High 5 For Friday

May 31, 2013

1. We are officially employed, Jeremy as a School Psychologist and myself as a 4th grade teacher in the same parish he is in. I'm really happy it is a grade I am familiar with...but Holy Moses I do not want to teach Math. I pushed for a lower grade, but when they saw my test scores, the fact that I've taught the most hated grade by teachers for 2 years, and my resume I didn't get a choice. Such is life, a job is a job is a job.

2. After interviewing with 20+ teachers competing for the same position, I decided to dress a little flashy...it worked. Tip for teachers :: wear something that will help them remember you, but in a positive way. Don't look crazy.

3. We signed on a townhouse! How the mess we crammed a big 3 bedroom house into a 3 bedroom townhouse to begin with amazes me....how we will get that in a two bedroom townhouse just seems impossible. I may be ditching a desk. Just know if you are reading this and think I'm giving away things you may want...you probably won't want them. None of the antiques are leaving. Just clothes and that awful desk.

4. For our anniversary yesterday we stopped off at Cafe Du Monde before heading into town for Emeril's. If all you want is good coffee just hit up the spots in Kenner and Metairie. There is no reason to pay for parking and sit outside if you've been to NOLA before. I always say no presents, but Jeremy out did himself. We had several disposable camera sitting around at the wedding for guests to play with and after years of not getting them printed Jeremy surprised me with them. The big surprise was what some of the pictures were. Someone managed to snag a pic of my grandparents dancing together, super sweet.

5. Emeril's was amazing. I'll post more about it later. I was so excited to finally go, I've wanted to go since I was in elementary school and he first came on Food Network. Who all remembers 1990's early Food Network? We've lived here two years, but we really like to save high end places for special occasions. After working in fine dining a few years between the two of us we really love to watch the wait staff when we go to these places. It almost made me want to quit teaching and beg for a position there, I seriously loved working in fine dining in college. But I'll save my rambling for my Emeril's post.
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Happy Anniversary Jeremy!

May 30, 2013

Before you get to the post check out my review for Me Strength and the discount code for their product! 


Today, we've been married 4 years.
[photo by Jennifer Lizenby]
It's been an interesting 4 years too. I graduated undergrad & graduate school, Jeremy was accepted into a Specialist program for School Psychology and we moved across the state. The most exciting part of the school adventure is that he just finished up his course work and after he works as a School Psych for this upcoming school year he will get to finally graduate.

[always remember goofy smiles always come back to haunt you when your wife blogs]

This week we both officially got jobs, I say we because we had to go to another parish so that he could get a psychology position, and we also signed on a townhouse! We are all set to move and in 4 weeks will be on yet another adventure.
[hiking in Mt. Pleasant, TN with your Dad -- I had on like 3 pairs of pants]
I don't know if you've noticed this Jeremy, but half of our anniversaries so far have consisted of a big move. Let's not make this a pattern.
[engagement pics by Two Suez]

Then again, there is no one I'd rather be stressed over moving with than him. Granted Jeremy rarely gets stressed, I probably just bug him with my Type A tendencies.

 [honeymoon in the Bahamas]

 [honeymoon at Epcot]

Talking to other girls, married or dating, over the years has made me realize just how great of a guy I have. Yes, we have our moments were we are irritated with each other, but overall everything has been pretty much smooth sailing. We had some bumps at the beginning and the usual throughout the years, but it is nice to be on the same page as someone else about the big things.

Somehow I managed to land a good Godly man who takes me into consideration, and values my opinion. I could never appreciate him enough for his views on women, then again I probably would have never married someone with archaic view points. I've be able to see someone with no free time take the 5 minutes he has and put towards youth ministry. Heck as if our summer wasn't packed enough he decided to take the youth group to a mission camp in Memphis for a week (I'm going too, pray for my sleep lol), and the next week he is directing VBS. Then we move...that Monday.
[the night you left for Africa]

I always tell my mom that if I had an ounce of his stamina and energy I would be set. He is just a naturally driven person, and I really value that in him.
[evening church at Portico after we were engaged that afternoon]
It felt really good the other day, while we were in the personnel office for the second day in a row filling out paperwork, for the personnel director's assistant to stop what she was doing with us and say "Y'all seem to really love each other." So many times people see how we pick with each other and take it the wrong way, it was really nice for someone to validate that we do actually like each other lol.
[Rock City]
So happy 4 years Jeremy, I love you and I can't wait to see the next new few yeas bring. I feel like I should get you a card just so you can have documentation that one of our cards congratulated on 4 years being kid free lol!

