Monday, June 30, 2014

Survey (Monday) Sunday

Sometimes I get so busy and/or content doing the things I have promised to blog about that I just forget (or rather, push it to the back of my mind) to blog. My most sincere apologies, and though yesterday was a rather ordinary day filled with church, a delicious lunch at Matt's El Rancho, baking, and a little bit of basketball, I was enjoying myself far too much to pull out my computer. These things happen, but no worries, I am back after one sweet weekend with a little bit of Survey Sunday action. This one is fitness-related, as I am sure comes as no surprise, so enjoy this short and sweet seven-question survey.

1. Do you have a fitness board on Pinterest? Share it.
I sure do. And I have far more pins than I even know what to do with. But occasionally I will use one of my pins to create a treadmill or strength workout.

2. What is your go to place for fitness questions? (friend, blog, website)
I usually just ask Dylan – the most knowledgeable fitness guru I know.

3. What do you do to workout when the weather outside is too cold, snowy, or icy?
Normally I would say that this isn’t a problem in Texas, but there were many a day this past semester when I spent 10+ minutes scraping ice off of my windshield so that I could make the 5-minute drive to the gym. Luckily the weather wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t survive that short drive, but if I lived somewhere where it was more unbearable, I would likely whip out a Jillian Michaels (despite any of the controversy that may surround her, she does provide a great workout) workout DVD that I could do at home.

4. Latest song(s) added to your playlist?
5. Share a link to your favorite healthy recipe.
Right now I am just loving Aidells Chicken & Apple Chicken Sausage cooked up with zucchini, squash, and asparagus.  Yum! For a link to the recipe, click here.

6. What’s your favorite fitness app?
I think the only fitness-related app I have downloaded on my iPhone is the Nike+ app, and that’s because I had to use it to upload my results from a virtual 10K I did one Saturday. I much prefer using my Garmin Forerunner to track my runs.

7. Share a picture of a recent workout.

A walk at Town Lake - my very favorite
And with that, I'm off to finish off my shift at the desk and squeeze in a swim at Gregory before crossing a few things off of my never-ending to-do list! Have a great one!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Three Items

And I'm back with another post after one wonderful Saturday. I have officially crossed three more items off of my list, and I have to say that I am so glad that I included these three items. After my spin class, I took a quick shower and hung out for about an hour before driving over to Dylan's so that we could get some lunch at one of the restaurants on my list - Tacodeli. I, for maybe the first time in my life, didn't eat breakfast, so I was pretty much starving by the time we got there.

Tacodeli is interesting in that it is only open from 8am to 3pm every day, making it very hard to get there when I work until 2pm, and am usually running off after work to swim or play volleyball or run some errand once I get off work. So, today was finally the day I got to enjoy some stellar tacos from this Austin-bred establishment.


As I just mentioned, Tacodeli is Austin-bred, opening their doors for the first time in 1999. They have since expanded to have a few Austin locations, and there just happens to be one mere minutes from my house, so it's a mystery as to why today was the first time I made it over there. Tacodeli hand makes all of their food in house daily and uses locally sourced, organic and responsibly sourced ingredients whenever possible depending on availability, according to their website. It is locally owned and operated, and they are committed to making the best taco in town. And I am going to go ahead and say they do just that.

Their menu is very diverse, in that they offer breakfast tacos, tacos featuring beef, pork, chicken, fish, and of course, vegetarian options. I went with a chicken taco - Mexico City Chicken - which is grilled chicken breast garnished with diced onion and cilantro, as well as a vegetarian taco - Florentino - which is spinach sauteed in olive oil and sherry with portbello mushroom, red bell peppers, and onion. I ordered both on corn tortillas, and,  know you're surprised to hear that I topped both with some of their special salsa. both
I absolutely loved both of my tacos, surprisingly I probably enjoyed the vegetarian taco a little bit more - it was just that good, and it was the perfect lunch on a somewhat gloomy Saturday afternoon.

Union Bowling

After lunch, Dylan and I ran a few errands downtown before heading back to campus to cross the second item of the day off the list - Underground bowling at The Union. This is something I have known about for all four of my years here, yet never managed to actually do. I actually really love bowling, and with a UT ID, bowling at The Union is rather inexpensive. Dylan and I strolled through campus, stopping at the turtle pond to visit the turtles in their recently cleaned habitat, before arriving at The Union and setting up shop over at lane 11. 

