Starbucks Faux-ccino

I love coffee. Iced, hot, blended, it doesn’t matter. I prefer local shops to big chains, but sometimes the green Siren calls to me. It might have something to do with the $2 treat receipts, or the fact that I know exactly what I am getting, no matter where I am.

On a hot afternoon I am often drawn to a Frappuccino.


But I don’t like the $4.50 price point. And even if I am using my $2 treat receipt, I still have to spend about $4 before two p.m. just to get this frozen goodie. While I don’t mind spending a few bucks at the bux when I have a gift card, I do mind when its my own money.

A week from tomorrow is my first day of school (!!), and Thursday is my first official day back, (staff mtgs/Open House). I used to pass a few coffee shops, and two Bux’s, on my way to work, providing multiple opportunities to waste money. But my new route only takes me 5 minutes by foot, where I only pass a church and a hardware store.

So I got creative.

I’ve been making coffee ice cube for years. They are very simple to make: brew a pot of strong coffee, fill ice cube trays, freeze, pop out and store in a gallon sized freezer bag.

Easy, eh?

They are perfect for iced coffee and coffee protein shakes, aka Faux-ccino’s.

Faux-bux Vanilla Faux-ccino

Serves 1

Nutritionals: Cal: 129, Carb: 11g, Pro: 11g, Fat: 4g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g


1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (or regular, or soy milk)

1 TBS instant coffee (I used Foldgers)

1/2 scoop GNC vanilla whey protein powder (or protein powder of your choosing)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

10 coffee ice cubes

1.5 tsp granulated sugar


Throw all ingredients in blender. Blend.

Enjoy, preferably with a siphoned straw from the bux.

(See book club girls, there IS a reason to have a straw in your purse at all times!)

Surgically stylish

Back in June the hubs blew out his knee. While playing slow-pitch softball. For the second time.
I have no idea where I got this, but isn’t it awesome?

Today he had surgery to replace this patella femoral ligament and patella tibial ligament with cadaver ligaments (eww).

While in the waiting room I watched the same clips on Northwest Channel News 5 times and read The Daily 5 (literacy management program). This afternoon will be spent taking care of the hubs as he starts down the long road to recovery (6ish months of rehab!). In the meantime, I have two link parties to attend – aren’t you excited?

After dropping the hubs off for pre-opp, I ran to The Rocket to grab a sesame bagel and drip coffee to accompany my pineapple chobani (best flavor!).

After the hubs was out of surgery, and somewhat alert,

I whipped up some amazing roast beef sandwiches.

Kaiser roll topped with stone ground mustard, low-fat mayo, spicy horseradish, roast beef, melted horseradish white cheddar, Walla Walla Sweet Onion and tomato slices.

Along for the ride were a pickle spear, carrots and cilantro chimichurri hummus (Tribe brand).

A little later on I’ll be eating watermelon non-stop.

as I browse pinterest, foodgawker and tastespotting for some dinner ideas. I have 2 and a half grilled chicken breasts that I need to do something with. Any suggestions?

And for my second linky-party, Teacher Week continues today with Where it all goes down Wednesday (classroom tour).

I spent about 4 hours in my room yesterday, but it still isn’t fully set up. I’ve been going in every day for the last week and a half, spending an hour or two each day. It is slowly, but surely, coming together. I didn’t have my camera yesterday, but I did have my crap-tastic iPhone. Sadly, the pictures all turned out blurry, but I’ll show the best of what I’ve got 🙂

Southwest corner

My Giving Tree

(more on this idea in a later post)

South Wall

The south side of my room is for all things literacy.

CAFE wall – fonts from Kevin and Amanda

Southeast Corner

Reading corner. I’m in love with my rug (Peace Trees from Shopko – 55% off!)

I “PICK” sign from Our Cool School. Baskets from JoAnn (60% off plus an additional 20% off on Teacher Appreciation Weekend!)

Awesome garage sale find, plus pillows from Ross.

