Merry Christmas!

In the past I was a skeptic,

although I really should have only been skeptical of early 90’s fashion…

but this year Mr. Clause brought me a fancy shmancy sewing machine. So I guess now I believe 🙂

Skittles were also exchanged.

Merry Christmas from the whole Spinach and Skittles family!

The original Libb says hi too 🙂

How did you celebrate this year?

p.s. don’t forget to enter the Firebird Chocolate giveaway – it closes tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. (PST)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes with strudel and pies galore! While I’m not a vegetarian, I always find it funny when people feel bad for vegetarians on Thanksgiving. The turkey is the least exciting part!


After a week of half days and conferences, my kidlets needed a little fun yesterday morning. Our last writing unit was personal narratives (zooming in on a very small moment of time [seed] and writing a lot about it), and our current unit is expository paragraphs & essays, (which can be dry and formulaic).

We took a brief departure from essay writing yesterday to remember just how creative we can be in our descriptions. I gave them the lead, Mrs. Spinachandskittles was just about to pull the turkey out of the oven when all of a sudden…

There assignment was to be as creative as possible. I gave them 45 minutes to write and then we shared. It was a great bonding experience, and they had a lot of fun! I decided I had to share one.

Mrs. Spinachandskittles was just about to pull the turkey out of then oven when all of a studden black smoke started to rise from the oven. “What the…” SMACK! The oven door flew open and hit Mrs. Spinachandskittles in the head.

“Is the turkey almost done?!” Mr. Spinachandskittles yelled. As he headed downstairs the turkey jumped up and kicked him right in the gut. That was the last Thanksgiving Mrs. Spinachandskittles ever had.

These kids crack me up. Black smoke probably would start to rise if I attempted to cook my own turkey, so it is a good thing we headed north to my in-laws. My leggings are on, as they are the perfect stretchable pant.


What was I thinking? Jeans have no give!

Bring on the food!

Wild Blueberry & Cranberry pie

Mixed greens with goat cheese, dried cherries & toasted pecans

White Bean and basil hummus, goat cheese & cranberries, with multi grain crackers and sourdough bread

I’m not the only food photographer in the family 🙂 SIL Kimberly

Hanging with my niece Adelia – we have the same color palette 🙂

What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?

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


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)


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.


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?

Happy 4th of July!

I had a wonderful holiday weekend, how ’bout you?

Friday we enjoyed the company of Annie and Brendan, along with their son, Beckim, and her brother, Rob. Annie and Brendan attended Law school with the hubs, and even though they live in Seattle, we haven’t seen them since our wedding in 2008!

The Hubs grilled up a local leg o lamb, which was bombdiggity.

He also helped Beckim feed the chickens. Who later bit him. He walked around with his finger out saying “chicken bit me,” all night. It was sad, but adorable at the same time.

It was wonderful catching up, and we vowed not to let three years pass by without a visit again.

Moving forward, Melanie, SIL#3*, and her daughter, Natalie, were in town for the long weekend, so it was perfect timing for Alison’s, SIL#2, baby shower.

Cousinly love

This was our first time meeting our niece, Natalie! She is already 15 months, but we haven’t been able to get down to San Diego due to work obligations, so it was great to finally meet her. We hope to go down to San Diego in August to see the entire family.

All the siblings haven’t been together since Kimberly’s, SIL#4, wedding in 2009. We gathered together for a girls shot, but neglected to take the sibling shot with the hubs.

Me, Angie, Adelia, Alison, Kimberly, Theresa, Natalie & Melanie

I’ll try to photoshop him in for my mother-in-law later 🙂

Later that night, Angie’s husband, John, provided a professional quality firework display. My photos, however, are not up to par.

Sunday evening the hubs gave me an early birthday present.*

*My birthday is tomorrow.

Heaven! Too bad you can’t immediately make ice cream! I had to store the bowl in the back of my freezer for 15 hours.  But it was worth the wait. Today I whipped up a batch of mint tuxedo* mint ice cream! Holy yum!

*Tuxedos are Safeway’s version of the much more expensive Oreo.

Rilo was also given an early birthday present. I have no idea when her birthday is, as she was a pound puppy, but I thought she deserved a treat all the same. She immediately fell in love with her bright pink hippo wubby, and has been cuddling with it all weekend.

She’s also in for a 4th of July treat: Red, White and Blueberry dog food.

We enjoyed some Hawaiian salsa topped fish taco salad,

and mint tuxedo mint ice cream. As Jen says, you are what you eat, so eat pretty! Cheers!

What did you do to celebrate the 4th of July?

Hey, did you know it is Valentine’s Day?

Have you checked your facebook feed today? Yeah, it is Valentine’s Day. It always cracks me up to see married couples wishing each other a happy v-day via fb wall posts.

*quick check to make sure Timmah didn’t do that* phew, we’re in the clear.

I guess my body was excited about the ol Hallmark holiday, I woke up at 5:03 a.m., one minute before my alarm went off. Crazy, right? Here’s hoping I can make this a week long winning mini-goal streak. However, with all this extra time on my hands I didn’t actually get to the gym any earlier than normal. Well, I mean I got there one time (on a machine at 5:55 a.m.).

After 50 minutes filled with Katy Perry, Usher and CNN on the Adaptive Motion Trainer I did a little arm action. I haven’t worked my arms in ages, and I am thinking I may be rather sore tomorrow.

Brekkie was a less pretty version of yesterday’s creamy buckwheat with chia seeds, pecans, raisins, brown sugga and half a nanner.

With a side of bright pink sparkly heart nails…

Fun, right? I felt very, very girlie.

Lunch was oh, so good. A turkey sammie with avocado, laughing cow, lettuce, tomato and onion on a whole wheat english muffin, with a side salad.

Plus a side of operation beautiful. I thought the other teachers, aids and support staff needed a little love aside from the raging tween/early teen hormones that were wreaking havoc on our Monday. 🙂

Perhaps I snacked on a heart shaped sugar cookie. Perhaps.

Pretty soon I’ll be throwing two pizza’s in the oven. I know I promised a meatless Monday dish, but I really didn’t feel like cooking. Meh. Take’n’bake pizza is only half cooking, so I feel like I kinda made my man a home cooked treat.

A heart shaped pie no less.

And I baked brownies!

Oh wait, they came from a box.

Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

I almost forgot I promised you a peak at what I got the hubs for v-day…

‘Cause nothing says I love you like fried food.

His gift to me was a tad more appropriate for the day’o’love.

A fabu paper flower arrangement from anemone. These will look very lovely in my office at work.

Happy Valentine’s Day, or National Singles Appreciation Day, whichever you fancy.