09 August 2019

5 on Friday | The First of 2019

One of my favorite "regular" posts I used to keep up with is the 5 on Friday! I'd like to continue that into the new age of blogging that I'm looking at! :)

1. I still love to bake, and even though I quit for so many years (life, kids, over committing to too many activities, committees, boards, leagues, etc), since we sold our house and moved into a rental with the world's tiniest kitchen-- I have found myself baking again!
50th birthday tarte I made, double layer, with sugar cookies, snickers, cookies & creme bars, meringue candies, sprinkles, strawberry wafers, and fresh flowers. I had so much fun making this!!

My first batch of macarons! They're just vanilla flavored, don't let the bright purple color fool you!

strawberry cheesecake macarons! 

My first attempt at meringue candies/cookies

I mastered the French macaron (my favorite!), and I'm getting better at the art part of royal icing. I can make it each time, but my hand is NOT steady while decorating! I spend a lot of time watching cookie and cake icing videos on instagram (they're so soothing to watch while I fall asleep, haha!)

2. This summer, I started the process of becoming a non-traditionally licensed elementary teacher! This just means that I have a bachelors degree, but not in education. So, I had a month of summer classes and I'm eligible to teach as the teacher of record with a provisional license until I complete the program next year! School starts next week and I'm still job hunting, which is disheartening to be totally truthful, but I'm trying to stay positive that I'll end up in a position where the kids truly need someone like me, where I can serve them and teach them and be exactly what they need during this time in their lives.

On my way to orientation for the APPEL program :) 
I never in my life thought that this would be the career path I chose to pursue. I mean, I did major in education for a hot minute but when I had to do observations, I ended up in an 8th grade classroom and I didn't enjoy that one single bit. However, when Sophia was in 1st grade, I got to spend a lot of time in her classroom and I enjoyed it so much. It was like a light bulb went off, or maybe, I finally woke up to my calling. Either way. I am ready to land a job and start making an impact.
It might be silly, but I'm super proud of this little piece of feel-good paper!

3. In 2018 I finally got my personal training certification through NASM, something that had been on my "goal list" since 2011. It isn't any kind of secret that from 2014-2018 I just let myself goooooo. I let my emotions and fear around our life transitions take hold of me, and I guess I felt like drowning my emotions in food was the answer. Anyway, in December of last year I finally got my life together and got myself back. I have taken the last few weeks not off entirely, but I have been off my routine, which I think I needed! I hit the gym yesterday for only the 2nd time this week and today I am on FIRE. I did back and shoulders and ran a mile (the worst 12 minutes of my life, I hate running! SO WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR A 5K TOMORROW?!). My favorite on back/shoulder day: military press and parallel grip cable rows.

2017 | 2019 - Although I didn't lose a pound until December 2018.
At the beginning of summer I decided I wanted to do 2 leg days per week, Mondays and Thursdays, so I combined back and shoulders. All summer I've been in a 5 day split, but when I get a job (soon, hopefully!) I'll move to a 4 day split. Although some weeks it will still be 5 because you know sometimes... those extra long Saturday workouts are much needed. There isn't anything better than a nice, loooooong Saturday lifting session with my husband or bestie Michelle!

4. Since it has been sooooo long since I've actually posted anything, I decided that today I would share one super fun thing we did this summer. But then.... there were so many super fun things we did! Last week my niece came to stay with us and we did a tour of Arkansas Alpacas, which was SO MUCH FUN and SO SPECIAL (seriously, all caps kinda great). Sophia is obsessed with alpacas and llamas so her entire life was perfect in that instant! She got to feed and pet so many alpacas!
It was raining the entire time we were visiting, which is lucky since that meant cooler temperatures (mid 70s)... Sophia was very adamant about wearing her alpaca jacket to visit the alpacas!

Other big milestones this summer: Olivia got her drivers license (she can't drive without an adult in the car until she's 16 next June, so I guess it is still a permit but its the official hard plastic license so)! Sophia decided that this would be the summer she lost all her fear about the water and she put her whole head under water in the pool, opened her eyes, jumped off the side of the pool one billion times until she perfected her cannonball, and then she took on the diving board in the 11 feet deep water! SO PROUD of both my girls! Time is just flying by and I'm so proud of these kids but I'm also so sad about them not really needing me so much anymore.

5. We are big eaters in our house (no surprise there), but we are, as a family, attempting to eat a little healthier since summer is winding down (no more 8 pop-ices a day, sorry kids husband). Right now my favorite meal to eat (and prepare) is a southwest chicken and rice bowl. It is super easy and inexpensive (win/win!).

