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!