[this must have been Christmas 2009]
(It's a long running joke. He always puts "Congrats on ____ years kid free" in all my cards)
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Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday!

May 29, 2013

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Almond Iced Tea

May 28, 2013

I know I mentioned it last week, but Jeremy getting a job has turned this summer (all 3 days of it so far) into a whirlwind. Monday was our first day to be able to really get to work on finding a place to live...and we did. It wasn't my first pick, but considering my first pick was insanely priced I opted for the 2nd pick that also had stained concrete floors.

Also, call me a crazy blogger...but a big selling point was the natural light int he house and the big front window. Hello better blog pictures!

I managed to interview bright and early at 8am, which meant we had to get up at 5am. Not ideal, even less ideal when I was given another interview for today at the same time. It puts a dent in summer workouts, but I have to be back early tomorrow to work on some blogging project stuff, so hopefully this interviewing deal settles down soon.

Another fun little thing, for us, this week is that our 4 year anniversary is Thursday. We will be having fun in NOLA and I'll post about it later. I've already come to terms with toting my big camera for the sake of good pictures.

Back to the anniversary. One of our favorite things from our wedding was the almond iced tea that was served during the little cocktail hour 30 minutes while people arrived. It took me several years to perfect it, but I finally did.

There is nothing so special about it, but it definitely tastes special. It really makes me feel like it's our wedding day again. Of all the food and drinks we were serving I darted for the drink table to get ahold of this as soon as we entered the reception....I also grabbed a biscuit. If you're interested where we were married, Twin Oaks, is a bed & breakfast in Natchez, MS. The owner, Regina Charboneau, is a rockstar of a chef and has catered meals for the Rolling Stones and has a few restaurants. The woman is seriously the southern charm ideal and is living my dream chef life. She has done the Today Show, writes for a popular blog, and wrote a cookbook...that I just so happen to adore. (I have no idea why her cookbook is selling for that much on Amazon, if you want one you could email her and get it for about $30.)

Almond Iced Tea

2 - 2 quart Luzianne Ice Tea Bags
1 1/2 cups sugar (or splenda)
1 tsp almond extract
1 gallon of water

Bring water (about quart worth) to a boil in a small pot and stir in sugar. Add tea bags and steep until the water is a deep brown (5-10 minutes). Remove tea bags, squeezing out tea, and place liquid in a gallon pitcher. Add almond extract and fill the rest of the way with water until reaching the gallon mark. Stir and chill. Serve cold. 

Note:: When boiling water to make tea you do not need to bring the entire gallon to a boil. I just get a very small pot and fill it up, from there on I just add water to my pitcher until it hit a gallon. It would take far to long for me if I boiled a whole gallon. 

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Meal Pinning Monday

May 26, 2013

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday -  Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers & Veggie Skewers

Tuesday- Chilian Style Hot Dogs with Grilled Zucchini

Wednesday - House hunting all day/dinner at church

Thursday - Anniversary @ Emeril's in NOLA

Friday - Paleo Orange Chicken with Broccoli

Saturday - Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

Sunday - Eat out lunch / leftovers for dinner

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High Five 4 Friday

May 24, 2013

1. Last Saturday we went to the lake with some friend's to celebrate my good friend Stephanie graduating from LSU! We had a blast, and even though it was only one night it was so relaxing that it felt like days.

2. It has been a week y'all. On Tuesday I made a run by the local grocery store and decided I needed some Sucre chocolate. If you are ever in the NOLA area I highly suggest you visit their store, amazing!

3. I think Sirius new I needed some happy in my life, because the 2 free promo weeks are on again. We never bought Sirius after it expired, but I dearly love their 90's station and jam out every time it is on!