  • Jasmine Rice
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Frozen honey roasted corn and bell peppers
  • optional: diced cucumber, salsa, hot sauce, lettuce 
This meal is so so easy and quick! I cook the chicken in a skillet with a smidge of olive oil and cajun seasoning mixed with asada seasoning I picked up at our Super Mercado. I love spicy food so I use a LOT of seasoning! I like to dice the chicken in the pan as it is cooking so every single bite is covered with spicy deliciousness! 

Annnnd that is all for today's 5 on Friday! I go back and forth from really wanting to write and share our lives somewhere besides facebook to feeling like an idiot for thinking about it. So, I'll be back next Friday for sure... maybe. If not before! We will see. :) First day of school is next week so I'll at least come post some lunches!

05 August 2019

3 Years Later

It has been three years since I last posted on this blog! Time has flown by and while life has been so busy and full of moments I have shared over facebook or instagram, I haven't had the motivation to post here. I tried to write another blog using wordpress but I eventually quit writing there, too. Honestly I was writing #sponsored posts there and after a few it felt very inauthentic, but there was so much going on in life and I was working full time in insurance and just so miserable!

I'm here today just to begin the process of sharing our lives again, Andy, the kids, and me. Over the last three years we have grown and changed so much as a family. We sold our house in Fort Smith and moved to a smaller town outside the city limits. We are only renting right now, our house hunting adventure so far has been not much of an adventure-- we are trying to take our time and find something with everything on our wish list in the school district we like. Olivia is entering her Sophomore year and Sophia is going in to 3rd grade. Olivia has a drivers permit and that is kind of scary! I got my NASM CPT, entered in to a non-traditional teaching licensure program for the state of Arkansas to become an elementary teacher (still job hunting!). Andy is recruiting for the Army National Guard full time now, and things are just moving right along!

That's the TL:DR of the last three years!

I'd like to use this space going forward for bento posts, family updates, fitness, crafts, trips/vacation planning, etc.! School starts next week so I'm pre-planning some bento themes right now and I'm going to purchase some sprinkles and edible glitter later today! SO EXCITING!

10 November 2016

Blue Apron Review

Hi Friends!

I am procrastinating homework and being sick simultaneously today, so what better time to catch up on a little blogging?

The last week of September, I got a card in the mail for $30 off a Blue Apron subscription box. I have been dying to try these cute little boxes, but I can not ever justify the cost to myself since I can buy the same meal, 100% organic, for less than the cost of the box (usually). I was super excited to get the card and I couldn't wait to try the service out!

I placed my order for 2 meals a week to feed a family of 4. I was so excited, I couldn't stop talking about it, and my husband couldn't stop rolling his eyes at me (ok, not really. He was just a little less excited than I was).

The box arrived just fine on the scheduled arrival date, and all the food was fresh and in tact.

The meals that came to us were quite simple and I will have to say I felt slightly disappointed. Fajitas and Sloppy Joes... why do I need a subscription box to make that?!

I am happy to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. The box arrived the night before I was leaving for a girls weekend with my friends, so I was sort of thankful to be able to prepare a "chill" meal (i.e., EASY). I chose to do the sloppy joes first. 

The side that came with the sloppy joes was a very interesting slaw. I thought, GROSS, I do NOT like purple cabbage that much. It was super interesting and colorful with purple cabbage, and granny smith apple.
Let me tell you.... IT. WAS. DELICIOUS!!! Plus for me: The kiddos didn't like the slaw, so I got to keep the leftovers for lunch later in the week. I could eat this slaw multiple times weekly and not get tired of it. I loved the crunch and the tang from the cabbage and red wine vinegar. 

The sloppy joe mix itself was great, and easy. I took a picture of that for good measure. My only real complaint here is the meat that came for the sandwiches was 85/15, and I would prefer 93/7. My husband LOVED eating the fattier meat, I never buy it, and he said it makes a huge difference. Tomato, Tomahhhhto really. 
Nothing really pretty to see here, folks. Just some meat, veggies, and sauce. SAUCE!

The end result was really great. I have never put pickles on a sloppy joe before, and now I don't think I'll ever eat one without them. The Blue Apron pickles were INCREDIBLE. Trust me, I'm a pickle connoisseur! So is Andy, we eat so many pickles, and he loved them too. I wish we could get a jar of them. 

You'll have to forgive my iPhone photos and my lack of plating... since I was preparing to go out of town, I didn't want to dirty another dish and I just used the cutting board I sliced the slaw on as a plate!

Our first meal experience with Blue Apron was a great one. The next morning I went to Oklahoma City with my girlfriends to see the I Love the 90s concert with VANILLA ICE and SALT N PEPA! It was so, so much fun!

Seriously, we had so much fun. I pulled out my Doc Martens from like 8th grade. I forgot how much I loved them. I also forgot how heavy they are!!

The night I got back from our girls weekend, I decided to go ahead and prepare the other Blue Apron meal.