North Wall

The north side of my room is dedicated to math and science. I have the scientific way of answering MSP (measure of student process – state test) questions above my white board. Math manipulatives will go in the turquoise container below and in the hanging thing. I’m hoping to snag a table to put under the whiteboard too.

Behind my curtains is an awesome storage closet that runs the width of my closet. The curtains are from Linens and Things, way back in the day! I’m happy the length worked, as the hibiscus pink color matches my rug and the pink in my turquoise on dots and paisley boarders. Yes, I am a color-coordinated nerd 🙂

East Wall

I have built in cupboards along the entire east wall. On the left will be storage for me. On the right I have enough for each student to have their own shelf (3 shelves per cupboard) to store bulky items. It is VERY nice! My students will also have lockers outside the classroom, which really helps de-clutter their desks. In the center I have a student supplies area, including post its, highlighters, classroom library check out system, scissors, etc.

So there you have it, my work in progress. Our school is set to be remodeled in two years, so I am trying not to get too cozy or stressed about things I cannot change. More photos will be posted once I finish setting up, and I promise to use my DSL camera 🙂

What do you remember most about your elementary classroom(s)?

My school was set up in “pods” – where each pod had 3 classrooms, they could be separated or combined based on sliding doors. When I was in fourth grade, the other two rooms were 5th grade, and I remember being really jealous when the D.A.R.E. program was going on. I wanted to skip science and join them.

Meet the Teacher Monday

Aside from the shameful amount of time I’ve spent on pinterest and passive aggressive notes lately, another (much more important)activity has taken over my life: my classroom. How can a room be an activity? Well,’s third definition reads:

work, especially in elementary grades at school, that involves direct experience by the student rather than textbook study.
Seeing as how I am setting up both my classroom and my lessons for elementary students, I am going to classify the term my classroom as an activity. While I am thrilled to have the opportunity to go into my own classroom this year, my poor little blog has been very neglected lately.
However, this week is Teacher Week 2011, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to fill y’all in on what I’ve been up to lately. Plus I’ve been toying around with the idea of either adding a teaching tab to this blog, or starting a blog dedicated solely to teaching. Maybe this series of link-ups will be just what I need to take the next step.

Meet the Teacher Monday

Tell us a little something about you…
My name is Leila (Lee-Eye-Lah), and I am a self-confessed foodie. I started this blog in December 2010 as an effort to combine my love of food with my desire to be healthy. Every so often tales of teaching innertwine themselves with my food, and you wind up reading about how I eat my applesauce. For a more in-depth description of my oh-so-fabulous life, check out my about tab.
How long have you been teaching?
This will technically be my 2nd year. I graduated with my Masters in Teaching in June 2010, and landed a middle school library media teaching position for the 2010-2011 school year. I was laid off in May, and this summer I taught Film as Lit to incoming 5th-8th graders. I was fortunate to be recalled, but not to my original position. I am now a fourth grade teacher with my own classroom 🙂 Hopefully I will get to stay in this position, as the school is awesome (and mere blocks from my house!) and I love the intermediate grades.
You might not know…
Teaching is my second (third?) career. I originally wanted to make soundtracks for movies, but then I realized two things 1) I didn’t go to a school for undergrad that would help me realize this dream, and 2) I would have to L.A. for the foreseable future. No thanks.
I graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and landed a position in the Promotions Department of our local FOX affiliate. I moved to San Diego and began working in the Publicity and Marketing departments of a book publishing company.  We moved back to Spokane, and I became the Marketing Director for a non-profit restaurant and dinner theatre. While all of these jobs were fun and required a lot of creativity and attention to detail, none of them filled me with joy. (I just wrote job. They did fill me with job. Just not the job I wanted).
When the non-profit closed, and I took a job not in my field, I decided I needed to re-visit the idea of going to grad school for teaching. I had tossed the idea around since 2006, but I didn’t get serious about it until the fall of 2008 when I turned in my application to Whitworth University.
What are you looking most forward to this school year?
What am I not looking forward to?! I’m looking forward to meeting my students (Open House is September 1st!), diving into the Daily 5 and CAFE (thanks to all you teacher bloggers for promting me to investigate this curriculum), reading with my students, and teaching math again. I LOVE teaching math, which is very amusing to me, as I hated math as a kid.
What do you need to improve?
I really don’t like teaching science. I don’t think this is due to a lack of scientific knowledge, but instead, my attitude toward teaching science. I don’t have a sink, and we use FOSS curriculum (which is rather messy). I like things clean and orderly, and teaching science in an investigative manner is neither!
I also need to improve my time management skills. Not neccessarily during the school day, but after the teaching day ends so I don’t wind up working all weekend, every weekend.
What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
  • Post-its!
  • Coffee, yes it is a supply.
  • Sharpies
  • white boards (for me, and the kiddos)
What teaching supply do you want to exist, but it doesn’t yet?
A never ending supply of sharpened pencils!
Check out the other teacher bloggers here!