We were pleased to discover that "Glow Bowl" is all day on the weekends, so we glowed-in-the-dark while bowling. Definitely a first-time experience for the both of us.

I picked out two bowling balls - one nine pounder and one ten pounder - and Dylan used a 14 pounder. We bowled without using bumpers, and we certainly bowled a few gutter balls as a result. That being said, we also bowled our fair share of strikes and spares. I'll never know if Dylan let me win, but I squeaked by him with a score of 88 to his 85. Clearly so close to bowling a perfect game!

We were a little sillier with the second game, bowling through our legs and with our non-dominant hands, and we got even more gutter bowls this round, but we sure had a great time doing it.

Toastie's Sub Shop

We then played a couple rounds of pool - I am absolutely horrible at pool - before calling it an afternoon and heading back to Dylan's house to watch some of the World Cup. We watched a little of this and a little of that before crossing the third and final item of the day off of our list - Toastie's Sub Shop.

One of my dear friends from my WyldLife team told me about this restaurant, that first opened in Port O'Connor in 2006, probably two years ago, and I had never managed to make it over there for what were supposed to be some great sandwiches. I consider myself to be quite the sandwich connoisseur, and Austin truly has some great sandwiches, so I was eager to see how this sort of hidden sub shop would compare.

I walked in and immediately liked the feel of it. The menu was written on chalkboards, and there were old arcade games as well as an old bike in the back. But the best part was probably the shelf of games available to diners. But more on that in a minute.

For my meal, I went with the Roma Chicken Sub (sans cheese, of course), which is grilled chicken tossed with sundried tomato pesto topped with fresh baby spinach, Balsamic soaked Roma tomatoes, all on a sweet wheat hoagie.

The sandwiches were quick to be delivered to our table, and I'm not even exaggerating when I say this is one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. I'm not sure what made the sandwich so good, honestly I think the bread is what made it for me, but I loved it, and I ate every last bite.

But what really made the meal was the shelf of games available to diners at the restaurant. They had chess and Clue and Trivial Pursuit, but Dylan and I picked out a cube full of cards labeled "TableTopics for Couples," and we spent the duration of our meal, and about 20 minutes after we were completely finished eating, asking one another these questions. They ranged from silly to serious, and I absolutely love getting to know people by asking them maybe somewhat invasive questions, so this was right up my alley. We both agreed that games like that should be available at every restaurant. It would sure get people to stay off their phones!

After we'd gone through a significant chunk of the cards, we scrounged for quarters so that we could play a round of arcade games. Dylan played Galaga while I played Pinball, and I felt like I had gone back in time to my childhood, and in a time reserved for growing up, I absolutely loved it.

As I said, I had an absolutely glorious Saturday, and I am just enjoying hanging out with my roommates, trying not to feel sad about the fact that there are packing boxes taking over our living area. Can't we just stay here forever?

Anyway, I hope your Saturday was just wonderful, and I'll certainly be back tomorrow with a survey. Enjoy the rest of your evening!


Happy Saturday! After two nights of less-than-enough sleep, I slept hard last night, and though I didn't necessarily sleep in very late, I felt as though I got some good sleep. A nap may be in the books for me later, though!


I went to bed fairly late last night, so I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to wake up in time to make it to a 10am spin class at the gym. I woke up around 8:45am, though, giving myself plenty of time to wake up, change, and head to the gym. I walked on the treadmill while reading for about 15 minutes before making my way upstairs to the cycle room. Today's spin class was great, and time just seemed to fly by (not something I normally say about a spin class). My favorite sequence that we did was the pyramid interval. I've mentioned something similar to this on the blog before, but basically it was a total of 20 minutes - work time and rest time combined. We started out with one minute of work, then had one minute of rest. We then repeated that first minute, and added on a second minute, again, with one minute of rest. This repeated until we were up to five minutes of work, and each minute looked like this.
  • Minute one - fast flat
  • Minute two - standing climb
  • Minute three - jumps
  • Minute four - 10 seconds sprint, 10 seconds rest (while standing)
  • Minute five - downhill sprint
What was tough about this one was that once you added resistance for that second minute, we didn't take it back until minute five, when we were going downhill. It was tough, but it sure made the time go quickly!


