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!