Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Faves

Happy Friday, loves! Can you believe it's the end of April already? Seriously where the heck is time going??
This week has definitely brought with it some favorites, so let's dish!
{1} Travel Plans
I shared on Wednesday MG's and my big summer travel plans: cruising through the Greek and Turkish isles and spending some time in Istanbul--11 days of a dream vacation! We're beyond excited, and not a day has gone by since we booked it that we haven't been looking up excursions and different sites that are must-see/must-do in each place that we're going to! It's definitely a trip of a lifetime and I'm still kind of shocked that we're actually going! Bring on July!!

{2} Signs from my Dad
Since my dad has passed there have been a few signs that pop up here and there that make me know that my dad's around. This week there were two times that I think he was giving me signs. On Tuesday I was driving home from work and stopped at the grocery store to pick up something we'd forgotten this weekend. As I was paying, I reached into my work bag in the pocket where I keep my wallet, and with it pulled out one of the hospital badges that I wore when I went to visit my dad. I put it back and finished paying for my food, left, and on the drive home I thought to myself "I wonder if the date on that was the 26th like today" and sure enough when I pulled it out, it had Feb 26, 2016 stamped on it--two months to the day. Out of the many times I went to see my dad, most of the time I returned the badges but sometimes I forgot and this was one of those times. The chances were about 1 in 30 that it was the same date and I think it was definitely my dad letting me know that he's still around, even if he's not here physically.
And this sign is a bit smaller and maybe isn't my dad, but it made me think of him anyway: our white rose bush has started to sprout another bloom. But this one is yellow. All of the other buds have been white, but this one is a bright and vibrant yellow bud. As soon as I saw it, I thought of my dad. Don't know why, but I did. Even if it isn't him, it still makes me happy to think that it is :)

{3} New Recipe
This week I made buffalo chicken meatloaf. Sounds kinda weird, but it had all of the yummy flavors that I love (put buffalo sauce on anything and I'll probably like it) and it did not disappoint. It was quick and easy, and I'll definitely be making it again! #gimmethegorgonzola
Recipe coming soon but for now, teaser pic:

{4} Spring Blooms
I love that flowers are popping up all over the place now that it's Spring. My absolute favorite, though, is this tree that blossoms these fluffy blooms! I can't help but walk under this tree and want to squeeze them! (And when I do, a shower of pink petals falls around me which is even more fun!) It's the little things!

{5} Funnies
When you're watching a movie with your in-laws and an explicitly sexual scene comes on screen, and seems to last a lifetime
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When you get excused from a really contentious parent meeting at work
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How I imagine Texans got to work last week
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When you finish one show and then can't find another series to watch in its place
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When someone's "fashion sense" doesn't jive with yours
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That's it for me this week! Hope you guys have an easy Friday and a fantastic weekend!!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Confessions and Hashtags

Ok, so I know that this link up is defunct as of late, but I still like the idea, so I'm confessing anyway!
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I confess that....

......when I saw the construction workers using a sledgehammer on the outside of my school building (we're going through a renovation), I couldn't help but think that that would be a great stress reliever for the teachers. Bad day? Take a sledge hammer to the side of the building! #cheaperthantherapy
.....when I was being tailgated on a single lane road by some jerk yesterday morning, it made me laugh when he got stuck behind someone who was going normal speed (but too slow for him), and he was stuck behind him for a solid 15 minutes #slowdownassface
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.....on my post yesterday about our big summer travel plans someone wrote "yay for you." and it made me feel bad. I definitely wasn't trying to brag about our trip, I'm just excited! #ohwell
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*this person has since written me and shared that it was a total misunderstanding so no hard feelings!
.....I signed up for a conference in Baltimore next month with some coworkers and I about choked when the "early bird registration" AND "discounted group rate" for one day was still $185. Umm, hello conference people, you do realize that we are teachers, right? At least one of us is rolling in it #itaintme #mo'moneymo'problems
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.....our HOA is still super annoying with their lack of timeliness. They STILL haven't approved our windows, despite us reaching out and the window company reaching out to them. And it's not that complicated--it's like two criteria (grids in the windows, and white framing) both of which ours meet. What's the freaking hold up? #getyourshittogetherHOA

....Cooper needs a haircut soon, but I LOVE when he's super fluffy. I feel bad when his hair is in his eyes and he probably can't see, but darn if he isn't the cutest all fluffy!
.....the idea of Hamams (bathhouses) in Turkey kind of freaks me out. I know it's something that is one of those "if you go, you have to do" kind of things, but....I dunno. The whole concept weirds me out. #heebiejeebies