I said yesterday that I would be back with another item crossed off of my list. As you know, my entire week was consumed by the AP Summer Institute, and when I finished with that, Dylan would have work, so we weren't able to squeeze a nicer dinner into the week days. My sweet friend Chloe so kindly agreed to take my 6-10pm shift at SRD, and Dylan told me to make dinner reservations for Friday, the only stipulation being that it had to be a restaurant on the list. I picked Bartlett's in North Austin, and it did not disappoint.

Though nothing on the appetizer list really caught our eyes, we did each order a drink - I think after my long week, I more than deserved it! Dylan had the Blood and Sand, which was much too strong for my taste, and I had the Bartlett Pear Martini. I don't really care for pears, but pear-flavored drinks are some of my favorite.

I started drinking before my food came, so it didn't take long for me to feel it, but I felt much better once the food was delivered to our table.

So, onto the food. I had a hard time deciding between the pork chop and the salmon, but I (and I'm sure this comes as no surprise), went with the Hardwood Grilled Salmon that came with Brazilian collards on the side. I had never had collards before, but I really liked them. I'm not sure what to describe as their equivalent, but the way I ate them reminded me of spaghetti.

Anyway, my salmon was cooked to perfection, and I ate every bite (again, shocking). Dylan opted for one of the night's specials - Hand cut Filet, Crab Cake, and a loaded Baked Potato on the side. Judging by his empty plate, I'd say he thoroughly enjoyed it!

I was pretty full by that point, but Dylan couldn't resist the Key Lime Pie for dessert, and though key lime isn't really my flavor, it sure did look good!

Overall, we'd give Bartlett's two thumbs up - not only for the delicious food, but also for the friendly waiters as well as the warm atmosphere. If you're looking for a nicer restaurant in North Austin, look no further than Bartlett's - it won't disappoint!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Teacher Survival Kit

And I am back with another post today - I'm trying to make up for the lost couple of days this month.


My body is pretty worn out from this week, so the only thing I could fathom today was a nice walk around Town Lake. I love walking, and it's been a while since I've gotten to do that, so it was the perfect form of Friday exercise.


This one isn't going to come as a huge surprise. Sorry! But on the bright side, I didn't post about it all week, so you guys were probably getting a little worried that I had changed things up on y'all. Fear not, I haven't!

Teacher Survival Kit

While perusing Pinterest during one of my many hours at SRD, I came across the idea for a "Teacher Survival Kit," and while we were presented with something similar at our UTeach graduation breakfast, that kit leans more on the classroom supply side. My survival kit contains some personal necessities.

I made one of these for my roommate Jamie Lynn and myself, as we have celebrated, complained, and helped one another out these past two years on this journey to becoming a teacher. My roommate Sarah is also going to be a teacher, and I'm going to have to surprise her with one of these in the mail, so hopefully she's not reading this post! Anyway, I got all of these products from Target and Bath and Body Works (they could all be found at Target, I just had to go to Bath and Body Works for a couple of other items). So, without further ado, here is what I included in my Teacher Survival Kit:

1. Mini Lint Roller: For the days when your sweater is shedding, and you just don't have time to change (this may or may not have happened to me this past semester).
2. Hand Sanitizer: Seeing and interacting with 150+ high school students every day? I think this one speaks for itself.
3. Breath Mints: For the days you eat something a little bit smelly for lunch.
4. Luna Bar: When hunger strikes and it's not yet lunch time, or you are staying late after school for a meeting, here is a snack that is both healthy and delicious.
5. EOS Lip Balm: Because this lip balm is just fun, and after talking all day, our lips might need a little pick-me-up.
6. Hand Lotion: You'd be surprised how badly your hands need lotion when you're flipping through papers all day.
7. Floss: Celery and apples are notorious for getting stuck in your teeth, and those are two staples in my diet.
8. Tide-To-Go Pen: Ever spill something on your shirt? Have no fear, with Tide-To-Go, you will not have to be embarrassed standing at the front of the room.
9. Mini Deodorant: To keep you smelling fresh during a long day of teaching.
10. Puffs Tissues: When the Kleenex boxes at the front of the room suddenly vanish, you have your own personal supply of tissues.
11. Halls: When talking all day causes your throat to itch. 
12. Advil: Again, we are interacting with 150+ high schoolers every single day. Headaches are inevitable.
13. Disinfectant Spray: I just realized that many of the items in this kit deal with staying healthy. During my internship semester I caught a couple of bad colds, and there is just no time to slow down and get sick. It can't hurt to spray down door handles, especially during flu season!

