Five Things Friday {1/31/14}

Howdy Y’all! (Ok, I know I’m from Alabama, but I really do NOT talk like that.) Seeing that it’s Friday, I’m linking up with Clare again over at Fitting It All In. This seems to be becoming a regular thing around here. And I must say, I don’t hate it. 😉

1. This has been the strangest week. Since the snowpocalypse hit Alabama on Tuesday, it has been nice and icy. In fact, yesterday afternoon was the first time it got above freezing, and that was only by about 2 degrees. Most roads are now safe and ice free.

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BUT, part of my school district is in the rural parts of the county, and those roads are still icy. I got a phone call from my superintendent last night saying schools are closed again today!

What?! I mean, I’m not complaining, but wow! He said that he and the transportation director drove all the roads yesterday, and they didn’t feel they were all 100% safe for busses. After all the events that went on this week (1,000’s of kids stuck at school for 24+ hours, people stranded, etc) he didn’t feel comfortable putting even 1 child’s life at risk. I commend him for making a choice that probably wasn’t the most popular.

Soooo….another snow day for moi! 🙂

2. I made a trip to Hobby Lobby yesterday and got out of there for UNDER $20! I’m pretty sure that’s the first and last time for that!

What’s the deal with that store? I could walk around for hours, gazing at all the pretty things and dreaming up crafts that I’ll never actually do. Julie made an interesting comparison about how men feel about Hobby Lobby. It made me chuckle because I’m pretty sure it’s spot on!

Here are the goods I grabbed. I’m planning to do a little decorating in the ole master bath. I’ll be sure the share a pic of the finished product.

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3. As someone struggling with recovery from an eating disorder, posts about food and exercise can sometimes be triggering (i.e.. make me want to restrict, eat lower calorie foods, or participate in extreme exercise to burn off what I’ve eaten). However, there are lots of ladies that I really respect for their approach to food, exercise, and positive body image.

I’ve loved some of the posts they’ve written lately. You should definitely check them out. They’re great reads, even if you are not struggling with any type of disordered eating/over-exercising or negative body image (although, I think all of us have struggled with this at some point).

Why We Need All the Macronutrients <—— Robyn addresses why we NEED fats, carbs, and protein. Great read about what your body really does need (it’s more than most of us want to admit).

Enough of the Fat Talk <—— Ashley totally nails it. Instead of fat talk about ourselves, we should focus on how fearfully and wonderfully made we are

Calories <—— Jana wrote an very real, honest post about finding freedom from calorie counting and truly giving your body what it craves.

When Healthy Becomes Unhealthy <—— A fabulous, thought provoking post that Erica wrote about how sometimes best intentions lead us down a slippery slope.

Letting Go and Finding Food Freedom <—— Another awesome post via Robyn (girlfriend has been spot on recently!) about letting go of what you  think “should be” doing or eating.

4. My husband loves  Reeces Cups. He swears the holiday shapes (you know, pumpkins for Halloween, trees for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, Eggs for Easter) are fresher than the normal cups.

Why? Because they were obviously JUST made, like last week, since they’re season specific. The true test of knowing whether or not it’s fresh Reeces Cup? Shake the little package. If it slides around inside the package on the little piece of cardboard, it’s super fresh.  Are you a Reeces fan? Give it a try!

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5. I really hate clutter…like these little piles that end up all around our house. Such a pet peeve of mine!

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I think maybe I’m just OCD. My sweet husband, he probably doesn’t even realize it bothers me. He is seriously so good about trying to pick things up, and I’ve learned to leave the clutter for a few days to give him the opportunity to pick it up (it’s not really fair to complain when I don’t give him a chance to pick up the junk). But, sometimes I can’t deal. 😉

Have a fabulous Friday friends, and a wonderful weekend! (how’s that for some alliteration?!)

1. Share a great post you’ve read recently!

2. Do you like Reeces? I’m not a big fan myself. What is YOUR favorite candy? I’m honestly not a huge sweets fan, but I’ll take dark chocolate any day! 

3. What is one of your pet peeves? 

Thursday Thoughs #5

Morning Beautiful(s)!