WIAW, Portlandia style

It’s another traveling edition of WIAW!


My (seriously long) road trip route during the first two weeks of August had a brief pit stop in Portland, OR.


While there, the hubs and I spent a whirlwind 36 hours touring the cities breweries and restaurants.

My best friend Jessica served as our tour guide.

Our first destination was Deschutes Brewery, located in the Pearl District. Jess is a server there, so we wanted to see her when we arrived after an 11 hour journey from Napa, CA.

Portabella sandwich w/arugula, some sort of cheese and sweet potato fries on the side
(for some reason, this isn’t on their online menu, so I have no idea what the cheese is. But on closer inspection, I realize I totally missed the Beer-a-Misu, which is a real shame because I love Obsidian Stout, and Tiramisu is my fav dessert).

On our way back to our hotel, we swung by the famous Voodoo Doughnut, to pick up some sugar energy to hoof it across the bridge.

I selected the Berry Miami Vice.

It was insanely delicious. And calories don’t count after Midnight, right?

The next morning, Jessica took us to Tasty n Sons, an organic and seasonal restaurant that serves brunch every morning of the week. We started off with Erin’s Sweet Biscuits with fresh berries.

Happiness on a plate.

Jess and I each ordered the Moroccan Chicken Hash with Harissa Cream and an over easy egg.

I ate the entire thing. I refrained from licking my plate, even though I wanted to.

After a touristy stop at the International Rose Test Garden,

we hit HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery) to taste some brews.

I recommend the Survival Stout.

Then we ventured to Laurelwood Brewery, where we were able to take a tour and learn all about the beer making process. The hubs is a home-brewer, so he already knew a lot of the information, but it was all new to me! Jess is friends with the beer chemist, (fun job, eh?), and he let us add the hops!

Which I thought was really cool, until I realized we were just doing his job for him 😉

While at Laurelwood, we decided to split their chickpea fries, (which I plan to recreate asap), with tzatziki sauce and some sort of spicy aoili.

Again, not on their online menu, so I can’t give specifics. What is it with my choices not being on online menus?

On the walk to our next location, I spotted this awesome advertisement.

That location was the Hair of the Dog Brewery, a few blocks from our hotel. This was, hands down, my favorite beer of the day. Jess and I split some nibbles.

Sidenote, how cute are their tasting glasses? We split 4 of these little guys.

Caprese Salad

Who goes to a bar and orders only veggies? This girl.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find their beer outside of the brewery itself, as they have a limited bottle production. I highly suggest you stop by for a beer and a bite the next time you’re in Portland.

And finally, a little dinner was necessary. A few blocks down the road we found Bunc Sandwiches, a bar serving up amazingly delicious sandwiches.

I ordered the roast beef with horseradish, caramelized onions and cheddar, and a side of summer squash soup instead of the kettle chips.

Holy yum.

I’m still dreaming about that sandwich.

We rolled our full bellies back to our hotel, and were luckily not hit by a biker.

I’m already planning my next trip to Portland, where the dream of the 90’s is still alive.

Have you ever been to Portland? If yes, what is your “must-do” while there?

