Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I don't harbor any illusions that many guys read this blog and if there any that do... well you should probably skip this one as it's pretty heavy with girl stuff. Not gross girl stuff because well that's gross and I tend not to be a gross person.

As I mentioned the other day I'll be jetting off to Phoenix tomorrow where the temperatures will be in the 80s and 90s. I am not emotionally ready for weather like that; it's too much too soon. My summer clothes are nestled away under my bed and in my closet and I had no notion of removing them from their winter homes for awhile because it's still freaking cold here!!! However, with my current wardrobe choices (jeans and sweaters) will not cut it in AZ unless I want to have heat stroke and die so, I went shopping and found myself in the most disappointing/annoying/obnoxious/soul-crushing/self-confidence busting position. I'm in between sizes!!! Literally nothing (with the exception of a swimming suit) I tried on fit; it was either just a little to small or big enough to be annoying! Argh, grr, rawr and boo!!! I don't pretend I'm a super model or that I have the best figure but really... nothing fitting... so frustrating.

I came back home (after overcoming the desire to grab a cupcake) and pulled out the boxes from under the bed and out of the closet. I managed to find some shorts and t-shirts but I'm still feeling dejected. And I still want a cupcake.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Favorite Thing #2 Your Body Better Pilates and Massage

Since I know I won't be blogging much while I'm soaking up the rays in AZ (deep, relaxed, luxurious sigh) I thought I'd take a minute to share with you another thing I love.

Since about this time last year I've been attending Pilates at least once a week and love it. So thing #2 that I love is Your Body Better Pilates and Massage run by the AMAZING Anna Larsen. Anna has several types of classes geared towards all different groups and levels of ability. Since beginning Pilates I've grown stronger in my core and can do way more push ups than I could in high school. I love Anna and our classes because I know I'm getting a work out but I don't leave drenched in sweat and feeling gross. If you're in or around Idaho Falls you need to check Anna out. In addition to Pilates, Anna is also a licensed massagae therapist. You can find her at http:/

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Pilates and it's benefits, here is an article that you might find informative,

Spring Break, finally!

Spring Break is here and I'm thrilled, elated, jubilant even. I do believe that I was more excited for last Friday than my students were and you know what, that's just fine! I'm so beside myself happy that Spring Break has finally rolled around that I'm (grudgingly) willing to overlook the gross white snow that Mother Nature decide to dump on the ground yesterday.

Dear Mother Nature,
Uh, not sure if you know this but it's late March; so how 'bout we called it good on the snow and switch it up. I don't know, maybe a little rain, maybe some shine, just about anything that IS NOT snow! I'm not going to get greedy and demand temps in the 80s and a cool tropical breeze but I don't think 50s and some sunshine is unreasonable.
                                                                           Thanks ever so much,
                                                                                                    Ms. Megan

Okay, now that I have that out of my system we can move on to other things such as the fun twist my Spring Break plans took yesterday. My dear Ben (who I'm still trying to come up with a good blog nickname for and will not like being referred to as "my dear") has a lovely younger sister, Jessi who suggested that I hop on a plane and come play with her and cute baby Evan. Intrigued as I was by the suggestion tickets to Phoenix from IF are awful however, I have the MOST FANTASTIC dad in the world and he said I could use some of his (many, many) Delta miles! So tomorrow evening I will be hoping on a plane and heading to sunny Phoenix! If you're jealous that's cool; I'm rarely someone who finds herself in the position of being envied by others. :)

I'm not sure what the plans are but I know there is a super cute baby, warm weather and maybe, if I'm a very good girl, a baseball game. There will also be Ann Taylor Loft and Anthropologie! This trip is sounding better each second!!!

Now in closing I'm giving a nod to my dear friend and fellow educator Megan W., who has a great blog over at Each Thursday she quotes the ridiculous things her students say so I'm joining in on the fun. Two weeks ago I lived through the most insane day of my career; here are a couple of things that literally had me lying on the floor, shaking my head and wondering why I got out of bed that day.

Student #1: Ms. Miller?
Me: Yes?
Student #1: Did you make your own shoes?
***I'm wearing my bright pink converse low tops
Me: Yes, I stayed up all night melting and molding the rubber; I harvested, dyed and wove the fabric... no, no I did not make my shoes. I bought them at a store.

About 30 seconds later,
Student #2: Ms. Miller!!!
Me: (very warily) Yes?
Student #2: I'm related to my second cousin!
Me: (In disbelief) Umm, yeah. That's why she's your cousin...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A recipe... finally

When I decided to join the blogosphere (is that one word, a hyphenate? Help me out English peeps) it was because I wanted to share my (let's be honest, not so adventurous) adventures in cooking. I've been at this for a week now and I haven't posted a single thing about cooking. Instead I've let you in on ONE of my dirty little secrets (my inability to walk without falling) and exposed you to some cabin fever/work stress induced moodiness. Well, today we're getting down to brass tax. I'm going to share a couple of recipes and my favorite thing #2! Are you so excited? If you aren't you can fake it, it's not like I'm there to see you!

The first recipe I'm going to share is a family favorite; a sauce that has been perfected over the years and is something for which we often beg my mom to make. If you haven't figured it out by now (I'm sure Leah knows) I'm talking about my mom's AMAZING spaghetti sauce! I won't pretend my is as good as her's, because I've only recently started to make it but it's definitely close. So here it goes.

List of ingredients:
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 package spaghetti seasoning
1 1/2 cups red wine (I use cabernet sauvignon)
2/3 cup water
1 bullion cube
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sugar
sliced mushrooms and olives (optional)
oregano, basil, italian seasoning flakes (to taste)
garlic and onion powder (to taste)

Brown the beef and drain.

Heat water and dissolve bullion cube to make beef stock.