That saying makes me smile. For as long as I can remember, that’s how my dad greeted me in the mornings. What a lovely thing to hear each day. 🙂

It’s Thursday, so you know that means it’s time for some Thinking Out Loud.<——– Check out the party on Amanda’s lovely blog!

1. Snow days are awesome. Teachers love ‘em just as much as kids. I promise. I got a text message from my principal yesterday saying that we are out of school again today due to the roads remaining closed until noon today. I’m not saying I did a little dance, but I’m not denying it either. 😉

2. I’m going stir crazy. As much as I’m loving being off of work, I’m about to go crazy! I NEED to get out! On that note, at least now my house is super organized and clean, and all the laundry is done. Yes!

3. John and I talk about our future dog. He even has a name; Tucker. People who overhear us talking about Tucker probably think we’re crazy. But, when we do get a dog, I’m dead set on getting a silver lab. Seriously, SO cute. Those eyes!

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4. So, who’s excited about the Super Bowl on Sunday? I’m not really a professional football fan. I’ll watch it when/if it’s on, or if it’s a good game, but seeing as college football is so big around here, we don’t really get into the Pros too much. Commercials though, that’s a different story. Who’s seen the new Budweiser commercial with the puppy? Adorable! The past few years, I feel like the commercials have been a bit disappointing. Here’s to hoping everyone pulled out their best creativity for this year’s Super Bowl. I’m a sucker for funny commercials!

5. So, the high next Tuesday is 70 degrees. WHAT?! We haven’t been above freezing since Monday. Gees! Such is Alabama weather.

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6. I’ve still been contemplating competition, and trying NOT to be so competitive. Check out this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

7. I need beauty help. I’m looking for a good concealer, mostly just to spot cover. But, I need it to be cheap like, Target, Wal-Mart, CVS cheap.

8. What are your feelings on Valentine’s Day? I’m not a person who really gives it a lot of thought or importance. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t need a day to show my loved ones that I really love them. Although, I’m certainly not opposed to flowers, chocolates, and gifts (especially when I get special deliveries at work!).

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9. Ugh. My appetite lately has been non-existent. I have no clue why because I haven’t really changed anything I’ve been eating or how I’ve been exercising. Any suggestions on how to get it back?

10. I have a friend who sent me a document she uses each day to help her live intentionally. I’ve used it the past 2 days, and I’ve been LOVING it. As a person who likes to write things down and make lists, it’s perfect for me. Would you be interested in it if I shared?

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today folks! I guess I should start thinking about what I’m going to do with all my students tomorrow. Going back to school for a Friday??  I say we just start fresh on Monday. 😉

What’s the weather been like where you live?

Tell me about your typical Valentine’s Day?

Tell me how to get my appetite back! Please!?

Snopocalypse 2014 – WIAW {1/29/14}

#snopocalypse!!

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Wow! What a day yesterday was in the state of Alabama. As most of you have probably heard, Alabama was host to a little  pretty bad snow and ice storm yesterday. My heart breaks for the thousands of people stranded on the sides of roads, at work, and especially for the thousands of students and teachers who had to stay overnight at school.

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Most of these cars are parked, not in traffic.

I know lots of you northerners don’t understand, and honestly, it’s a little comical even to me…all these southerners freaking out over an inch or 2 of snow. BUT, the difference is, we don’t have the tools and capabilities to handle snow and ice like the northern states.

Not to mention, the meteorologists missed the forecast, and the storm hit more north than they were predicting. Birmingham ( the biggest city in the stat, and where most of my family and friends live) wasn’t expecting ANY winter weather except for cold temperatures and maybe a little sleet. Schools weren’t closed, businesses weren’t anticipating any kind of winter weather in the area. It hit like a freight train from out of NOWHERE!

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I have many friends who stayed the night at work and my Facebook feed is full of stories about friends who slept all night in their car, on the side of the road, slept at work, or walked many miles home.

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This is a major roadway that has turned into a wrecked parking lot. 

But there is lots of good that came from this awful storm and the awful situations people were in. People came from out of the wood works to help those who desperately needed help. 18-wheelers gave out extra gas, school busses were sent out (following behind a sand/salt truck) to pick up stranded motorists, countless men and women walked miles home, only to grab supplies and turn around to head back out to help others.