4. Yesterday I packed up my classroom here and headed home. We will be moving at the beginning of July so I had to get the junk now. The last time I did this I had a Mustang, and that took quite a few loads. Luckily with the Momma Focus it only took two car loads.

5. I planned to pack boxes and store them in the guest room until we moved...after Jeremy put my classroom stuff in there that might not be as easy.
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The Broke Teacher Summer Workout Schedule

May 23, 2013

School is officially out for summer, and with that comes the summer workout plan. Last summer I got together with two fellow teachers and we walked several miles, biked, and swam every single day of summer. This summer I'm on my own, which means I get to sleep in...but the summer workout is in full force. I'm hoping that by cleaning up the junky eating I've done the past month I can get in some good habits by the time we move.
 (Ellie and Maddie out last summer in Monroe, I didn't just workout that summer I also made the dogs play in a kiddie pool and lay out with me. They hated me.)

Now with youth camp and moving right after that, working out will be a little strange some days. Especially while I am still on the job hunt. On modified days I'll just do what I can, for instance during camp I will still be wearing my pedometer (Fitbit) so I'll be sure how many steps and calorie burn I am getting daily and I plan to take my iPad with me which has P90X yoga on it...so late at night or early in the morning I will squeeze in a workout.
(Maddie trying to stay dry, I really want to do this after we move this summer)

Day to day, this is how I hope it goes (rough estimate on time, totally depends on when I wake up)

Morning -  Ultimate Yogi Session (55-75 minutes)
                  Breakfast after workout (Kale Skillet, Green Monster, Clean Pancakes)

Mid-Morning - Zumba/dance workout dvd

Lunch - I want to go as Paleo/Whole 30 as possible for lunch & dinner.

Afternoon - 30 Day Shred
                    Walk/run stairs at the Civic Center to get my 10,000 steps a day in. (It's air conditioned and
                     way to hot for outdoor day walking in south Louisiana)

Late Afternoon - Ultimate Yogi Hardcore or P90X Abs :: every other day

Dinner - see Meal Pinning Monday every week

Evening - Walk dogs 1.34 miles around the University track. If you live here the path around the fields is exactly 1.34.

I'm not able to bike or swim like I was last year, so I am just using my workout dvds to my advantage until Jeremy starts working and I can hit up an actual gym again. If I am bored half to death and craving a weights workout I will probably go to a friend of our's little gym set up his has.

I am so excited that tomorrow begins the waking up and having enough energy to put it towards workouts, working out during the school year was tough this time. Hopefully I can break that and get my butt in gear like it was in previous years.

What do you focus on during the summer? 
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Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday!!

May 22, 2013

Y'all! Tomorrow is the last student day, PTL!!! I can't hardly wait for summer any longer. I am seriously mapping out my workout plan (like every summer) and planning to make a ton of homemade popsicles, aka try out every popsicle recipe on Pinterest:) Tomorrow I'll be sharing about my summer workout schedule...and how I am going to fit it in the best I can when moving, job hunting, and taking a van full of kids to youth camp a good two states away. 

I made this yesterday and it is the best thing ever!

What are some of your favorite pins from the week? 
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Jeremy's Iced Coffee

May 21, 2013

It really is no big secret that we love coffee in this house. Honestly though, I use to despise the taste of it until I started dating Jeremy. The man can make some good coffee. Our tolerance for the stuff is quite different though, he is like my father and grandfather. I'm sure he could drink it and go straight to sleep, myself on the other hand looks relatively like a crack head who just escaped rehab. I literally skipped down the school hallway today after Teacher Appreciation Luncheon because the waitress at Copeland's brought us coffee. 

That is one problem I do have with it, when I'm happy I'm super happy, but when I drink coffee and get mad I am super mad. Sort of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde scenario...with the bizarre mystery. 

I don't know when Jeremy started making iced coffee, but I never complained about it. His version is only slightly different from mine. Then again, my version is just a healthier version of his. I'm not going to lie to you though, his tastes better. Mine is not nearly as bad for you, but almond milk just doesn't do the same a cow milk in recipes. Once in a blue moon I'll use skim milk, but since I've seriously cut down my diary consumption I get sick even easier when having milk of any sort.

