A lull in the fighting.

This week has been really exciting and busy for the teaching side of my life. At about 2 p.m. Sunday I started working on homework and haven’t stopped moving since. This week I am very fortunate to be attending Interface, a math and science conference in its 30th year (they celebrated tonight with delicious cake!).

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Breakfast of Champions Sleepies

Its been a long day, waking up at 4:00 a.m. to get to our first session on time, but to get to put together all the things I’ve been learning in class has been really nice. It’s inspiring to see my peers present to other teachers from across the state and mind blowing to think that next year it could be me. Yikes!

Being gone meant a long list of things to get done and while I would love to say I kept my cool, I didn’t. Tuesday morning I was super grouchy but thankfully Zach was able to be the grown up when I wasn’t.

Me: *whiny voice* My outfit is boring.

Zach: If you walk around all day like it’s boring, it’ll be boring.

Me: Touche.

It reminded me that I had a choice on how I handled the stress. I can be all Debby Downer, woe is me or I can see it as the adventure it is. The clouds parted and I saw that all the things I had going on were good things. Homework for the program I’ve wanted to do for years, trip to a conference that will make me a better teacher, sub plans for a job I love and dishes because I have food to eat. Why am I being so grumpy! So that’s my focus. Enjoy the little things, take deep breaths and remember that life is an adventure worth taking. I leave you with this…

Noah

Five on Friday

I’ve been kind of stuck lately on what to share in my Five on Friday because I always assume that everyone else already knows about all of the things I know about. But then I realized that that was ok because then we could share in our mutual love of these five random things! That’s what I’m telling myself at least…

{ONE}

lotion

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The continental United States seems to be stuck in an icebox and with that comes one of the worst Itch-uarys on record. Snow shovel makers and lotion producers rejoice. It doesn’t help that in every effort to avoid getting sick from the munchkins I am constantly washing my hands. To help prevent my hands from splitting, and thus allowing me to still cook with lemons, I’ve been using Bath and Body Work’s True Blue Spa Super-Softening Hand Lotion (why so many words?!). I put it on while I’m doing my make up in the morning and then before bed, what a difference it makes!

{TWO}

sweater

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I have high hopes that it’ll get warm soon and flowers will start blooming but until then, I’ve decided to just wear the flowers. I found this at Target this week and was very happy to see it marked down to $13. Technically I’m still on my spending hiatus but being stuck in a grey and gloomy weather pattern, I felt it necessary to add some color to my life. I picture it with my olive pants and a chambray shirt. It would also pair well with item three…

{THREE}

boots

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I cannot afford these boots. But I love them and dream of them.

{FOUR}

chips

It is with shame and orange fingertips that I include Lay’s potato chips in my Friday Faves. I can’t stop eating these! The crunch, the sweet and salty flavor. Guh. Who needs fruit and vegetables?! It is impossible to think of swimsuit season under 5 blankets.

{FIVE}

wheel

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This last one is for Noah dog (hopefully the picture gave that away). Noah is a very strong chewer. He doesn’t usually get into too much that he isn’t supposed to, although I can think of a few examples… a tube of MAC concealer, tissues, pens… but when he does, it’s demolished. We try to keep lots of mental stimulation toys (or as I like to call them, dog sudoku)  around the house to avoid these disaster. But we have learned that just because a toy says its indestructible, does not make it so. Generally, if it isn’t in a million pieces in the first 20 minutes, it has passed the test. This Everlasting Treat Wheel by Starmark has become his new favorite thing. Even when it’s empty, he likes to toss it around and chase it as it rolls away. It’s become my favorite thing because when we have company over that isn’t as interested in his TSA sniff-downs, we can pop a disk in and he spends the next 3 hours entertained nearby. Win-Win!

Now let’s have it, are any of these YOUR favorite things? Check out The Good Life to see more Five on Friday posts!

Five on Friday

One for the dogs

Today we had yet another snow day, and to me that means hot cocoa, Smartwool socks and baking. So far the first two things were going great but Zach doesn’t really like sweets and I don’t want to see myself eat an entire cake sooo the baking has not been happening. Then I thought about the four-legged resident of Lark and he’ll eat just about anything so doggie treats it was!

I had never made doggie treats before so I set off to do some research. What I found was that while dogs can have white flour, it doesn’t offer many nutrients. I also learned that pumpkin is good for their digestion. So while I started the process thinking I would make bacon, peanut butter treats, I ended up making pumpkin, peanut butter treats. Here’s how I did it…

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I preheated the oven to 350 and then I added all the ingredients into my mixer. I love baking, but I don’t get too pumped for dishes so a one bowl recipe is a great thing. Noah sat at my feet whining to get a bite while I was mixing everything up. Given his new fear of the oven (only when it’s on), he must’ve really liked how it smelled!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons peanut butter
A sprinkle of cinnamon

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A can of beans? I was really cool and left my rolling pin at school from when we made cinnamon ornaments. The dough is dense but it wasn’t impossible to work with (even if you’re using a can…). I rolled it to out to 1/4 an inch.

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The dough isn’t going to spread like a cookie would so they can be close together on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown. A couple years ago I was in a kitchen supply store and saw a 50 count pack of animal cookie cutters for stupid cheap. Of course I had to have it. 6 years later I think I’ve used maybe 3 of them? And storing them is the worst. So I was happy to be able to use one for this recipe. Noah loves to chase, er rather bark at, squirrels so it seemed like a good fit.

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Viola! The finished project. The batter made 18 squirrels and will last about a week in an airtight container. Because our vet told us we need to keep an eye on his weight (he took it like a champ) I boxed up some of the treats to share with some other dog friends. After they cooled down I gave him one and he gobbled it right up! I got my baking fix and he got a special treat, great success!

Hope your pup enjoys these as much as mine did!

-Jenny Kay