That Awkward Phone Moment…

The phone rings and your caller i.d. flashes the name of a dear one you’ve been particularly bad at keeping in touch with over the past year or so. You stare at the screen and in the course of a few seconds, you must decide whether to answer or not.

phone debate.png

One one hand, OF COURSE you want to talk to that person! It’s not like you guys have been out-of-touch on purpose. . . life has just been busy and your two schedules have made you ships in the night. It would be so wonderful to hear their voice again!

On the other hand, it’s been so long since you’ve last spoken voice-to-voice that you’re pretty far behind. Who knows whats been happening in each-others’ lives and how much time (not to mention emotional energy) you may have to dedicate to getting up to speed?

This is also the dilemma of the mind behind this blog. Amid the beautiful chaos of life, there’s been barely a minute or two consecutively to sit with my computer over the past month-and-a-half, and now I find myself with a newsworthy snow day and too much to say.

Life has been full to bursting these past weeks, and true to my scattered form, I shall now undertake the telling of the highlights via list, in no particular order.

1. Yesterday my two nephews were officially adopted!!!

ben and caleb

Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have them formally in my family (where they have been informally for years!).

2. Home Base is Movinghome

After 25 years, my parents have sold the home where I grew up and are moving to Michigan. I can’t lie and say that I am not sad, because I loved growing up on Iradell Road, and it will always hold a place in my heart. BUT, I can say that I am very excited to see where this major shift takes my parents and I know that God will bless the next 25 years as fully has he has the last.

3. I love my church!

4. Teaching remains delightful!

teaching supplies?

I took this picture of my desk, because it was one of those moments where I couldn’t quite believe the randomness of the things appearing on my desk!

5. Planning School Events is, as always, Underway

favor

Winter Ball is almost upon us (if the storm doesn’t require a postponement!) and there will be more to come on the Fairy-Tale Forest theme soon . . .

favors

Suffice it to say, I am staying busy with the details this year!

6. I got another Tattoo

tattwo. . . which prompted one of my students to write this letter to my father, haha!

letters to dad Did I mention that I love my students?

 

7. I’m still obsessed with my cat Winky

winkyface

. . . but can you blame me?

8. I have a new fnephew! (foster-nephew)

fnephew

So you see, a lot has happened . . .

I have a lot to be thankful for!

theboys

What’s new with you in 2015?

 

Supernaturally Good

WINCHESTER LOVE AND SPNIf you, like me, tuned in to watch the 200th episode of Supernatural last night, well. You know. You know that there are no words to describe what ridiculous rip-roaring supernaturally high school musicalish CHUCK-ness that we witnessed. If you didn’t watch it (or you did and understood nothing) . . . well I’m sorry. BUT GOSH. For those of you that cohabitate the fandom with me, sit back, tune into some Dean-Inspired Music Mixes (x) while you wait for last nights songs to hit iTunes, and check out my mini Supernatural Theme Party pictures!

First I made a centerpiece befitting the boys. centerpiece

Then I decorated like the Unabashed Fan that I am.

Remember this?  [x]

My Tribute:
jerkbitchbackdrop

 

How about this? [x]

My little hommage:

flashlight

Then there’s this little nugget: [x]

Which I figured deserved some inclusion…

bigger cups

Then of course, I could never forget Kevin. (RIP)

kevin

 

And since that made me sad, I had to include something involving Crazy!Cas… Remember his obsession with Bees and Honey? [x]

Well . . .

castiel's honeyAnd you know, there’s also that whole question of Fading Grace…

fading graceBasically, I had a little too much fun, and there were a bajillion other little things I wanted to do before I wound up running out of time!

candy

Then I decided it was high time I whip up some fandom-themed foods!

references

Some of these were a little subtle, but others were pretty obvious, right?

spnfood

In the end it wound up being a delicious spread of snacks . . . even if I was too emotionally wrapped up in the show to eat much!

the full spread

So, if you don’t watch Supernatural, you can appreciate approximately 2% of all of this, and you should probably go watch the past 200 episodes ASAP.

MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR TIME??!?!