I realize I'm rambling. Let's just get to the recipe.

Iced Coffee::
Makes 2 quarts

3 cups of strong coffee
2/3 cup sugar (or Splenda)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pectin (optional - gives a thicker texture)
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups whole milk (skim milk or almond milk)

Brew coffee and combine with all ingredients except milk. Once sugar is disolved add milk and fill the container with ice.

If using a container larger than 2 quarts be sure to not fill with ice past the 2 quart line or it will become watery. My changes are in pink, sometimes I don't use sugar at all and just add stevia to my glass of iced coffee.

Do you prefer iced coffee or hot? 
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Meal Pinning Monday

May 19, 2013

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

(this is an old recipe that really needs to be rephotographed, maybe I'll get to it now, I'm also leaving the rice out of the casserole and replacing that carb with the Guac Rice)
Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce (I'm adding a crab stick to this recipe so it is more like the spring rolls we get at our favorite restaurant in Monroe)

Sunday - Eating out after church -  I've got a Raising Cane's end-of-the-year teacher gift card that I'm dying to use. (I do love that Raising Canes & CFA give out so many teacher gift cards beginning and end of the year)

Don't forget to enter the Firmoo Sunglasses giveaway, it ends Monday afternoon. 

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High Five For Friday

May 17, 2013

1. I went on my second interview with the same school this week. Don't know if that is good or bad. They went from 25 to 5 teachers...kind of made me want to show up in a bikini and pretend it was Miss America and that I had made top 5. Jeremy got his internship...but until I get a job I am set to not move. Whoo hoo for a total repeat of 2 years ago.

2. I've been packing my classroom, but it feels like I'm doing it in vain without another job lined up. If you're reading and thinking "Dang, Emily's been eating the sad Cherrios." Then yes, you are right. State testing scores come in today and if I don't get what I need on my SLT I know my VAM will be junk. Makes me want to do a combo cry/play in traffic.

3. Not that he doesn't do it all the time, but I love listening to Jeremy teach in youth group.

4. If you haven't bought some Italian Cream Cake ice cream you aren't currently living.

5. With the end of the year at hand I've been able to read all my favorite books to the kids this week. We read Dear Mr. Henshaw (super depressing and will never read again) and now we are on Tales of a  Fourth Grade Nothing. A friend informed me that our 3rd grade teacher read us the Judy Blume books we are still in love with over 20 years later. That same teacher, Mrs. Lanius, has a lot to do with why I love teaching ELA so much and would hate to have to do anything else. I went from being a so-so reader (out of fear because my 2nd grade teacher was insanely mean) to loving books, because of her encouragement.

What did y'all love about this week? 

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A Little About Me :: From My Husband's Perspective

May 16, 2013

A few weeks ago I asked Jeremy to write a list of things about me that other people might not know after seeing it on the From Mrs. to Mama linkup. I thought it was a fun idea, but had to wait on the man to finish comps and finals before saying, "Oh, hey write a blog post." I peeked at this list while he was working on it and it was all so serious, I had to get him to lighten it up. 

So, without me rambling further, here is a little list of things about me from Jeremy's perspective. (everything in bold is Jeremy's doing...you've been warned)

1. Only white girl in history to have the nickname “Tyrone”.This is true. My Dad called me Tyrone growing up, come to think of it he still doesn’t call me Emily. I’ve been Emma the majority of my life. I can honestly tell you I’ve never heard my sister or Dad call me Emily. Until I moved away for college I was Emma, funny enough it is weird to be called Emily. Since most family and close friends call me Em or Emma it is hard to think that someone really knows me when they still say Emily.

2. She cooks. I would say she cooks great---but after that “prison slop” incident with the cauliflower, she has sometrust to regain. Hey now, I won many a 4-H cooking competition in my day…and not long ago my little cousin won a big competition with a recipe we came up with together. Yes, the healthy stuff isn’t as good, but one has to choose between fried and healthy. That prison slop was a cauliflower “baked potato” soup recipe from Iowa Girl East that I thought was really good and he just couldn’t get past the fact that I was trying to tell him it was a wanna-be potato soup.