All of this produce looked so good! We were all excited because the recipe included fingerling limes, something we have never tried before! The Poiriers love trying new foods. Sophia usually hates them,  Olivia usually enjoys them, and Andy and I are just happy our kids are trying new things. 

The cool thing about the fajita meal, too, is that I made the refried beans. They were whole, canned pintos, and I had to smush them all up and mix them with the garlic and cilantro. Pretty fun stuff.

Just look at those frijoles! I kept thinking to myself in SkippyJon Jones storybook lines about frijoles the entire time I was smushing them up. I love SkippyJon!

I thought that the chicken wasn't enough but it turned out to be plenty. 

This meal turned out to be great, too. I actually liked the sloppy joe meal better, but I think its just because the pickles and slaw. I just couldn't get over how much I loved that slaw! My entire family enjoyed both meals, and Olivia loved the guacamole from the fajita night, and the beans. She ate 2.5 servings of the beans!

You can see the fingerling limes on the top of the guacamole in this picture. The lime was so neat, as soon as I cut it open, the little lime pulp pieces (they reminded me of the roe that you get as garnish on your sushi) started to pop out. They were super tart and the children thought that they were so neat! only two came in the box, 1/2 fingerling lime per plate as garnish. We definitely would have liked more! We actually scoured the Whole Foods in Fayetteville for them the last time we went up, and we couldn't find them anywhere. The hunt continues!

Overall, our Blue Apron experience was a great one. I loved it! I would love to be a regular subscriber, but for the amount of money, I feel like I am better off to purchase organic food locally. I love the information sheets that come with the recipes, my family enjoyed learning about the shallot sheet that came along with the sloppy joe recipe. 

If you are interested, I definitely recommend trying! I would also think that gifting a month subscription to someone would be the perfect gift! 

Do you know of any organic food subscription boxes like this? I looked around at other services and the prices from Blue Apron are comparable. Do you have one that you love? Please share!

I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post. 

01 November 2016

Kale & Quinoa

It's no secret that I love junk food. It also isn't a secret that I love a good salad! After all the Halloween candy last night, munching on this delicious kale and quinoa salad was a great refresh-reset type of meal! Accompanied by Buddha's Brew kombucha (pineapple greens, my fave), this lunch was the perfect pick-me-up after a major sugar crash.

This salad has:
puple kale
leafy greens
red + brown quinoa
raw almonds 
1 tbsp feta cheese
drizzle balsamic vinegar

I have so many other things to update, but this week I have MIDTERMS so.. time to get back to studying. womp womp

29 October 2016

Its Saturday morning, the coffee is hot, the fall weather is ... hot[ter than usual], the leaves are turning... and the Poirier household has experienced so many changes over the last two weeks.

Sunday, October 23, we lost my sweet Papa. My Papa John was the most incredible man. He was a man of few words, really... but when he did talk he was always one of two things: kind and sweet, or just plain hilarious. My Papa loved to make jokes. He was also so worried about all of us grand kids and great grand kids.. from our lack of socks any time it wasn't 100 degrees outside to other kids causing us to fall down when we were playing.

When Andy and I began dating, and it was time to "meet the parents," I went to Tennessee to meet his family. I had never gone on a road trip all alone before and my Papa was so worried about me. He gave me one of his atlases (he was an over the road truck driver), and he highlighted my trip for me so I wouldn't get lost. He was so familiar with my route he even told me the safe places to stop for gas. I was so young back then, I don't even remember what happened to that atlas... I wish I had it today. I would from the route he highlighted and hang it in my living room. I have this weird love for maps and maybe that is where it comes from.

He was always the kindest man. Solid and firm, and though he traveled often because of his job, it was apparent to anyone that knew him that his roots were planted deep and he was the anchor, the safe haven of the Brewer family. He was our constant, he was there when we needed him and when we didn't and his presence was always comforting and reassuring. My sweet Papa. I love him so much and I pray that I do a good job painting and maintaining a vivid memory of him for my children. They are so fortunate that they had their great grandpa for so long. My children have his blue eyes, Olivia has his eye shape and both have those same baby blues he had.

John Raymond Brewer, JR. 
Beloved Papa
Always in our hearts

16 September 2016

Five On Friday!!

ahhhh FRIDAY.
All the friYAY snaps, y'all. I love seeing my friends' pretty faces!! :)

This has been a crazy busy, but super fun week! I feel like I say that every week now. AND look at me, blogging multiple times in one week!

Fridays are my days off and I have been loving them. Coffee, catching up on my favorite blog posts.... I'll leave out the part about catching up on homework.

Five On Friday...

