Happy Halloween!

School was a lot of fun today. Remember the rush of Halloween as a kid? Barely able to sit in your seat because you were dreaming about your costume and the anticipation of all the candy you were about to receive? It was enough to make me burst.

Yeah, a lot of that going on today.

Instead of letting the impending sugar rush get to me, I planned some fun Halloween themed activities. We’re working on friendly letters in writing, so we wrote to monsters and described what we were going to be for Halloween. During Readers Workshop I read Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld, and we did a sensory image exercise (while listening to Seinfeld read it himself!).

My favorite is, “Wait, what is this? The orange marshmallow shaped like a peanut? Yeah, we’ve got enough of these already.” I hate those things!

Their homework tonight is to write down how many pieces of candy they receive. Tomorrow we’re going to practice median, mode and range with our data.

Tonight, however, I’m dressed up as a lazy witch, and I’m handing out candy to the neighborhood kidlets.

Lazy witch = hat, black sports bra, black t-shirt, black yoga pants and black socks. I got lots of compliments on my hat, however. And that is what I live for. Compliments from kids on my sense of style. Don’t be jealous. You know you do to.

I have a mask on too, however, as I live in the neighborhood I teach in and I’d prefer if my students don’t know where I live. I’ve had three kidlets from my school so far, including one from the class next door, and none of them recognized me.

In between dishing out the goods I’m working on our meal plan for this week. I barely have any of it written, so instead of Meal Plan Monday, I’m bringing you a recipe. In the words of Chelsey, I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

Chicken Burlattas

for the black bean version, click here

Yields 10 burlattas

Ingredients

1 cup dry short grain brown rice

3 cups shredded chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken from Costco works great! Or 2 chicken breasts)

2.5 cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided

2 14 oz cans red enchilada sauce

1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced

10 flour tortillas (We prefer Guerrero for this recipe)

Directions

If making your own chicken, (rather than using leftover rotisserie chicken), bring a large pot of water and place chicken breast inside. Cook 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and shred.

Meanwhile, bring brown rice and 2 cups water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Once rice is cooked and chicken is shredded, add both to a large bowl. Add 1 can of enchilada sauce, 2 cups cheese and the diced onion. Mix well. Split mixture evenly between 10 tortillas. Place in a 9×13 glass pan, sprayed with cooking spray, or split between two 8×8 glass pans. Top tortillas with the second can of enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.

Bake 30 minutes. Serve topped with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Enjoy!

I split them between two pans, one lined with aluminum foil for freezing. I flash froze the whole pan for 1-2 hours. Then I removed the burlattas from the pan and wrapped them with more aluminum foil. They will keep up to 6 months.

How did you celebrate Halloween? Did you dress up?

Welcome to Spokane Trader Joe’s!

On Friday, October 28th Spokane welcomed its first Trader Joe’s! I seriously contemplated taking a personal day to attend the grand opening celebration. I decided not to spend the night in freezing temps, and instead waited a full 24 hours before running up the hill to buy out the store.

We were greeted by drummers.

I danced, I have no shame.

I went with my friends who have twin two-year-old boys, we told them we were going to the zoo. But a different kind of zoo, the kind that keeps food in cages and the people are crazy.

The store is around 10,000 square feet, which is in line with the normal Trader Joe’s intimate experience. And aside from the opening weekend crowds, the size didn’t make me feel too claustrophobic.

Beautiful murals of Spokane parks line the walls, this one of our Red Flyer wagon in Riverfront Park is my favorite.

The fact that my favorite mural is above the two buck Chuck section of the store is not lost on me.

Check out was a breeze, as every lane was open. I did damage in the $150 range, and walked out with lots of favorites.

After starting to load the car, we regretted carpooling.

It may look like a ridiculous amount for an in-town purchase, but the store is located on the opposite side of town. It took over a half hour to drive there (1 hour+ round trip), with no traffic.* It is actually located in my old neighborhood, which is the only reason I didn’t switch doctors, dentists, or optometrists when we moved. I now have an excuse to go to Trader Joe’s whenever I have a medical issue. Maybe I’ll actually go to the doctor when I have a cold from now on…

*This is, however, still 4 hours less than it would take me to drive one-way to the nearest Trader Joe’s prior to Friday.

They were only out of one item on my must-purchase list: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. Items I was able to purchase include:

  • Chocolate covered peanut butter pretzles
  • Dark chocolate sea salt covered almonds
  • Australian licorice
  • Trader Joe’s brand 2% Greek plain yogurt
  • goat cheese crumbles
  • Tea tree oil face wash
  • roasted garlic hummus

I’m hoping the popularity of this store, and the number of Idaho, Montana and Canadian licenses I saw in the parking lot, are indication we will have a second Trader Joe’s in our future. Preferably on the north side of town. ūüôā

What are your must buy items at Trader Joe’s?