3. Super talented. She created this blog and booked one of the nation’s leading writers to make a top ten list about her.This is exactly why his mother always says he doesn’t lack in ego. He has done very well in graduate school…but he is no Stephen King.

4. A great encourager. I fail miserably in this category, but she picks up the slack. He is just quiet, the man just doesn’t say much and it took some getting used to considering just how much I talk. I don’t view myself as an encourager, but with the stress he is under (and mostly done with) during graduate school, and knowing that he has to keep a certain grade to stay in really made me focus on keeping his spirits up. You can only be so confident for so long, everything wares on you eventually, so if I don’t try to build him up no one will.

5. Fun on dates… at least at the end of the date!
I refuse to acknowledge this. I told him he could be funny, not raunchy.

6. Works well with others. If I don’t feel like talking with other people, she is right there to fill that void. It is simply because I don’t like weird silence. I’ll definitely talk if no one wants to get a conversation going…and it might not always be something you want to talk about. I will pull random junk out of the clouds to keep from awkward silence. No lie, moving here was hard simply because awkward silence seems to be the community M.O. No offense, but standing face to face with someone saying nothing and seeing no way to potentially leave the conversation is so uncomfortable! I could talk to a wall though, which is probably why I like teaching…40 or so little people are forced to talk to me and listen to me every day, conversation heaven (most of the time).

7. Great provider for our family. Works hard every day and brings home the bacon. Thanks dear, I often joke that he married me because he was looking for a sugar mamma to support him during graduate school. We have taken turns with money making over the years, when we were first married he made more, then we were basically equal, after that was graduate school where I am the only one working (for an income), and next year it will be an even playing field for the rest of our lives. While he hasn’t brought home “bacon” in the past two years he has worked much harder than I have. Between a graduate program that is so intensive it doesn’t leave room for a job-job and being the youth minister at our church (for free), he doesn’t have much time left over. When we first moved here and he told me he was offered the youth group position and it was a paid thing…but that he turned down the money I nearly lost my financial marbles. You’re telling me I am taking a pay cut to move here, the cost of living is increasing big time, and you’re turning down money? You’re nuts! After a bit of time I understood where he was coming from, I can even appreciate what he is doing now, even though for a time I wanted to hurt him. I’m super excited to see the light at the end of the school psychology tunnel finally and for him to start getting paid again though:)

8. Great sense of humor. She’s usually the one to take things too far. Yeah, she’s that guy. I grew up with guys; all of my best friends were guys, so I developed a rough sense of humor over the years. I can definitely hang with the fellas and don’t get offended easily. Jeremy appreciates my sense of humor most of the time, but I have seen him cringe (along with a few other guys) when I get one over on them. I don’t see the world through rose colored glasses, and tend to get annoyed with those who do (it’s my cynical side that creeps out), so I just make jokes about everything. People sometimes see it as an act, or that I’m fake…nope, it’s all me, all the time. Everything is a joke outside of work, I just can’t be grown up Mrs. B all day to be a stick in the mud after 3pm.

9. A desire to follow God. God has developed in her a servant’s heart. She is willing to step out of her comfort zone and do anything that is asked of her. Thanks babe. Jeremy has a tendency to drag me out of my comfort zone kicking and screaming. Take youth group for example, he has worked with youth for years and after all week and all day with kids the last thing I want to do is more children. I did my best to escape it forever and then after a few years of not being around Jeremy much I realized I better suck it up and jump in. Don’t take this the wrong way; I wanted to work with him for more reasons than to be joined at the hip. It just took several years for me to quit fighting where I was consistently being asked to go. Not long into helping him with youth “officially”(I was behind the scenes for a good year) he started asking me to teach onemorning…then it led to one Wednesday night. Somehow I ended up being asked to share my testimony at a Christmas Women’s event at church.

One thing God has taught me, you can run but you can’t hide.