And that’s all I have to say about that. [x]

Apple Cakey Goodness

This week, I made a cake. A cake that takes the cake, if you know what I mean. I found myself in possession of some very disappointing Red Delicious Apples (as all Red Delicious Apples tend to be) that were starting to grow even less appetizing over time. Thus, I went to find my Apple Cake recipe and put them to some use before they morphed into fruit-fly traps on my counter. Sadly, I couldn’t find my recipe, but NOT AT ALL sadly, I wound up using one that I found online (somewhat modified) and it might just be my new favorite Apple Cake recipe. The original is from here, but  I made just enough changes that I am going to share with you what I wound up making (based on what was in my cupboard) so that you can reproduce the exact apple-y goodness that I was able to mash together, should you so desire (although I’m sure the original recipe is pretty stellar!).

20141103_185011

Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (unsweetened vanilla)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla/vanilla bean paste
  • 3 cups (4 or 5) grated Red Delicious apples ( leave the skins on!)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
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Saucy Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp.white vinegar (makeshift buttermilk) – allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes before using!
Step-by-Step Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and adjust rack to middle position.
  2. Stir together sugar, eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl.  Fold in apples and coconut, and then pour the batter into a buttered Bundt pan – the batter was quite thick!
  3. Bake for approximately one hour, or until a toothpick inserted near the middle of the cake comes out clean and batter-free! Now, I found that the toothpick was still not quite clean after about an hour, so I increased the temperature to 350°F at that point and baked it for an additional 10-15 minutes and that seemed to do the trick!
  4. During the last 15 or so minutes of baking time, pull out a medium-sized sauce-pan and get your carmelly-drenching-glaze ready. To make the glaze, you put butter, sugar, milk/vinegar mixture (ahem: buttermilk), and baking soda into a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until ingredients are mixed/melted together.  Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Immediately after removing cake from oven, pour most of the sauce over hot cake, reserving about 1/2 cup. Let the cake stand for 1 hour, letting the sauce seep into the cake and absorb its magical powers, and then turn it out onto a plate.  Pour the reserved sauce over the top.
  6. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. I had a piece that night and it was STUPENDOUS, but when I served the rest of it to friends the next day, the reports were good! It was so moist, but not chunky or overwhelming – just the right blend of Apple and Spice and Caramel (aka. Heaven).

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Enjoy!

Je Suis . . . Super Sucrée!!!

Sweet shoes

Every year for Halloween, I dress up. I think teachers who don’t dress up without a good reason are kind of a drag, to be honest. But I’m also a big nerd who loves to stay creatively on/near the topic of my content-matter as much as possible. SO, typically, I try to pick a costume that is at least somewhat french-related. This year, though, a staff theme was chosen without le français in mind, and so I had to get creative. Thus was born the idea of:

Super Sucrée!

That’s right. I’m Super Sweet/Sugary. My mission?

20141031_102142

My biggest weapon would probably have to be the Sugar Coma, but mostly I like to think I help keep the peace. . .

super

I’m not gonna lie, a few people have said my eyelashes are reminiscent of Effie Trinket, and my dress fringe is a little insecure. . . I leave a candy trail wherever I go, but somehow it’s fitting, don’t you think?

sucreeIn any case, this has been a fun one to wear, if slightly less-French than my usual!

I wish you all a SUPER-SWEET Halloween, friends!

 

Zombie Themed Treats!

This past weekend, I had a chance to attend my very first Zombie Prom. While the event itself was quite fun (who doesn’t like dancing and people watching with a bunch of undead characters in downtown Salem, MA?), I think the festivities preceding the dance itself were equally as delightful, so I thought I’d share with you some of the creative treats that were included!

My Contribution?

zombie cupcakes

20141025_154458With a little pinspiration [x] I decided that I would attempt my very own sugar glass shard cupcakes, with a zombified green twist, and what you see is my not-quite-pleasant (but exactly what I was going for) result! I followed a simple online how-to  for making my sugar glass, but added just a little green food coloring in near the end. The whole process was very fire burn and cauldron bubble-y, if you know what I mean.cauldron bubble - sugar glassBut I wound up quite pleased with the results! As an added touch, before I frosted them, I put some raspberry jam in about half of my cupcakes for the added oozy effect . . .

zombie cupcakes

. . .  and they were DELICIOUS!