I have loved slowly but surely getting materials together for my classroom. It makes it all a little bit more real. I also recently ordered a few posters to hang on my wall, so I'll be sure to share them with you guys when I get them in the mail! Have a fabulous Friday - I'll be back tomorrow with a review of another item soon to be crossed off the list!

Things I'm Loving Friday IX

Sweet, sweet Friday! No AP Institute, and I don't have work until 2pm today. It felt so nice to be able to sleep in a little bit!

And I don't even have to work this weekend, so I'm sure to have something fun on the agenda - I'm just not quite sure what yet! Fingers crossed for some sunny weather, because thunderstorms have been in the forecast every day this week.

So, without further ado, let's continue on with this Friday tradition - Things I'm Loving!

Ghirardelli Minis
It is no secret that I am a big-time chocolate lover. I think I eat a little bit of chocolate every single day, but I will admit that I often have a hard time eating only a small amount and then putting the rest of the bar away for later. So, when I was at Randall's the other day doing some grocery shopping and saw this bag of Ghirardelli Minis strategically placed by the register, I had to check them out (and purchase them, of course). They are individually wrapped squares of chocolate, containing only 36 calories apiece. I have packed two of the Dark Chocolate flavored Minis (other flavors include: Milk Chocolate Sea Salt & Almond, Milk Chocolate Caramel, Toffee Crisp, and Dark Chocolate Cookie Bits) in my lunch box each day to satisfy that chocolate craving.

I am such a sports fan. Whenever I take BuzzFeed quizzes (which I probably do more than I should admit), and they ask me to choose my favorite TV show, I almost always choose ESPN. I grew up attending many Houston sports games, watching sports on TV, and of course, playing sports myself. Though I had my heart broken my the Texas baseball team in their dramatic extra-inning loss against Vanderbilt in the game that would have sent us to the College World Series finals, and Team USA's loss to our German friends, I have still so enjoyed turning on the TV and being able to watch either an exciting soccer match, or a baseball game featuring players who are playing the game they love at the highest level in college baseball.

One Nation. One Team. (Source)
Texas Forever (Source)
Gregory vs. The Rec - Gregory won!
I am also a big-time lover of quotes - cheesy, inspirational, funny (I am forever writing down funny things that I overhear) - I just love words, and I have recently been on the hunt for some inspirational quotes to hang on both my classroom wall, and in my area of the volleyball coaches office. My high school volleyball coach sent us little notes and quotes before each and every game (and I still have them), and I am contemplating stealing her idea for my freshmen. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?


Daisy Eau So Fresh
Every woman needs a signature scent, right? I am extremely picky when it comes to scents, which led me to never loving a scent enough to call it mine. Dylan told me that I just really needed to make a decision, so he braved a trip to Sephora with me and we tested about (and I'm not exaggerating about this) a million different scents. What smelled good on the test stick didn't always smell the same once I applied them. I walked out with both a headache and smelling like a combination of nine different scents, before picking one that I originally wrote off. The winning scent? Marc Jacob's Daisy Eau So Fresh - a scent that is fruity, bubbly, and fun. Does that sound like me or what? ;-)

Wisdom in Decision Making
One of my favorite things about Austin, and one of the things I will miss the most, is the Austin Stone Community Church. I've mentioned it a few times on the blog, and I am truly thankful for how much it has done for me throughout my college career. If I don't make it to church one Sunday, I enjoy listening to the podcast, which can be found here on their website. This particular sermon, from a couple of Sunday's ago, talks about wisdom in decision making, and as someone who is pretty horrible at making decisions - big or small - I got so much out of this sermon. My favorite quote would have to be this one - "God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart."

