh pictures to look at.






Next in the list, is my number two. He has been my country music crush since “All My Friends Say” dropped in 2007. He has only gotten more gorgeous since then... not to mention his OH-so-refined dance moves. Before you is a picture perfect specimen of a country star. Those eyes. That hair. That tan. Those sparkling white teeth. Oh dear. Be still my heart.

Doin' his thaaaaang. Ooooh La La



Completely in his element!

From my favorite video, "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"

Showing off his pearly whites

Ok ok. Yeah yeah. I know. Picture overload. I had to make myself stop. He’s so pretty.


Next, the rest of this installment’s hunks. My two favorites made the top of the list. The rest, however, are in no particular order.

Shemar Moore. Mmmmm, this piece of art is sommmmme kind of sexy. I don’t watch Criminal Minds. However, Diary of a Mad Black Woman is one of my favorites. A person would have to be legally blind not to see this man’s appeal.






Adam Levine. Looks like the epitome of a hot bad boy rocker. Except he's not so much a bad boy. He sings. He hosts a successful TV show. He's funny. He's Adam.




Channing Tatum. Alright, some of you might be thinking this is a little too cliche. While that may be somewhat true, he made my list because I genuinely see something in him. Going on looks alone, I'm not sure if he'd have ranked here. That said, he loves his wife and baby. He has a strong jawline. Nice lips. Great hair. He can dance like no other. And, ummm, how do I say this delicately... he works out.







David Freese. Where athletes are concerned, this one is a hot one. I'm a Cardinals fan first (Yankees second). Therefore, I stuck with the red birds roster for this list. David is fun to watch. He's athletic. He has a great smile. He's so very handsome. Great smile. Looks good in street clothes. Still looks good without his hat (some of them do NOT). Fills out the back of his baseball pants. I'm not lying. His derrière has it's own Twitter... . I came face to face with him in his Range Rover. True story. Anyway, check him out.






David Beckham. Oh David. The sexpot that put soccer on the map. Ok, maybe that's not fair to say...lots of people watch soccer. However, he put it on the map for me. He and Victoria make the hottest celebrity couple. Right up there with Josh and Fergie. I don't know what else needs to be said about this one. The pictures say it all.





Tim Tebow. The football player surrounded by controversy. He is a man of God, and he is proud of it. Enough said. All of the controversy aside, he is a very handsome dude. Like his methods or don't like them... he is still fun to look at!




JR Ramirez. I first "met" this guy watching Emily Owens, M.D. I'm still having withdrawals since the show got cut, by the way. This guy has that thing I like. The dark hair. The dark eyes. The beautiful brown skin. Here he is.




Kellan Lutz. Ok, full disclosure. I'm not a watcher of the Twilight series. Not even tempted to see any of it. The whole vampire thing is lost on me I suppose. That said, I would have to live under a rock to not know who this hunk is! If an artist were told to paint a portrait of the quintessential heartthrob, this would be the result.






Chris Hemsworth. Such a cutie. He really is quite dashing. He is cuter than his brother, Liam. Therefore, he made the list.








Wes Brown. This guy was on 90210. I watched it regularly, just like I did the original 90210 back in the day. This is not a face that people go gaga for. However, there is just something about him that gets me. Something I can't express. He just has.... something. That something has landed him in my list.






Rickie Fowler. This cutie tears up the links in style. He is well-dressed. He's colorful. He has great hair. And again, he has that thing. The brown skin. The dark features. You know the thing. He has a philanthropic soul. He's quite a lovable guy. Plus, I got a fist bump from him in Ft. Worth. Yes. I have arrived.










And last but not least, my sister's addition to the list. Ryan Reynolds. He is definitely easy on the eyes. He is funny. He is charming. Looks great with facial hair. Nice pick, sis!





Honorable mention - Mike Matheny. Liked him in his days as a catcher, but now... 
Best looking manager in MLB!





Hope you enjoyed this edition of Eye Candy!