Some of my friend Romina’s contributions (that likely deserve their own posts, but as I didn’t make them myself, I’ll leave that up to her) included:

brainz

braaaaaaains

These jell0-shots were actually delicious, and were made in STRAWS to achieve the exceedingly nasty look!

pumpkin pukin

pumpkin puke

Somehow this was simultaneously adorable and gross at the same time – definitely a rare accomplishment, if you ask me.

So, there you have it! Some deliciously icky-l0oking zombie party treats!

Happy Almost-Halloween everyone!

 

 

Should I be a Teacher? What Should I do With My Life?

Recently, I got this message posted in my message-box on another type of blog I run. . .

advice - college majorThis poor person is in the same boat as a LOT of other 18-22 year-olds the world over, and I can empathize with their plight. SO, I am sharing a slightly-varied version of my response to them on this blog, in the hopes that it might be helpful to anybody who stumbles across my blog whilst feeling similar stress.

choosing a major

First of all: I’m to anyone who is feeling stressed about choosing your major or career path! I remember the struggle to decide what major to declare. First of all, remember that it is NEVER too late to change your mind. There’s this weird belief that once you pick a major your fate is sealed, and there’s no going back. But, even though there are some majors (like pre-med or pharmaceutical medicine) that you have to declare very early on and pursue all the way through your studies, it is never too late to change your mind later on if you find yourself unhappy with the career path you are on. Most people I know changed their major at least once. I also know people that switched careers after doing something for 10 years. It might not be the easiest path, but it is do-able. In light of this, my biggest advice is to try to pick something that aligns with both your passions and your talents, because that is where you will most likely find future career success.

passion and talent

On the other hand I 100% encourage picking a field of study that will result in a job or some kind of marketable skill set! We all know the stereotypical example of being an English major – which might be fascinating, but is not always marketable in a practical or direct way (especially not without further formal study). So, as you study your way along, periodically you should probably ask yourself what you’re going to put on your resume.

build a resume

Let’s do just that and take a critical look at teaching as a viable job option. If, like my forward-thinking message-friend, you’re worrying about the availability of teaching jobs before you’re in your junior year in college, I would encourage you not to worry about that juuuust yet. There is a certain amount of assumed job security in teaching (although it is not always accurate, if we’re being truthful with ourselves). Honestly, until the zombie apocalypse arrives and we’re all more focused on survivalist skills, there will always be a need for teachers. Even with Zombies, if it comes down to teachers v. zombies, my money is on the middle school teacher team. If they can thrive in a middle school, they can survive anything.

Jokes aside, though, there are a lot of teaching jobs, although not always where/when you want to work. Finding a teaching job can sometimes mean being flexible about the when/where you will teach, which can be hard. Another reason why you shouldn’t worry about this just yet, though? Any College Teacher-preparation program worth its salt will do their best to help you network and find a job post-grad.

Likewise, if you go to a school with a good education program and you want to be a teacher, you should not worry about the licensure test. Real Talk Time, friends. At this point, I have taken . . . four? maybe five? of these miserable exams. While they aren’t fun at all, they ARE do-able. If you have studied your subject matter and taken those studies seriously, you will be just fine when it comes to licensure tests that evaluate content knowledge and educator-knowledge.

One  last bit of advice about teaching and whether it is for you? If you want to go into teaching, then you should GO INTO TEACHING!!! But you should only do that if you LOVE (A) the subject you teach, and (B) people/students! Too many people get into teaching thinking it’s a “sure thing” or a “good fall-back” and do not realize that it is a job that requires a lot of heart and soul if you want to do it well. If you feel passionate about being a teacher, then pursue it full steam ahead and see what happens. I sort of fell into becoming a teacher and now I’m addicted – it’s not always perfect, but it’s still the most wonderful thing I’ve ever gotten to do!

teaching