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If you are interested in reading any of these crazy stores, check out this Facebook page. And if you want some stories to warm your heart, these good samaritan stories will surely do that!

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Yet another reason why I love Chick-Fil-A!

When the weather hit, both my parents were at work, my brother Mark was in the car, and my youngest brother was at school. Thankfully, my dad had the forethought at about 10am to book hotel rooms at the closest hotel that they could all get to. They finally made it and I’m beyond relieved they were safe and warm for the night.

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Had to get a freezing cold snow picture. Aren’t they the cutest?

I’m beyond thankful for cell phones. I was able to keep in touch with family and friends and know that they were warm, safe, and sound.

Today, January 29th 

I just heard from my family that they have finally made it home (with the 3 boys from my brother’s school who they were able to keep with them all night). Roads are still treacherous and closed, but leave it to my dad to get out in it to get home.

Check out this photo. I feel like those high school boys might think this has been one big party! 🙂

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This photo was taken once they arrived back home at my parent’s house (they live on lots of land).

Since I was a little pre-occupied yesterday, the normally scheduled WIAW post isn’t going to happen. I was a tad too occupied with snow and ice to photograph my eats. You can rest assured they were yummy, though!

I did, however, manage to snap a picture of an empty hot chocolate mug. You have to drink hot chocolate when it’s snowing outside, right?

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And my bowl of oats in the pretty snow this morning. #cliche #crazysoutherners #snowpocalypse2014

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And, with that, I’m off to kick my booty with a little workout and enjoy this unplanned snow day with the hubby! Fingers crossed he doesn’t have to go in to work today! (I don’t know how he can…all roads around here are closed or impassable due to icing).

1. What do you do during a snow day! I’m anticipating some bored-ness going on around here.

2. Tell me your crazy snow/weather stories!

3. If you could go somewhere WARM today, where would you go? I’d go to Seagrove beach in the panhandle of Florida on a Sunny July day. Gorgeous white beaches!

The Pros and Cons of Competition

My brain is all over the place today! I have so many topics swirling in my brain that I want to share/talk to you all about. I suppose one day I should sit down, organize all those thoughts, and make some sort of calendar. Eh..maybe…one day. 😉

The one major thing that I’ve had on my mind lately is COMPETITION. 

I am a big sports person. Growing up I played competitive basketball throughout elementary and high school. I also played volleyball all throughout high school. We made it to the state semi finals 3 out of my 4 years. I tell you all this not to brag, but to show you how competition has always been a big part of my life.

I am also a competitive person by nature (thanks dad). Let me give you an example: I haven’t upgraded my phone yet (I was due for an upgrade in October), and neither has John. He’s waiting for the release of the iPhone 6  (May/June). So, what’s the big deal? Why haven’t I upgraded? Because I don’t want to get the iPhone 5s, only to be upstaged by my husband who will get the iPhone 6. If he can wait, so can I.

Do you see? Competitive.

Today, I want to talk to you about the pros and cons of competition.

Pros

There are countless pros to being a competitor.

  • I made good grades in school because I wanted to be the best, or at least at the top of class.
  • I don’t let anyone outwork me (unless it’s in like, a pickle eating contests…you can win 😉 ).
  • I got my current job because I was persistent, didn’t give up, and competed for the job I wanted.
  • I save money because it’s a competition to save more than the next person, or more than I did before.
  • Competition makes me a better employee. I often find myself trying to come up with new, inventive lessons and activities for my kiddos in order to compete with the other things I see teachers doing in my job, or on various websites.
  • Staying in shape is made fun through competition. I love the thrill that comes from pushing myself, and out-achieving the next person (not in a prideful way, mind you)
  • It helps keep your eats in check.
  • It prevents complacecy.
  • Competition can add fun into the mundane tasks in life.
  • Competition can drive you to be YOUR best in almost every aspect of life.

Cons

There are some major cons that come from being a competitor. In fact, I believe my competitive nature is partly to blame for the development of my eating disorder.