And that's a wrap for this week's Things I'm Loving. Check back next week (on the Fourth of July - WHAT, where has the month gone?), for number ten!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Four Weeks

And my AP Institute is officially a wrap! Though I certainly won't miss sitting in a freezing cold classroom for almost nine hours a day, I did gain lots of valuable information and resources. Among one of the many things I learned this week, I learned that I am a very visual learner, and I am really in no way an auditory learner. I tend to need to have things in front of me so that I can follow along and make marks as needed.

One of my favorite things that we did was something we did in the morning session yesterday. We were talking about Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, in which the monster is given life and then immediately abandoned by his parents. We read many articles that deal with that same concept, and they spoke to the idea that for many students, high school is not a wonderful place, but "the positive effect of one loving relative, mentor, or friend can overwhelm the negative effects of the bad things that can happen," students need to have at least one role model, and while I'm certainly not naive enough to think that I'll be that for every student, and I may never know it if I am, I'm going to keep channeling that personality and classroom atmosphere anyway.

And for a more light-hearted read, I can't wait to use this piece to teach argumentation and fallacies.

Waffle Cone Wednesday

Yet another item has been crossed off of my list - TCBY's Waffle Cone Wednesday. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this phenomena, it is the one day a week that you can get a delicious soft-serve waffle cone for only a dollar. TCBY is a safe bet because they don't serve any ice cream (as we were informed last night), so I can go there without many allergy worries. They even have a few completely dairy-free flavors, so it doesn't get much better than that.

Anyway, Dylan and I planned to get a little snack after he got off work and before our 11pm intramural volleyball game. I mentioned it to a few of my roommates and they thought it sounded too good to pass up. We all made our way over to the TCBY on MLK Boulevard, and I went with the chocolate almond (made with almond milk), and Dylan listened to my advice and went with strawberry. I think the fact that only the paper surrounding the cones were left on the table speaks for itself.

And I mentioned an intramural volleyball game. I am on a team with Dylan and a few of our friends, and we somehow got the 11pm game time draw. Dylan, our other friend Rey, and I met up at my house around 10:30pm, and we ended up being the only three people who could play. Though we knew we weren't going to get the W, we decided to head over to Gregory Gym anyway just to see if one, we could quickly recruit someone to play on our team, and two, see if we could play around anyway. We ended up getting in about an hour of good play, and I think all three of us walked back to the car feeling like it was an evening well spent. As much as I love watching sports, I absolutely love playing sports, especially one in which I have some skills!


We have had some really strange weather this week, resulting in a little less swimming than I originally planned. I did manage to squeeze in a swim on this Thursday-that-feels-like-Friday, and it was a nice break from the focus I have been putting on my legs these past few days in spin class.


Normally (or not really normally anymore due to our busy schedules), Dylan and I go to dinner on Thursday nights. Tonight was not an exception to that tradition. And though we normally try to go somewhere a little nicer than usual, sometimes a quick, familiar dinner is all that you need. Tonight we did just that so that we could share a quick meal before Dylan's intramural basketball game. We ate dinner to Pei Wei, and I immediately knew that I was going to order the chicken lettuce wraps.

They were absolutely delicious - I think homemade chicken lettuce wraps are going to make an appearance on the blog soon!

And on that note, I'm off to collapse on my bed. It's been a jam-packed week, and I am both physically and mentally exhausted. And today marks four weeks until the "big" move back to Houston. Yikes - that means we are only four weeks (and one day) away from one crazy schedule!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ordinary Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! My days have felt very, very long due to this AP Summer Institute, but I am gaining lots of valuable information (and handouts!!!), so though the last hour and 45 minutes are pretty grueling - among all of the other things I have learned these past two days, I have learned that I am not meant to sit behind a desk all day - I know that it will be very beneficial, as it has certainly proven to be already. And I will appreciate it far more when it is over, and I am looking back on it, as tends to be the case with these types of things.

So, let's start right in with some regularly scheduled events. 