....flavored seltzer water is a tease #gimmetherealstuff #oraddsomevodka
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....after dealing with some parents at work, I swear to my future parent self that I won't be an overbearing parent. I won't I won't I won't. #andyoushouldnteither
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.....Shaun T is my spirit animal. I freaking love that dude. 
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Those are my confessions this week--what are some of yours?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday {#38}: Wanderlusting

Happy middle of the week! It's Wednesday so you know it's time to link up with Jessi and I and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!
This week I have some exciting wanderlusting news to share! Remember last week when I said that we're going to that awesome lake house for my FIL's birthday and we might have a pretty awesome dream vacation in the works, too?

Well, instead of Aruba in May for 4 days, we're spending 11 days visiting Athens, cruising through the Greek and Turkish Isles, and then spending a couple of days in Istanbul!

At the top of my travel list has always been Greece and I'm SO beyond belief that we're going to get to hit up all of the places that I've wanted to visit, and then some I didn't even know about but now that I know, I'm even more pumped about visiting them!

So, I said before that I felt guilty about not working this summer (and I still do on some level), but not working has allowed us to take this trip and I'm beyond excited and grateful.

On our travel list:

Athens
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Santorini, Greece (this is one I'm MOST excited about)
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Rhodes, Greece
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Mykonos, Greece
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Kusadasi, Turkey: home of one of the seven wonders of the world
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Istanbul
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We already have our hotel booked for our night in Athens before we board the cruise ship (which has rooms with a view of the Acropolis), and we have our two night hotel booked for Istanbul. The guy we booked the cruise from has set us up with a tour guide in Istanbul and Kusadasi.

MG has wanted to go to Turkey for a while, and even though he's been to Greece before, he hasn't hit up any of the islands, so it's really a dream trip for both of us. I'm so excited that I can now check off one of my top Wanderlust Travel Bucket List places once we go!

And since we've booked things and started to share with people where we're going and what we're doing, SO many people have said that Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities and best places that they've been to. It was never on my list, but now that I'm learning about it, I'm super excited to go, and to get a couple of days to explore!

So, that's what we've been up to over here! Now it's your turn to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!!





Tuesday, April 26, 2016

{Recipe Files}: Baked Crab Stuffed Salsa Avocados

That title's a mouthful isn't it? But, so is this recipe! It's really quick and easy to throw together, and the flavors are awesome!!

What You Need:
~3 or 4 avocados *
~2 6 oz. cans shredded crab meat, drained
~1/2 C plain breadcrumbs (I might try Panko in the future for a little extra crunch)
~1 tsp minced garlic
~3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
~1 tsp dried basil (or 1Tbsp fresh, chopped)
~2 Tbsp lemon juice
~salt and pepper to taste
~a few Tbsp of salsa of your choice (I used Herdez Mild as it's one of our favorites--found in the Hispanic food aisle)

What You Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Get out a baking sheet and either spray or use a nonstick baking mat.

2. While the oven is heating up, get a medium sized bowl and add in the bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Then add in the crab meat and mix together.
3. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits.

4. Spoon salsa into the hole where the pits were, then cover the avocados with the crab mixture. It's ok to pile this on top pretty well.
There may be some leftovers of the crab meat mixture. You can either bake it on the side (on the baking mat) or just pile it on the avocados.

5. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, until the top gets a light brown color to it.

6. Serve up each half. We had ours with a side of roasted balsamic brussel sprouts which were amazingly delicious, too! 
We each ate 3/4 of a whole avocado (so 1/2, plus half of the second half) and both had the same sized portion for leftovers for lunch (which heated up well the next day).

*I think you could easily spread the crab mixture over 4 avocados, they just won't be piled as high with the crab mixture which is ok.

If you choose to make this with the brussel sprouts, my advice is to make the brussel sprouts first since they take longer, then up the oven temp and cook the avocados last.

There you have it--easy, tasty, and healthy! Win-win-win!! Definitely a great Spring and Summer meal!
*This recipe was adapted from a recipe on Mele Cotte website*

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekending Highlights

Happy Monday friends! I hope you're all rested up and ready to take on another week! Ours involved a lot of yummy food, some new clothes, and a visit with my in-laws! :)
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My weekend highlights included:
~Friday lunch date with work friends after our morning training (love teacher work days!)
~Happy Hour with 3 friends that ended up being a happy FOUR hours
~Low key night in with MG

~Finalized our big summer trip plans and all of the hotel details (more on that in the next couple days!)