In a large pot over medium heat combine tomato sauce and paste, spaghetti seasoning, bay leaf, sugar, wine and beef stock. Stir together well and begin adding herbs and garlic and onion powders. I never measure them I just go by taste. When you've got the taste you like add in the mushrooms, olives and ground beef and give one final stir. Let it come to a bubble and turn the heat down to just above low and cover. Stir occasionally.

*** A couple of notes
#1 At first the taste will be fairly intense because the alcohol in the wine hasn't cooked off yet; you'll want to check your seasoning after a couple of hours and add more herbs/powder if necessary.

#2 The longer this cooks the better it will taste so don't be afraid to leave it on the stove for most of the day, just remember to stir it from time to time.

#3 The Bens in my life (brother and BF) hate mushrooms and olives so we alternate between traditional and naked (sans mushrooms and olives) sauce. Both versions delicious and while you can't go wrong do yourself a favor and add the veggies. You'll thank me!

#4 If you don't want to use wine replace that liquid with more beef stock. But really, give it a try with the wine at least once. All the alcohol cooks off and the depth of flavor is so amazing.

The second recipe is something I came up with when I found myself face to face with an "oh crap, I NEED to go to the store" situation. It doesn't really have a name per se but for our purposes we'll call it Smothered Fries.

List of ingredients:

1 can cream of chicken soup
4 oz (or half a block) cream cheese
1/2 bag of frozen mixed veggies
1/2 cup milk
1 handful of shredded cheese
french fries

Pre-heat your oven to 425 (or whatever temp the fries bake) and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Spread out your fries and pop them in the oven when the oven is ready.
In a sauce pan over medium heat combine cream of chicken and milk. Stir together until soupy.
Dice up the cream cheese and add to the soup mixture; stir together vigorously till melted and combined.
Stir in the mixed veggies and combine. Turn the heat down to medium low and let everything come together. You'll want to stay close so you can stir this together, if you leave it unattended the bottom can begin to burn.

Pull the fries out of the oven, plate them and top with the shredded cheese. Pour on the sauce, watch the cheese melt and then dig in!

*** More notes
#1 You can substitute low fat soup and cream cheese for a healthier version
#2 You can use whatever type of frozen veggies you want
#3 You can season the sauce mix with whatever you want, salt/ pepper and Lawry's seasoned salt are tasty
#4 Plan on going for a run or a long walk after eating this

Alright, who's excited to get cooking!?! I am!!! Since I've made both of these today I think I'll get started on a beef stew.

Enjoy the first day of Spring!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A thought, well maybe be more than one

Have you ever had a week where your emotions are just so close to the surface that littlest thing could set you off? Now, have you had one of those weeks without being able to pinpoint what's causing your distress? Well that was me all week but I think I finally figured it out. I'm beginning to feel taken for granted by a lot of the people in my life and while I know it's not intentional, it still hurts and causes me a great deal of stress and anxiety. I KNOW you don't do things for others with the expectation of praise or reward or recognition, you do them because you love the people and want to do things to make their lives better or easier or more fun. However, we're all human and reach the point where we need to hear a kind word like "thanks" or "that was great" or to be show a sweet gesture like an out of the blue hug to remind us that our efforts aren't going unnoticed. I could go off on the who's and whats that are leaving me feeling this way but they are numerous and wide-ranging, some are even inanimate. Discussing them would led me off on tangents and rants and who wants to spend a Saturday reading that!?!

I know that I've been guilty of taking people for granted and causing other them the pain I'm feeling and for that I'm sorry. I'm going to do my best to recognize the efforts people make for me, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant and I would challenge you to do the same.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Am Awesome

If you know me even a little then you know I have issues with walking, as in it's really hard for me for no apparent reason. If there is a line to trip over or an open drawer to walk into I will find, gar-un-teed! Well, today contains the perfect example of my walking prowess. I got home from school and was coming up the sidewalk when I lost my balance and stepped on the ice to the right of the sidewalk and I bit it. HARD!!! Like I cried hard. Even worse then the pain and the impending bruise is the fact that my dry clean only pants are now covered in mud!!! Super boo! I hate going to the dry cleaners, I always forget I have stuff there and then I spend hours looking for clothes that aren't in the apartment. It's just an irritation I'd rather avoid.

As I lay here on the couch, waiting for Ben to come home and inevitably mock me for my lack of basic skills, I find myself pondering karma, probably because we're studying it as part of our India unit, and can't help but wonder what I did to earn this karmic reward. I swear I was good and nice and helpful today! I didn't make anybody cry and I got 4 hugs, which for jr. high is a lot! I made positive connections with my kids and we had FUN. We'll as much fun as you can have reviewing a reading packet filled with words that are impossible to pronounce. *Sigh*

Bring on Thursday and 7 more days till break!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ah Tuesday

Today was one of those days. You know the kind, maybe you had one too. I truely hope not because they're just no fun! On the bright side Ben and I are going to a birthday dinner and I get to chow down on a yummy burger.
Thing #1 I love: 2 for 1 burger night at Firehouse! If you haven't been to the Firehouse you really should give it a try; they have a diverse menu and good prices. Thinking about it is making my mouth water, mmm yum.
Here's to better evenings, brighter tomorrows and burgers, lots of burgers!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Here we go!

I watched Julie and Julia the other day and was kind of inspired, not to cook my way through a massive French cookbook but to do something. So the something I picked was this blog and as you might have surmised I plan on chatting about food. If you and I are Facebook friends you know that I often post about the meals I make because I love to cook and I love to share my culinary efforts. I plan on using this as a forum for sharing recipes, fun finds, favorite tools and things I long for in my kitchen. Feel free to offer suggestions and ideas and bear with me as I get the hang of this whole blogging thing!