One of the perks of attending this conference is the complimentary lunch we receive. Each day has a different hot meal, but you always have the option to build your own salad from the salad bar. I have taken advantage of that option both yesterday and today, and they have hit the spot both days - who knew sitting in a classroom for four hours would cause your stomach to eat itself?

A bowl of soup is also included with your meal, and though I got a bowl of soup to eat with my salad in an attempt to warm myself up after sitting in a freezing cold classroom all morning, I quickly pushed it away when I found a hair in it. Thankfully I had a few snacks back up in the room, so it wasn't too tragic.


Lately, I have been very into alternating my daily workouts - swimming one day, with a spin class the next. This often happens to me in the summertime when it feels too hot to run, and then I pick back up with running during the school year. I've decided to just go with it, because my half marathon training will creep up on my soon enough! Anyway, I went to the gym straight after the conclusion of today's session, and walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes while reading before my 5:45pm spin class. Though I consistently drown in a pool of my own sweat at the end of Thomas' spin classes, I really enjoy them. One, because he always plays Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard, which used to be my jam, and two, because I know I'm getting in a good workout in just about 45 minutes. Quick and effective, just the way I like it.

One of the things I liked about tonight's class, and really every other class that I've been to of his, is this sequence. He divided the class into two teams - Team One and Team Two. Team One would speed up their movement for 30 seconds, while Team Two took that time to rest. We went through four rounds that looked like this:
  • 30 seconds seated
  • 15 seconds seated, 15 seconds standing
  • 15 seconds standing, 15 seconds seated
  • 30 seconds standing - increasing your speed every 10 seconds
It's tough, but it's just enough speed alternated with just enough rest. An excellent workout if I do say so myself. Now I plan on parking it on the couch and catching up on a little blogging (obviously), and putting together some things for my future classroom. The first day of school is too quickly approaching, and I need to make sure my classroom has a very welcoming feel to it. Have a great evening!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Gone Girl

Hey, y'all! I apologize for my absence over the weekend - I was busy playing nurse, which was selfishly just what I needed to do in order to get in a relaxing weekend. I was able to lounge around and be lazy, and finish reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which holy moly was insane. I will do a review (with spoilers) later on in this post, so stop reading once I get to that part if you have not yet read the book.

Though I had a somewhat lazy weekend, I did not neglect a good sweat session - lately spin classes have been leaving me a sweaty mess - and though I can't remember the structure of the spin classes I took, only that we did quite a bit of sprints on a hill, with which I certainly have a love/hate relationship, I do have a quick post-cardio workout for you, that works a little bit of both the upper and lower body. I used only my bodyweight, and completed four rounds of this mini-series, but that was surely enough for me!

I will probably be very spotty this week, as I am attending an Advanced Placement Summer Institute at UT that a supporter of the UTeach Program so graciously provided each one of us to attend. And while I am very grateful, and I have already been gifted so many handouts (and free books!) that I already plan on using in my classroom, it makes for a very long day. 8:00am to 4:45pm, and while I am a very focused person, I am also a very antsy person, so sitting in the same place for so many hours is very difficult for me. Let's just say I took quite a few bathroom breaks, just so I could get up and move around for a minute or two. 

And to finish with some exciting news on this dreary Monday - I woke up to an email saying I had been selected to participate in the 2015 Aramco Houston Half Marathon! If you guys recall, the last time I was supposed to run this race, I broke my toe just one week prior to the race. My mom, brother, and I were just reminiscing on this this past week when I was home, and determined that there must have been a good reason that I couldn't participate (and ultimately, my dad felt sorry enough for me that he agreed to send my mom and me to San Francisco). Needless to say, I am very excited to finally get the chance to compete in this race - I won't complain about a run through my very favorite city!

Gone Girl (Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers!!!)

I will admit, I started reading this book over a year ago, just before it got really hot. I am not good about being up on the up-and-coming music, but I am pretty good about discovering what books are going to be popular. What can I say - it must be my gift! Anyway, I started reading it late 2012, but my schedule got crazy, and I was forced to abandon it in favor of books for my English classes at UT. I was searching for a new book to read, and I happened upon this article that listed off some books to read before they hit the big screen. Gone Girl was one of them, and because I already had it on my Kindle, and my friend Amira recently recommended that I read it, so it seemed like a logical choice.