~an unexpectedly rainy start to Saturday morning

~went to the mall to look for a few things for MG and I hit up Loft because...well, Loft. I found this gem of a dress and was able to get it with a gift card I had. Love it!
~Since we were at the mall that has the restaurant with my favorite lobster bisque, we had a little lunch date and devoured that bisque!
~a visit from my in-laws in the afternoon followed by a yummy dinner out in DC at Del Frisco's Grille. Highlights: the truffle mac and cheese, the steak (and I'm not a huge steak fan), and the yummy potato cakes. I had parmesan crusted sole which was really tasty too. So much good food!

~a short walk around--got to see the Capital 
~Back to the house to nurse our food comas where I may have fallen asleep on the couch before 10:30. Ok, I did. :)

~Sunday morning MG's dad helped us fix the outside light for our deck so now we can see at night when we grill again (and because of that, we got to cancel the electrician coming on Tuesday--yay for escaping that hassle!)

~Went shopping at the outlets and picked up some adorable navy patterned shorts at J Crew, and a comfy yoga jacket top at Under Armor
(and then I got the orange tank top too after the sales woman told me it would go well with the shorts and it did)
~Took Cooper for a long walk since the weather was gorgeous

~Ran errands late in the day after my in-laws left to head back home

~Learned that inlinkz changed something (still not sure what) and now my recipes and book pages don't work on my blog anymore #angryemoji

~grilled up some burgers and corn on the cob for dinner

~did a little bit more research on some things to do on our summer trip #icantwait

~relaxed for the night and caught the first episode of Game of Thrones before heading to bed

That was about it for us this weekend. Not too crazy, but definitely got some cute clothes and some yummy food!
Hoping yours was fabulous, too!!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends!!! It's been a gorgeous week which has just made me want to play hooky from work and dilly dally around outside all day long, but alas, I had to put on my adult pants and actually go to work--luckily today is a teacher workday so hopefully I can write my progress reports from my laptop while outside! :)
But now it's the weekend (almost) and time to play!
First, let's talk about some faves from this week!
{1} Summer Travel
We've started making plans for some summer travel and trips. We already have at least one week at the shore with MG's family, and this week we booked a house on a lake for a long weekend to surprise MG's dad for his 70th birthday! The house looks INSANE and we have it for 4 nights this summer. I can't wait until we surprise him with the plans in June and then get to celebrate all together at this beautiful house on the lake!
Plus, there's another pretty major dream trip in the works for MG and I....more on that soon hopefully!

{2} Beach Body On Demand
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You guys have heard me talk about my love of various Beach Body programs on here like Cize and Piyo. Cize is by far the biggest workout love of my life--it's SO much fun, I never feel like it's work, and I always end up panting and sweating by the end! Well, I jumped on the BOD train which gave me access to other BeachBody programs like P90X, T25, and bonus Cize workouts (which was the part I was most excited about). I've loved it! I look forward to getting home and doing one of the Cize routines.  I have the free 30 day trial going now, but after that it's like $12 a month. Yes please!
I'll do a full review of Cize soon, since I love it so much.

{3} Favorite Recipe
This week MG and I tried baked crab stuffed salsa avocados for dinner as a healthier meal option and oh my word were they delicious! We had them with a side of roasted balsamic brussel sprouts and it was amazing!! Definitely a great lighter meal for the warmer months and will totally be being made again! Recipe coming soon, but teaser picture here:
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{4} Show
Have you guys heard of the show Catastrophe on Amazon? My friend told me about it the other week and MG and I started watching it this past weekend and are almost done with the second season (each season is only 6 episodes, 25 minutes each). It's kind of crude at certain points, but some of the dialogue is really funny and has us laughing a lot. If you're looking for a new show, check it out. The main guy is definitely my favorite.
Check out this interview with the two of them to get a better idea of what I'm talking about.

{5} Funnies
When you see people in public doing this, you know Snapchat added new filters:
What I want to say when someone goes on and on in a conversation about the same thing over and over and you just want to stop talking to them
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When you have a rough day at work dealing with tough parents/lazy coworkers
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How bloggers feel when they try new make up products
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That's it for me today! Me and this chick hope you all have an easy day and a fantastic weekend!
 
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