For me, the biggest problem arises when I compete with myself  and when I compete with others inside my head (aka: they don’t know we’re in a competition with each other, but we are. ;-))

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Competition is bad when:

  • You compete with yourself to see if you can eat less than you did yesterday.
  • Competition drives you to run longer or exercise more, even when your hurting. You want to do more than you did yesterday, or out do that person next to you (they are, of course, in this competition with you, even if they don’t know it)
  • You compete with those around you..unbeknownst to them, mind you…to eat less or eat “better” than they do. And you get a sense of pride and joy from that fact!!! It makes your day better.
  • Competition makes you stay at work longer because you’re trying to be the best. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, but when it keeps you from family or from rest that you need, it’s wrong.
  • You don’t know when enough is enough.
  • Nothing is ever good enough, because the competition never ends; it’s on-going. Each day, you need to do more, eat less, exercise more intensely, etc. than you did the day before.
  • The finish line is out of reach, undefined, or non-existent. 
  • You cannot rest because if you do, you won’t win that imaginary competition.

4dcf6063bc440115bbf5255096295c3cI could keep going, but I think you get the picture. There is nothing wrong with a sense of competition. But, it can easily get out of hand and lead you down a slippery, slippery path.

The good news is, friends, that we don’t have to compete!

I am enough. Jesus Christ died for me just as I am. Should I strive to be my best self and live as Christ? YES.

But, that doesn’t mean that I need to hold myself to unrealistic expectations. That doesn’t mean that I have to be perfect.

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Being your best means resting enough so that you CAN do more. Being your best self means that you enjoy the blessings you’ve been given…even when that means skipping a workout to cuddle on the couch with loved ones.

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So, my challenge to all of us today is this:

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Thanks Becky for the Link Up! Treat Yourself on this Tuesday,  and everyday following to:

Be you. Let go of the crazy competition going on inside of your head. Take advantage of the blessings you’ve been given.

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Don’t miss out on those blessings and life-giving opportunities because you’re too busy trying to win at life. Because, while you’re busy trying to win at life, you’re really losing; others are out there enjoying life and soaking it all up. Meanwhile your slaving away, and missing out. 

Yikes! That got lengthy. But it is a topic that has been on my heart, and I felt the need to voice it.

If you can relate, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you can’t…well, good for you! I’d love to hear your advise on living a life of contentment.

Many Blessings!

Ps. No work for me today or tomorrow! School has been cancelled due to this crazy winter storm headed our way. A break mid-week? I’ll take it!

1. Do you struggle with the cons of competition?

2. What is a “pro” of competition in your life?

3. What are your favorite snow day activities?!

Weekend Wrap-Up {1/25-1/26}

Good Monday morning friends!

This weekend was all kind of awesomeness! I hope yours was too!

Friday night John and I met at the gym to watch my youngest brother play basketball in town. As a pretty ballin’ player back in the day 😉 , I always love watching him play. Not only did we meet there, but my other brother, Mark, was able to get off work early to drive down with my mom for the game (we live about an hour or so from my parent’s and brother’s houses). My sisters, who are in college at Auburn (about 50 mins. away), were also able to drive over. Oh, and as you may remember, my dad is the coach of Jake’s team. It was a great family reunion!

After the game (they won!), we went to dinner at Zoe’s Kitchen, my favorite! Some of the group chose to pick up Five Guys Burgers and Fries, before joining us at Zoe’s. We ended up chatting so long, we shut the place down!

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Earlier during the day, I texted my mom and sisters and invited anyone who could/wanted to spend the night. Turns out, mom accepted! 🙂 After saying good bye to the rest of the family, John, mom, and I drove home. We stayed up far too late chatting away.

Saturday began early, for me- per usual, with breakfast and a brief workout of some lunges, squats, and abs. Shortly later, mom joined me and we decided to wake up my sleepy hubby for a day of shopping.

However, if you know my mom and I, we hate to shop. We DO, however, love to antique/thrift store/flea market hunt. There are lots of great antique malls/flea markets around here, so we were excited to get started. We went to a few places before deciding our tummies were grumbling for lunch.