I restarted the book from the beginning, and I was hooked from the get-go. Amy and Nick are, not necessarily happily married, but things go downhill quickly. Amy disappears on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary, and we are made to believe that Nick did it.

At first, I didn't think he did it, but then I began doubting myself, until the book took a MAJOR twist, and I realized that though this couple is I-N-S-A-N-E, they are both incredibly bright, clever, and honestly, made for each other. Amy wrote a fake diary, created a scavenger hunt that would hopefully lead to Nick's arrest, and watched from afar as Nick's life absolutely unraveled. Nick realized the framing, and played the media so that Amy would come home to him (and save his butt).

The ending of the book absolutely shocked me, and I am not entirely sure how I feel about it. I was feeling a little unsettled that Amy was able to get away with murder (she is extremely manipulative), but I didn't quite feel sorry for Nick, either. Like I said though, they are both a little lot twisted, so they seem to be made for one another!

If you've read the book, please tell me your thoughts on it - I'm dying to discuss it with someone. If you haven't read it, and are looking for a book that will keep you reading as long as your eyes stay open, this is certainly the book for you!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Things I'm Loving Friday VIII

Happy FRIDAY! Friday came fast for me this week, probably because I had a mid-week Houston trip thrown into the mix, but I sure won't complain about a weekend off from work! Hopefully I can relax, cross a few things off my list, or the best possibility of all - a combination of the two. Not that I am counting down or anything, because I'm trying to just enjoy every single day, but as of yesterday, I have just five weeks as a resident in Austin. Yikes! It's coming so fast, but I also have plenty of time to squeeze in those last few Austin activities. Plus, it's not like I won't be back, right?


Because I took a little hiatus from my blog, and I haven't posted about breakfast in forever, I figured y'all might be refreshed and ready for the typical egg whites and spinach picture. Breakfast was clearly the same as it usually is, because why fix something if it isn't broken?

Anyway, like I said, it's Friday, so let's continue on with our regularly scheduled Things I'm Loving.

Things I'm Loving

One of my roommates sent me this article the other night and I couldn't help but laugh. Though I wouldn't consider myself to be an expert grammarian by any means, I was a pretty good speller back in elementary school, and I do find myself correcting other people's grammar (in my head, of course). I also just finished making this poster to hang up in my classroom that clarifies many common grammar mistakes. Hopefully it will help those little freshmen in their writing endeavors!

Well, I always love reading, but I have finally gotten back into my reading groove these past couple of weeks. Really, the past week. I have started and finished The Hunger Games, Not A Match (okay, not very intellectually stimulating, but it was funny), and Signs of Life. I just started reading Gone Girl, and I am already hooked. I bring my Kindle everywhere, and I read whenever I have the chance. I took it to Salata the other night when I went to a solo dinner, and I'll admit that I even took it with me to the coaches clinic, and read during any of our breaks. I'm back on my reading game!

Again, I always love baking, but I had to take this opportunity to share the world's easiest (and arguably one of the more delicious) recipes I've tried my hand at recently. I am really trying to justify all of the time that I spend on Pinterest (but doe that really have to be justified?) by actually creating some of the things that I have pinned. These Oreo- and Golden Oreo-stuffed Crescent Rolls were just about the easiest things I've ever made, in that I simply unrolled a package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, placed either an Oreo or Golden Oreo in the center, and rolled the dough around it, sealing it on all edges. If it was a regular Oreo, I topped it with chocolate chips; Golden Oreo, white chocolate chips. I baked them in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees, for 14 minutes, and that was it. Like I said, easiest treat ever, and they're guaranteed to make you the most popular person at the party. And I think I have a thing about baking using Oreos or something.

Photo courtesy of: Haleigh Clark
Happy Notes

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of handwritten notes and letters. There's just something about them, especially in this age of technology. I found these Happy Notes at Anthropologie, and I knew that I had to buy them. I love leaving fun notes for people, and I often leave them in an attempt to either encourage someone, or to cheer someone up, so why not make the note as happy as possible?

And on that note, have a very HAPPY Friday (okay, that was lame, I know). See you guys tomorrow!