Sunday, August 31, 2008

My crazy nephew!

So my nephew Austin is pretty much a total dork. My sister went into his room the other day and this is what she found. I just love this kid! (The little girl in the picture is a girl that my sister babysits...clearly she is not impressed by Austin's moves)


Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to school...

I didn't want to write anything about my back to school experience because I thought I would give it some time to marinade before making any formal opinions. It's been 2 and a half weeks now and I can officially say I am getting settled in (I already have 4 IEP's to write!!). I am teaching 2 classes this year Topics 1 and Financial Applications. I am also itinerant for the other 3 periods of the day. While I like the subject matter better in financial applications I am absolutely in love with my Topics 1 class this year. They are such a good group of kids. At first I was a little concerned because they were almost too quiet, but now that they have gotten settled in they are just the perfect amount of talkative. In my previous 2 years I have never had an entire class where all the students would be working when they were supposed to. They are always on task and that makes my job so much fun! Second hour on the other hand...well, that's a whole different can of worms. I have about 3 students who have made it their personal mission to drive me nuts!! All-in-all I like the class, but I am afraid that I have a long road ahead of me with this group. Yesterday for instance, we had a fire drill and all the other classes were standing outside patiently waiting to go back in...Not my kids...they were playing soccer and rock baseball with their binders! Aside from this, I think this is going to be a good year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Favorite (Healthy) Recipes

So I have been on a little health kick lately. It has been a little over a month now and I am really liking it. The best part is that I have actually lost weight, though I have no idea how much because I refuse to weigh myself. My routine has pretty much been eating 5 small meals a day:
Breakfast: oatmeal and a glass of low calorie orange juice (Tropicana with calcium)
Snack: Fruit of some sort
Lunch: a sandwich on whole grain with deli chicken or grilled chicken and vegetables with brown rice
Snack: Strawberry-banana smoothie or low-fat yogurt
Dinner: whole wheat cheese pizza with low-fat cheese
Dessert: low-fat ice cream (skinny cow or weight watchers variation)

I also go to the gym at least twice a week and run for a little over an hour on the elliptical and I do strength training at least once a week. Once the weather gets cooler I plan to add a 40 minute jog around the neighborhood to my routine.

Some of the recipes that I have made and like are:
Low fat pizza:


I use my other pizza dough recipe except I swap half the flour with wheat flour and I use unbleached flour for the remaining white flour. I recommend cutting the flour back to about 2 1/2 cups though because the wheat flour seems to absorb the water more which can make the dough tough. I also use low fat mozzarella cheese (I like the Weight Watchers brand). The recipe will make 4 pizzas. I cook 2 at a time and refrigerate the second pizza and the remaining dough (I have gone up to 2 nights with the extra dough and it tastes fine). I would also recommend reheating the extra pizza in the oven...not in the microwave.


Strawberry-Banana Smoothie:


1 ripe banana
3-5 frozen strawberries (depending on the size)
5 ice cubes
2T orange juice (fresh squeezed or from a carton...doesn't matter)
1T fat-free milk
1/2t sugar or sweetener for extra taste (optional)
Cool whip to top (optional)
This smoothie is awesome, but this recipe is not exact. I usually just eyeball everything.especially the liquids. Add a little at a time because you can always add more.


Grilled Chicken and Veggies:

Fajita Marinade:
Juice from 1 orange
Juice from 2 limes
1t cumin (I always add more)
1 clove garlic (I usually use a heaping teaspoon of the already diced stuff)
4T olive oil
1t salt
Crushed red peppers (optional)

Marinade chicken or steak (1 recipe=up to 2 lbs meat) for at least 4 hours and cook on the grill. I eat it with grilled zucchini and onion on top of brown rice (see picture), but it doesn't really matter. I got this one from Tyler Florence on foodnetwork.com

Kebab Marinade:
3 cloves garlic
2 t paprika
1/2t turmeric
1t cumin
1t kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
1/3 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C olive oil

Marinade chicken or steak for at least 4 hours. Recipe=1 1/2 lbs meat. Again I eat this with grilled onion and zucchini (slice, place on skewers, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper, cook directly on the grill)


Sunday, August 10, 2008

So Joshua Thinks He Can Dance!!!

And the winner is...
Joshua!!!

I am absolutely in love with this show and have been for the past four years. I can say without reservation that this has been the best season thus far. For the first time I thought all of the final four were deserving of the top prize. First there is Courtney, aside from the fact that she was smoking hot she was a great dancer and performer. I am embarrassed to admit this but she made me cry TWICE!! (once on the performance finale and once during the results finale). Call me pathetic, but she just seems so sweet and honest which is something I can appreciate. Katie, Wow! She was a complete turn around for me. When the season started I thought it was unfair that she made it because I thought he friend was way better...I ate my words. She literally did not do a performance I didn't love...ever! Twitch. What can I say? I just want to hang out with that guy. He seems like he would be such a riot! I told Matt that though I felt bad for him last year for not making it, I think that's how it was supposed to happen. Last year he would not have gotten as far as he did this year so for that I am happy. Last but not least, Joshua. AMAZING!!! From the very first dance (No Air) I loved this guy (and so did Matt). I am having a hard time believing that he is "untrained," but who cares? I am so sad this season is over. Fortunately Matt got me the bootlegged DVD's of seasons 1-3 (from ioffer.com) to hold me over until next season. Its so much fun to go back and reminisce. It is crazy how much better the dancers have gotten each season.

Here is the top 20 from Season 4! Don't they look cute?

Here are some of the high points from this season (I could only think of dances):
The Door with Katie and Twitch
No Air with Katie and Joshua
The one with Katie and Will (pas de deux...i think)
The quirky one with Courtney and Mark
Mia Michaels Gothic wedding with Chelsea Hightower(sp?) and Mark
Josh and Twitch's Russian dance on the performance finale
Chelsea and Mark's hip hop dance to Bleeding Love

And here are the lows:
Chris-man he drove me nuts!!! I swear he was just so pathetic. It seemed like every time the judges would critique him he would try to defend himself...just shut up!
Thayne-I seriously think he has more teeth than the average person
Comfort coming back- I thought she was a riot, but the whole 4-real thing got old and I am sorry she was just not that good (at the other styles)
Jessica-I agreed with the judges...she was holding Will back

That was a fun trip down memory lane. Lets go season 5!!!!

Oh yeah...we got tickets to go to the concert this year :) My sister Courtney and I have been obsessed with the show since season one, but I also got my best friend Meghan and my other sister Danielle hooked this year so we are going to make the hike out to Glendale to watch the top 10 (and Comfort) perform...cant wait!