10. A great butt; seriously though, that thing is good. Again with this Jeremy? If you are around us in person you probably think we are the least touchy feely couple on the planet, I just served enough detention in high school for PDA to work that out of my system. We’re a sneaky pair, that’s for sure. However the fact that Mr. Private wants to air out his feelings about my butt on a B-L-O-G that is P-U-B-L-I-C just baffles me to death. Could be worse, at least he likes me. 

What is something about you that most people don't know? 

Current Giveaways::
Firmoo Sunglasses
Favorite Things :: Coffee Giveaway
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April Birchbox Review

May 15, 2013

In April I signed up for my first Birchbox as a way to discover new products, see what I like, and share what I think about them. April was actually a nice month to sign up because it happened to be sponsored by Women's Health and as a "sample" there was a free year of Women's Health magazine included in the box! Whoo hoo! 

April Birchbox

April Birchbox by labride featuring juice beauty

Here is a run down of this month's box and what I thought about each product ::

1. Caudalie Divine Oil // This is a dry oil, I'd never used one but the smell is amazing. Unlike my Argan Oil that I use daily in my hair this can be used on face, body, and hair. I've so far tried out my body and hair with the sample. For hair I love the smell, but it doesn't seem to moisturize as much as Argan, then again I need more moisture. However it would be great to control fly-aways. As a body moisturizer I love it and it's amazing smell. The only kicker is the price at a $49 for the full size bottle. 

2. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream // I was interest to try out the CC cream since I have been a big BB cream gal for 2 years. The coverage was great, but I would have to go with the lighter color they offer. It almost came off as orange with my olive-ish skin pigment. I didn't like how it felt after a few hours, my skin can get oily and it definitely added to it. 

3. Ojon rare blend Deep Conditioner // I love this stuff! Even with the sample I was sent I have used it many times. It conditions amazingly, but if you use too much be prepared to have greasy hair for a day. The next day though you hair will feel amazing. If you have long hair and it gets dried out easy I would totally recommend this, but only if you are up for paying $34 dollars. 

4. Supergoop! Advanced SPF 40 Anti-Aging Eye Cream // It claims to firm skin and it does have great sun protection for an eye cream, but I guess I'm just not old enough to shell out $45 dollars for an eye cream just yet. I do like how it feels, but with 20-something skin I couldn't tell a huge difference. I'd definitely recommend this to women 35+. 

5. Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Cleanser, Serum, & Lotion //  I am in love with this product and totally see it being worth it's price. The sample lasted me an entire week and my skin looked clearer than it has in ages (and tmi it was the time I normally break out crazy). With my Birchbox points I plan to buy this for my next skin care routine. 

6. Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons // These were super yummy. I did read another blogger's review that she didn't like them. Jeremy wasn't in love with them, but I really really liked it. I am always looking for really yummy snacks that don't mess with my food sensitivities and this hit the nail on the head. Hail Merry Macaroons are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and organic. I split the sample with Jeremy and the one I had was enough chocolate taste to satisfy my after dinner craving. 

If you'd like to join Birchbox click here, it's only $10 a month and really fun if you like samples and snail mail!

Current Giveaways::

This post was not sponsored by Birchbox and I was not paid nor compensated to write it. These are my own opinions and am not affiliated with these brands in any way, I just like to share products I love. 
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Lighter Chicken Spaghetti

May 14, 2013

I really love my mother's chicken spaghetti. This is one of those dishes though that I find my husband and I debate over what should go in it. He is a Velveeta person all day long, I am a shredded cheese kinda gal. I also can't stomach the idea of putting things in food just to apease his need for Velveeta, shoot me, but it's the truth. I gave up whole wheat pasta in shared meals, I shall not budge on other things. Special occasion food, yes. Nightly meals, heck no. 

A month or so ago I tried a clean eating recipe for a Southwestern Alfredo that replaced everything horrible about alfredo with cottage cheese. I was iffy trying it out, but the dish turned out to be a big winner, even with Mr. I Hate Healthy Replacements. 

Oh if only we could all be naturally long and lean. I'd eat a giant brownie every blooming day. 

Playing off of the way that recipe turned out, and husands insistence on using Velveeta I decided to test it out. I replaced my usual canned cream of mushroom soup with a few seasonings I found in the "cream of something soup" recipes on Pinterest, combined my cottage cheese with a few other things in the food processor and attempted to do a Velveeta texture fake out. 