As a kid, my favorite thing to do was to visit OMSI. But as an adult, my favorite thing to do is to EAT! Portland is home to fabulous restaurants and food trucks 🙂

How pinteresting, Kale and Quinoa Salad

First, I am utterly addicted to Pinterest. I’ve been pinning food, style and classroom ideas like a mad woman. You can follow me here.

Second, I have yet another quinoa recipe to share with y’all. Lately I have been on a major quinoa kick. I need to be on a kale kick too, as it is taking over our garden.

In my opinion, quinoa salads are perfect for both lunch and dinner parties. So when the hubs and I were invited to our buddy Nate’s birthday potluck, I knew a quinoa creation*  was in my future.

*I’m counting that as alliteration

Kale and Quinoa Salad


1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

10 kale leaves, stems removed (or half a bunch)

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil (if packed in oil, rinse/dry)

5 oz fresh mozzarella, chunked or shredded

1 extra small sweet onion, diced (or half a medium sized onion)

10 basil leaves, chiffonade

3 TBS lemon juice

3 TBS olive oil

1 TBS stone ground mustard

1 tsp prepared horseradish

2 tsp fresh oregano, diced (or 1/2 tsp dried)

3 garlic cloves, minced

s&p to taste


In a medium sized pot, bring water and quinoa to a boil, cover with lid, reduce to simmer, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove kale from stems and shred. Mix with  sundried tomatoes and add to cooked quinoa. Let sit at least 10 minutes (to wilt the kale). Place in fridge to cool.

Once quinoa, tomato and kale has cooled, add onion, basil and mozzarella.

Mix dressing ingredients (lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, horseradish, garlic, salt and pepper), add to quinoa mixture, stir well.

Serve cold.

Enjoy! (Especially you, Joy Jones!)

Fun find at Costco

I promised you more photos from our road trip, but then I started labeling/organizing my classroom library,

(I am in desperate need of more baskets and packaging tape), and time got away from me. I decided to color code my books by genre, and include the DRA level (if available). This website has been a valuable resource tonight. But I didn’t quite grasp the amount of time I would be spending looking up the levels, adding them to the books, and updating my google doc spreadsheet. As much as I would love to spend hours catching up on Friends re-runs as I organize myself, I’ve decided I need to weed out books that might not be appropriate or enjoyed by my fourth graders. These include easy reading books gifted to me from a retired teacher,

and the 3 boxes of Babysitters Club books I purchased a a steal of a deal last summer (approximately 175 books for $6!).

Before the organizing frenzy began, I did manage to score some awesome deals today, including 10 cent composition notebooks (Staples until Wednesday, limit 3 – unless you’re a teacher, then it is 25!), fabulous rug for my reading corner at 55% off (Shopko), and the very last copy of the Peas and Thank You Cookbook at Costco!

p.s. this picture looks eerily similar to Mama Peas…


Creepy, no? I like to think great minds think alike, and I am thismuchcloser to being as cool as Mama Pea.

Tonight’s meal was not meatless (although I am very excited to tear through my new cookbook and whip up some tasty treats), but it was prepared by the hubs, making my organizing extravaganza much more enjoyable.

And the best part? He cleaned the kitchen afterward.

Husband of the year!

3 Questions for you today:

Are you an organized person?

I am, and I’m not. For work purposes I am very organized. I like things color coded and labeled. I’ve been compared to Monica on Friends multiple times (and yes, I take it as a complement, thankyouverymuch). In my personal life, however, not so much. Case in point: I’ve lost my passport twice. The first time for four years, the second for 9 months. Luckily it resurfaced each time, but I wasn’t able to venture up to Canada while it was MIA, which is a real travesty.

Do you own Mama Pea’s cookbook Peas and Thank You yet?

Are my posts showing randomly highlighted words for advertising purposes?

I’m not sure if I have a virus, (I changed my password just in case), but I noticed a few random advertisements throughout my blog. At first I only saw it on my blog, but now I am seeing it on EVERY website I visit. I’m not sure if it is a my computer/browser thing, or if it is more than that. Annoying!