We took mom to this awesome, hidden, little gem called Chris’s Hotdogs. They’ve been in business for 50+ years and have been serving up their “secret chili sauce” for just as long. It’s one of those places you walk into and might be tempted to walk back out by the looks of things, but it’s simply too charming once you wonder on in.

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now I’m regretting the no shower decision 😉

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After lunch, we went to one last Antique Mall. This one is the largest antique mall I’ve ever seen. It has THREE LEVELS! After walking around for a while, we stumbled on quite a treasure. We found the most charming dining table. It was a great deal too!

After some negotiating, we bought it! I am beyond excited to have a new dining table! I’ve been looking for about 2 years. Not seriously looking, just keeping my eye out for a unique piece to fall in love with. I’m so pleased with what we found!

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Before – Old Table

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After – new table

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Sunday began with church and a trip to the grocery store. After lunch, it was cleaning bathrooms, cleaning out the refrigerator, and laundry for me. While I cleaned, John put up posts beside our back patio. Our plan is to run wire and hang cafe lights over the patio. I absolutely cannot wait! I think it’s going to be just beautiful.

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Please excuse all the junk! We’re going to run wire from the house, to the poles, to create a square to string lights from.

I spend the rest of the night food prepping for the week, making dinner, doing a little more laundry, and finally relaxing on the couch with my sweet husband while watching a little of the Grammys and a random assortment of other shows.

It was a fabulous, albeit busy, weekend! I hope yours was just as great. And you know wonderful weekends often lead to Marvelous Mondays!

This week, they’re forecasting snow for our area! You know what that means in Alabama, there is probably no more bread or milk in the state. We’ll see if it actually happens!

1. What did YOU do this weekend?

2. Do you like to hunt for treasures at antique stores/flea markets?

3. What’s on your agenda for the week? not too much going on around here. Hopefully we’ll finally get back to some sort of normal schedule. Oh! Hopefully I’m going to take a Pure Barre class with a friend on Thursday night. I’m excited!

Five Things Friday {1/24/14}

TGIF!! Whooo…this week has been a little more challenging than usual for many different reasons. I’m happy to see it go!

I’m linking up with Clare yet again for a little Five Things Friday

Five Reasons I Love my Husband

1. He never ceases to make me laugh. And you know what they say, laughter IS the best medicine. 

2. He has seen me at my absolute worst and still loves me, despite it. And any man that can do that…well…let’s just say, he must be a saint. 😉

3. This morning, as we were rushing around the kitchen – me trying to fix breakfast and grab my lunch, him grabbing a pack of crackers and a coke (breakfast of champions, yes?) – he asks me “What is something special that I can do for you tonight?” 

Seriously, he blows my mine sometimes with his thoughtfulness. Tonight?! All I was thinking about was how many minutes late I was going to be this morning, and how I could coerce a colleague to get me coffee! 

4. He happily eats everything I cook. Ok, most things. I’ve even taught him to like  tolerate things like tomatoes and spinach. 

5. He leaves me notes like this sometimes.

Five TV Shows On my DVR

1. Modern Family. What’s NOT to love?! It never fails to make me laugh. 

2. The Bachelor

3. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

4. The Blacklist – GREAT show! If you like shows such as CSI, Criminal Minds, etc, you should definitely check out The Blacklist

5. Duck Dynasty – again, what’s NOT to love? Hilarious, clean, and their wives are all gorgeous ladies that must have more patience for hair than I do! 

Honorable mentions: New Girl, Moonshiners (John loves this, and I must admit, it IS interesting!), Toned Up, Impractical Jokers

*** Notice I said “on my DVR.” Will I ever watch all of these (in the next 3 months)? Doubtful. 

Five Things I’m Looking Forward to

1. THIS WEEKEND!!!

2. Warmer weather. I know, I know…I live in Alabama. But for real, y’all, it’s been cold! In all seriousness, I really just hate this time of the year. I feel like it’s just kind of blllaaahhh. The days are cold and grey, there’s no big holiday/breaks to look forward to. I just kind of wish we could fast forward to April. Yes? Ok. 

As a high, 38 is cold for Alabama!