//ONE// Junior League has officially started up for the year and I am so so glad that I decided to stay in League! I am on the Project GEM committee and this week we had our first session. I failed so hard at finding someone to come speak but another girl on the committee came through and saved me. Her speaker was fabulous and I'm actually kind of glad I couldn't find someone since the man she brought in was so good. He taught the little girls about self defense and the dangers of abduction, and how to try to run away. SUCH GOOD info! We also had to officers from the FSPD come in and teach about internet safety, which was also SO GOOD. I was so proud to be a part of that even if I didn't get the speaker I intended. The women on my committee are super nice and I'm glad to get to know them better and make friends. Just another reason I love Fort Smith.

//TWO// Bible Journaling kicked off on Monday. At my church, St. John's Episcopal Church, we have "small groups ministries" (I actually think I call the small group something different every time, but there are so many KINDS of groups....). This year my Vino League is going on its 3rd year, and I'm starting a Bible journaling group. The turn out was small (me, Sophia, and one lady from church), but it will grow. I had a blast and so did Sophia and Mariko. It is a fun way to grow our relationships with each other and also grow our connection to Christ.

//THREE// I did really well sticking to "clean" eating and smaller portions. Well, with the exception of last night. I took my lunch every day to work and ate really well for all other meals. Today while the kids are in school I'm going to hit up the local health food store for some ACV and a couple bottles of booch. I'm torn between trying new flavors that I may not like OR going to Squash Blossom because they're the only place that consistently carry my fave... GT's strawberry serenity. If I go to 3 different stores I can get all 3 of my favorite flavors... they're all over town though and I just doubt that will happen!

//FOUR// My 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner came in yesterday!! I am SO excited! I won't elaborate much on this because I added photos to my story on both insta & snap. Just know its pink with flamingos and my name looks adorable and I got the rose gold coil. L O V E

//FIVE// Music on the lawn at the Clayton House was so nice last night! The Sara Lyons Band played and they were so good! My friends from work came out and I saw some other friends around too. I brought the wine and April brought the cheese plate and we had a nice time. The weather was amazing and the Clayton House was, as always, perfect. I credit that to Julie, if you ever go there ask for her! She is such a special lady.

You can link up with me at these places::



11 September 2016

A little Belated

We had a super busy weekend! It was fun, but I totally forgot to do Five on Friday!! I am going to do it today, because I love it :)

ONE// I ordered my 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner last week. I have used the vertical for the last year and I am making the switch to the hourly. I'm so excited! I can't order a new planner without ordering new stickers... oh and EC had a buy x amount and get $10 off your next order... so of course I bought a few things! Right now they are running their buy a planner, get a sticker  book free promo, which kind of makes me wish I had waited, but not really. You can order a planner today and use my referral code to get $10 off AND get a free sticker book!

Since I ordered a new planner, I also ordered some new stickers. I'm working to get my physical life back on track so I was super excited when I found these Tone It Up inspired stickers from @BuckeyeBeauty on etsy!

Then, I have always wanted these adorable life fail stickers from PeanutButterTaco but never ordered them.. well y'all, that changed this week. They're SO FUNNY though I am not sure if I can bring myself to use them! haha!
These forced family fun stickers will be SO PERFECT for our planned camping trip in a couple of weeks. My children whine and hate it so much when we drag them out into the woods to sleep!! They will look back on those memories and miss them when they're grown though, I just know it!

I laugh every time I look at these!! 

TWO// Beth & Russell came from Alabama to run the RussVegas triathlon this weekend and they stayed with me. It was so fun to see my friend TWO weekends in a row!! I babysat their son Jacob while they ran the tri and Sophia had so much fun with him. They hadn't seen each other since they were 2 or 3 and we were in HSV for spring break with my sister.

THREE// New York in the Fort happened last night, and it was so fun! Beth, Russell and I went and checked out the revamped Simply Couture Boutique downtown and I got the cutest dress and bracelet! I can't wait to wear them.. maybe I will to work tomorrow. The dress is a long sleeved frock so I may have to wait a while. Its not quite fall weather down here in Arkansas, y'all.

FOUR// Homework. The classes I'm taking right now are killing me. I don't know if I'm just having a hard time because I'm so busy with everything else, or if I just really truly hate the classes. They're so boring. AND the last assignment I had to do- nothing related to the topic was mentioned in the textbook. I am so frustrated with these classes and eager for them to be over. TWO MORE after these two and that little piece of paper is mine! 

FIVE// Hair probs. The last time I posted a 5OF I mentioned rose gold hair. Well, I just can't really decide what I want to do. I sort of miss dark hair. I hate dealing with grey hair (yes I unfortunately have so many).... and dark hair means more actual color maintenance for me dealing with them. I also want my hair to get longer and it seems to be easier for me to grow out when its brunette. I haven't struggled with a hair decision this much in a long time (probably last time I went back to brunette).