Do you have a Trader Joe’s in your town? If not, how far do you travel to get your fix?

How pinteresting: volume recreation

I always see cute outfits pinned by others, but I never recreate them. I blame my rather boring closet, which I’m sure is no excuse in the eyes of a creative outfiteer.* That’s why I only have two outfits for this week’s Fashion Friday.

*outfiteer: a fashion blogger who creates cute outfits out of whatever they find in their closet, boutiques, department stores and thrift shops. Coined by me. Think: Disney Imagineers.

Cardi: Cable and Gage, Ruffle polka dot top: The Loft, Jeans: 7 For all Mankind (Dojo fit), shoes: Me Too, necklace: NY&Co.

Sweater: DKNY, belt: Steve Madden, Skirt: Express (from when I worked there in 2002!), tights: HUE & bow tied mary jane’s: Nyla

The shoes were my favorite part, and unfortunately the flash obscured their beauty. Here’s a few shots from my iPhone,

Dainty, aren’t they? My feet looked adorable, and my kidlets kept commenting that I was wearing Mrs. Granger’s shoes. Mrs. Granger is the teacher in our first read-aloud book, Frindle. Yay for text to self connections! Although, Mrs. Granger is an elderly spinster with a bun and stockings, which concerns me a little about how old they think I am…

However, I attempt to assemble cute outfits from my back-to-basics wardrobe, and I know other teachers do too. Which is why I signed up to be in this months Teachers Have Class and Style outfit party!

I’m also making more of an effort to do something about my hair in the mornings. I usually reserve hair and makeup fun for the weekends, when I have time to experiment. But after slamming a large chai tea Sunday afternoon, and subsequently not falling asleep until 1 a.m. Monday morning, I watched tons of hair tutorial videos I found via this pin.

(click on photo for pin, original image found here)

I originally pinned this hair cut/style a while back, longing for more volume, but thinking it was unattainable for me. My hair is very fine, but I have a lot of it. It is a really weird combination, and it drives me insane. I didn’t even realize there was a video linked to the pin (darn those people who don’t add appropriate descriptions to their pins!), but was pleasantly surprised to discover that Kate has a full on video tutorial on how to do this style.

(source)

Even more, her cut is just a grown out version of my cut, and she has the same hair type as me. **swoon** I’m not ashamed to admit I watched every hair tutorial, ran to Ulta for supplies the following day, and have been trying her directions every morning this week.

And the results? Well, they are quite pinteresting. Thanks again to Camille for hosting another Pinterest Recreation Party!

Here is what my hair normally looks like:

No volume in the back…

and none on top

And after using Kate’s bouncy curled under tutorial,

Poof! It might not look like much to you, but this is more volume than I’ve had in my entire life. I also didn’t have Aquage, which Kate swears by. I used GUTS by Redkin, but I plan to buy a bottle of Aquage soon.

I also tried her flat iron bangs trick, and they laid perfectly flat!

What have you recently pinned and recreated?

I’ve pinned and recreated curly hair, an owl pumpkin and sweet and salty pumpkin seeds. Join in the fun at All Things Lovely!

It’s picture day [WIAW]

but I haven’t got a stitch to wear.

I better figure it out quick, I’m already running late for work. Remember picture day in elementary school? I teased my perm, put on a brand new top and stirrup leggings, and slathered cherry lip smackers on my lips. Now I tease my hair, per this pinteresting tutorial, raid my closet for a cute outfit, and apply whatever lip gloss or chap stick I find hiding in my purse.

Things haven’t changed much.

Something else that hasn’t changed? I’m joining Jenn for another What I ate Wednesday Linky Party.

Breakfast

Pumpkin pie steel cut oats…look familiar? They should, I’ve been eating them every day for the past 3 weeks. I combine my steel cut oats with 2-3 TBS canned pumpkin, 2 TBS raisins, 2 TBS pecans, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, and tons of cinnamon.

Lunch*

Pacific Organics Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup with garbanzo beans and basil, served in my Disneyland cup.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not think Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth. But I do think the cup is cute.

Red leaf lettuce with homemade shallot honey dressing, dried cherries, avocado and toasted pecans. The only thing that would have made this salad better would be chunks of goat cheese.

My pinteresting pumpkin says hello.

*Pictures taken on Sunday, because it was such a delicious lunch I decided I had to have it again.

Snack

chocolate chip larabar

Dinner

Slow Cooker Black Beans with Green Onion Lime Rice

And my evening snack consisted of way too many of these…

Be honest, how much Halloween candy have you consumed?