3. Normalcy and routine to return. Since the Christmas/New Year’s break, I feel like we haven’t quite returned to a normal schedule. Between weather days, being out for professional development, and MLK Jr. Day, we haven’t quite gotten back into the swing of things around school. Kids crave routine, and as it turns out, so does their teacher!

4. Grilling out! I gave John a grill for his birthday (December 26th). We desperately needed a new one. I can’t wait to put it to use!

5. A great, big, warm fire. Yes, I realize this is pretty much the opposite of grilling out, but let’s just go with it. 

Old picture, no I don’t still have the fall banner up 😉

Five Goals for the Upcoming Week

1. Go to bed earlier!!! No explanation needed. 

2. A consistent quiet time. It’s hard for me to get to this in the mornings, since I have to be at school early, but I really want to incorporate it into my day. If it means getting up earlier, I’m willing to try that, or making it a priority when I get home in the afternoons – before things like working out, prepping dinner, or blogging. 

3. Use up leftovers. We’re bad about letting leftovers go bad in the fridge. Sometimes I just don’t feel like having a particular meal again. But I want to try to at least incorporate the leftovers in some way. 

4. Blog more consistently, and put more thought into it. 

5. Call family members just to say hey. In the craziness that can sometimes be our life, I often overlook the importance and value of a simple phone call. We text a lot, but I really feel like it doesn’t quite compare to a personal phone call. 

Well, that’s all folks! 

Have a FABULOUS Friday Friends!

1. What are some of your favorite TV shows? I’m always looking for another show to add to my ridiculously overcrowded crowded DVR!

2. What is something you’re looking forward to?

2. What’s a goal you have for this upcoming week? I always get inspired by reading the goals of other people. 

Thursday Thoughts #4

Hi lovely ladies (and gentlemen?)!

I’m exhausted, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

After school on Wednesday, I had therapy and nutritionist appointments to continue in my recovery efforts for my disordered eating. I love meeting with these 2 incredible women God has placed in my life to help me and guide me through this journey, but I DON’T love the hour and a half commute there and the hour and a half back. BLAH!

Anyway, I’m beat. So, since Thursday is for Thinking Out Loud, here it goes.

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1. I’m totally digging quinoa lately. This Quinoa, black beans, corn, and spinach recipe is to die for!

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So is this Cheesy Greek-style Quinoa. Both have made appearances around here over the past week.

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2. Printed leggings might just be the “yoga/sweat pants” of the real world. My mother – in – law bought me 2 paris this past weekend and I have worn them both already this week. Seriously the most comfortable “pants” (can you even call them that?) I have.

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3. I have morning bus duty at school this week and it totally stinks. I have to be there, signed in, and at my “spot” (the area I’m in charge of monitoring) by 7am. On the other hand though, I get lots of grading done while I’m “watching” the kids. Hmmm..I figure they’ve been at this whole school thing for 1/2 a year now. They should know the drill.

4. I’m totally sleep deprived this week. Maybe that’s why this 4 day week is dragging by? Seriously, 4 day weeks are awesome, except when you have to cram 5 days into 4. Boo.

5. Tomorrow is class picture day! Funny how things change…I could totally care less about: my outfit, my hair, my jewelry, etc., etc. Ask my 5th grade self, and class picture day was second only to yearbook picture day in terms of looking *awesome* 😉 

6. I’ve been getting the cutest texts with pictures of my sweet niece. She is such a doll! I can’t wait to get my hands on her again! Aunt Sarah loves you Kennedy!

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7. Since I’m currently not running or doing any high intensity workouts, I sometimes have a hard time deciding what exactly I want to do when it comes to working out. I’ve really been loving pilates and barre type workouts. Do you have any suggestions of other workouts that would be good? Or DVDs that would be beneficial?

8. Speaking of exercise, I sometimes fall into the “Comparison Trap” that we all know about. It’s hard for me to keep in mind that intense exercise is not MY healthy right now, especially when other are posting sweaty workouts and pictures.

And, since I’m no longer making sense to myself, and since I have a super early wake up time…I better run!

Have a super Thursday friends!

1. What do you remember about school picture day?

2. Lastest fashion trend you’re loving OR hating? totally loving leggings, boots, and scarves!