I really like how this came out, Jeremy on the other hand knew what was in it and protested. The man wanted Velveeta. Cottage cheese ain't Velveeta. Don't try to pretend. However, if you are looking for a healthy substitute to cream of somethings and too much cheese and still want the creaminess this is the way to go. Play with this and make it your own, use your own chicken spaghetti recipe even and try out the cream/velveeta substitute. I also do a hybrid between my mother's recipe and Pioneer Woman's recipe, and I never make it the same. 

I found that this, like many dishes, is better the next day. Sitting overnight in the fridge gave it a chance to get creamier and thicken up a bit, we all know straight out of the oven things aren't always super thick. Sitting definitely gave this chicken spaghetti a chance for all of the flavors to blend together even more. 

If you'd like to see my original Chicken Spaghetti recipe go here. 

Lighter Chicken Spaghetti:

4-5 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups fat free cottage cheese
1 box of Ronzoni Smart Taste thin spagehtti
1 1/2 c seasoning blend
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 3/4  c sharp cheddar cheese
1 can Rotel
salt & pepper to taste
1/8 tsp dried thyme
80z can of mushroom pieces and stems
1 chicken bullion cube
1/8 tsp dried basil

Grill, roast, or boil your chicken. I change it up based on time and what I want at the moment. I even am known to use a cooked chicken from the deli. Dice your chicken when it is cooked through and set aside. 

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. 

In a food processor combine cottage cheese, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, thyme, most of your mushrooms, bullion cube, and basil. Pulse until combined well and cottage cheese is smooth. Add 1 cup of shredded cheese and pulse until combined.

At the same time the pasta and cheese mixture is coming together saute your seasoning blend and remaining mushrooms until onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize. 

Combine all ingredients well and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly. 

So just for the sake of asking...do you use Velveeta or just shredded cheese in your chicken spaghetti? And how do you feel about mushrooms? 

Current Giveaways::
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Meal Pinning Monday

May 13, 2013

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

This week is slightly different, Jeremy is on his own with cooking and I decided to stretch out my 2nd Ultimate Yogi cleanse and incorporate it with a cleanse I found on Pinterest. 

So, what is ole Jer-Bear doing for food? 

If I listened correctly, he isn't adding the veggies to it, and it will last all week for dinner. I'd love for you to still link up this week and I'll be back next week with my usual full week's menu! 

Be sure and enter the Favorite Things Coffee Giveaway that is running for another week & also enter for a chance to win a pair of Firmoo sunglasses (even prescription) and up to 7 $20 e-vouchers to Firmoo! 
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High Five For Friday

May 10, 2013

1. I got my Crystal Faye monogrammed t-shirt in, I absolutely love it. But tell me how this Louisiana girl ordered a gold shirt and forgot to get the monogram in black or purple? Shame shame. 

2. I've been on two field trips in the past week, yay for the school year coming to a close. Next week I am so excited because we are finishing the instructional calendar early and I am teaching a novel study for the next week and a half on Dear Mr. Henshaw. Considering my homeroom was so sad after we finished reading Anne of Green Gables yesterday I am sure they will love doing a novel study. 

3. Saturday I had absolutely nothing to do except clean and drink coffee with whip cream in it, I adore dead days. 

4. Rudy has lost his ever loving mind. He is such a funny little creature, yesterday I caught him carrying around a Milk Bone. When Jeremy got home I asked him when he had given him that, it had obviously been hours upon hours ago and little dude was so obsessed with his Milk Bone that he just wouldn't eat it. Ellie got it and ate it though, he was awfully upset about it. It was so, so funny. 

5. I don't want to jinx myself, but I had an interview Wednesday and got called back last night to do a second interview with the whole teacher team for the grades they are considering me for. You wouldn't be wasting a prayer if you prayed for us this upcoming week. We both have interviews the same day in the same parish. Granted it doesn't matter if I get mine if Jeremy doesn't get his internship there, but the chance of knowing where we will be this early in the summer would be dreamy. 

What was your favorite part of the week? 

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