Slow Cooker Black Beans with Green Onion Lime Rice

I work at an awesome school. The building is totally old school. Every room is different, each with its own distinct qualities. The brick building is cozy and inviting, and at first glance, it appears you are stepping into a storybook school house. But the best part about my neighborhood school is that it is walking distance to my house. This means I am able to walk home during my Tuesday morning hour prep and whip up a homecooked meal, letting my slow cooker do the majority of the work.

Today’s creation is one my new favorites, black beans, and pairs perfectly with savory brown rice. The hubs wasn’t as excited as I was, wondering why Meatless Monday was extending to Tuesday, but I assure you, these beans are perfect any day of the week.

Slow Cooker Black Beans with Green Onion Lime Rice

Ingredients for Black Beans:

2 cups dry black beans, rinsed

5 cups filtered water

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

3 garlic cloves, halved

Ingredients for Green Onion Lime Rice

1 cup short grain brown rice

2 cups filtered water

1 tsp cumin

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 green onion bunch, chopped

2 tsp key lime juice, or juice of 1/2 a lime

salt to taste

Directions for Black Beans:

Combine black beans, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic in slow cooker. Cover with water. Turn to low, cook 7 hours.

Directions for Green Onion Lime Rice

Combine brown rice, water and cumin in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and reduce to simmer. Cook 45 minutes. Remove from heat and add garlic, green onion, key lime juice and salt. Stir to combine.

To serve

Top green onion lime rice with shredded cheese, black beans, salsa, tomato, avocado and anything else your heart desires.

Enjoy!

What is your favorite black bean recipe?

How Pinteresting: Pumpkin Recreation x2

As per usual, my weekend flew by and Monday smacked me in the face this morning with unrelenting fury. I cursed myself for Sunday afternoon’s chai tea and got on with my day. Luckily I had a delicious meal lined up, and many others to warm me up as the temps drop (to 28 degrees!) this week.

Meal Plan Monday

Meatless Monday

“Cheesy” quinoa with garbanzo beans (similar to this recipe) with zucchini, cumin, salsa and avocado.

Tuesday

Slow cooker black beans and cilantro lime rice (recipe coming soon)

Wednesday

Lazy girl’s chili (recipe coming soon)

Thursday

Ground Turkey tacos

Friday

Homemade pizza

Saturday & Sunday

Pinteresting finds: Enchilada Pasta and Light Lasagna Soup

Other pinteresting finds this week include this pumpkin seed recipe,

(source)
*Edited to add, I think the recipe only needs 1 TBS butter, as my seeds were still soggy after the additional 10 minutes, but also burnt. Odd?

and this owl pumpkin.

I’ve got my pumpkin seeds in the oven*, and my pinteresting recreation on my porch. Thanks Camille for hosting another pinterest recreation linky party!

Cute, eh?

Did you carve pumpkins this year?

I carved a pumpkin this weekend for the first time in years! Usually the hubs carves our pumpkin. But this year we invited some friends over for chili, Elysian Night Owl, Scream 4 and pumpkin carving. The hubs carved two pumpkins, and I carved one.

The hubs purchased a Dremel specifically made for pumpkin carving.

Walk a mile in my shoes

I love shoes. Runners, wedges, flats, boots, peep toes, and occasionally heels. Heels are reserved for when I’m sitting, however. I have terrible balance.

When I saw this teacher shoes linky party on Cardigans and Curriculum, I knew it would pair perfectly with this week’s Fashion Friday. I’ll share this week’s shoes, along with a few other favorites below.

Monday

Dress: One Clothing, cardi: The Loft, belt: Hobo, booties: Target

Wednesday

pants: White House Black Market, Tank: Bobeau, Cardi: Forever 21, scarf: Merona, boots: Born

Thursday

Scarf: Free People, Cardi: Halogen, Cami: Halogen, Jeans: Banana Republic Ultimate Skinny (my second pair of pants for the day…)

Rilo wanted to join the fun, so she gave me a double high-five.

Friday

Cardi: Halogen, Top: Halogen, Necklace: Nordstrom Rack, Jeans: Banana Republic Ultimate Skinny, shoes: Sam Edelman Charleen

And now for the linky party shennanigans. Mrs. Orr, over at Cardigans and Curriculum, thinks:

Comfortable Shoes = Happy Teacher = Better Mood, Better Instruction, More Patience!

I agree! So I’m linking up with my favorite teacher shoes. All are practical, and most are cute. I only have a few dowdy pairs, but sometimes they are necessary.

The cute

Sam Edelman Charleen

I’m sad black and gold are no longer my school colors, these were perfect!

Clarks Wedges (similar)

Born Boots (similar)

I pretty much live in these between November and March.

The not so cute

Naturalizer Hasten (in grey)

Dankso Caroline

Me Too Lawton

The ugly

Crocs Olivia

At least they aren’t your standard croc, but their still not very cute. However, they are perfect for standing all day. I wear these more often than I’d like to admit.

What are your favorite work shoes?