Show ‘N Tell: Favorite Pins

Pinterest and I go through waves of love for one another, but I do have to say, if I find something on the Internet, I “save” it by putting the URL into Pinterest and creating a pin. It’s the easiest way to find something again (besides our trusty friend Google)! I save so many quotes, organization ideas, and recipes. My most recent Pinterest creation actually came from a Facebook video, but of course I copied the link and saved it right to my Pinterest boards. Read about the DIY Makeup Remover here!

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Link up with to share your favorite pins here!

 My mom and I usually go Pin-crazy during the holidays. After we’ve (okay let’s be honest…she…) planned the menu, we start cooking…and then we brainstorm about what ELSE we just need to make. Ha! Usually, that’s where Pinterest comes in handy. We’ve made some pretty festive creations in the last few years!

Holiday Inspired Treats

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Easter 2015: We made fruit pizza in the shape of an Easter egg. 🙂 This recipe was our inspiration, but we ended up using crescent roll for the crust, a mixture of cool whip and jello mix for the “icing”, and then our choice of fruit for the toppings.

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Thanksgiving 2014: Cheese platter in the shape of a turkey! Inspiration found here.

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Easter 2010: Major throwback! Veggies & crackers with cheese spread! I imagine we used something similar to this recipe, but I can’t be certain. My mom is the kind of person who makes up recipes as we cook together. 🙂

A few other successful food pins:

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Sesame Street Fruit & Vegetable Trays

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Watermelon Basket

My mom made both of these for luncheons at her school. She’s a teacher and her coworkers love to do festive get-togethers in the teacher’s lounge! I helped with the Sesame Street trays, but I cannot take any credit for the watermelon basket. Check out the circle pieces of watermelon inside the basket…she used the cookie dough scoop to make those pieces! My best advice in making any kind of platter or design with your food is to Google the picture and then just make it your own. That’s how we have had the best luck!

As a student teacher, I also put together these snack bags during our Read Across America! week at school.

It was perfect because it included so many kid-friendly snacks and they each related to a different Dr. Seuss book!

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These treat bags might be making a comeback this March when we celebrate Read Across America! week again. Who doesn’t love popcorn, animal crackers, Cheerio’s, Goldfish, and M&M’s… #crowdpleaser

Dessert

Cassie blogs over at Hi Sugarplum! and she posts the best recipe for “Christmas Crack” every year. Its official name is Salted Caramel Pretzel Toffee. I first made this in 2014 and it’s one of those treats that you have to hold yourself back from eating. The salty/sweet combination is so good!

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Shay Shull’s Neiman Marcus bars are also perfectly sweet and salty!

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And then there are those pins that you just try and try and TRY to recreate, and they never quite work.

Take Christmas 2013, for example. We tried to make Christmas trees out of vegetables. Our inspiration picture was perfect!

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All photo credit here to Google Images. I’m pretty sure we didn’t take a picture of our trees on purpose. Hahaha

In reality…our trees did not turn out like this. My uncle could not stop laughing because they looked like green bushes on a platter. And that was BEFORE anyone started eating from them! That’s the thing with these festive platters…how life-like (or tree-like) can they look once people start eating them?!

I was also obsessed with making this R-shape made of crayons for my cooperating teacher when I was a student teacher. I tried every night for a week to make it look like the inspiration picture, and it was just not happening. I tried on the carpet, I tried on a cutting board, I tried on the kitchen table…nope. I am also a perfectionist, so if it wasn’t going to look like the original, I was not going to be happy. 😉 I could’ve ordered this on Etsy for like $50, but I was determined to do it myself! In the end, I think my cooperating teacher ended up with a handwritten note from me and a gift card. #sooriginal #oops

And then there was the 3 (or 4?) ingredient fudge that my mom and I saw in a video on Facebook. We’ve made a more complicated fudge recipe in the past, so we know what it is supposed to look and taste like…this recipe was just not working.

Doesn’t it look so appetizing?! I think it had something to do with the condensed milk that we used. We will never know. It just tasted so strange and never became the right consistency!

It has now become apparent that I only love pins involving food. 😉 I accept my flaws. Ha! What are some of your Pinterest successes and failures?

Follow me on Pinterest!

 

What’s Hap-Pinning [1]

Pinterest and I go through seasons of life where we are either best friends or mere acquaintances. Sometimes, I can’t help myself and I pin all the things, but other times as I scroll I find myself almost feeling bored! I’m currently in a #pinallthethings season of life, so here’s what on my boards.

You can follow me on Pinterest here!

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Link up with your hap-pinning post here! 🙂

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I’ve been making more time to read, because let’s face it, I have the time. I simply am just not making time for an activity I actually really love. How fun is this book chair?! It was in a Buzzfeed article that listed all of the crazy things you should buy if money were no object, which was probably a popular article with the Powerball jackpot getting so big! Any winners out there?! I know a few $4 winners! 😉

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I’m also dreaming of spring, which brings blooming cherry blossom trees to DC. It’s been so warm that I can’t help but think ahead to sunnier, longer days! The weathermen claim a humongous snowstorm is coming this weekend, but you know how those reports go. So much talk and then nothing happens! We are talking feet of snow, not mere inches, so hopefully they are correct in their predictions. 🙂

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I haven’t been running much because I want to build muscle and get stronger. Do I want to be a body builder? Not in the slightest. However, I talk the talk in regards to strength training while running and I never actually do it. Right now, I’m taking a few weeks to focus solely on weight training with a few random runs and then I’ll pick my running schedule back up so I can get ready for a March half marathon. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ve been doing Hammer and Chisel workouts. I love the diversity of the program, in both choice and length of workouts, but the above image that I pinned is exactly the kind of strength training I like to do when I’m looking for a quick and easy workout on my own. I will definitely be doing this workout (with a medicine ball or dumbbells)!

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The majority of people assume that elementary teachers have all the time in the world to do creative projects and color with their students. In reality, I struggle to feel like I’ve taught everything I’m supposed to, so creative projects often fall to the wayside. This is no one’s fault except my own, because there are little pockets in the day where I could make it happen. I did just that during the month of November when we made a tree with leaves expressing what we were thankful for at school. I like this similar “craft” for the month of February! It takes all the attention away from people that you love (because second graders think that’s gross) and focuses instead on things that you love about school! If I write about this on the Internet, that means I actually have to do it, right?! 😉

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I mentioned yesterday that I want to take a lot of weekend trips in 2016…this is a random pin of the Navy Pier in Chicago that I just added to one of my boards. There are so many places in the U.S. that I still haven’t visited and though I have big dreams to travel abroad as well, I want to get out there and see the world that is right in my own backyard!

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The message at church this week was all about resetting the relationships in your life. I think relationships have a lot to do with our happiness! We obviously enter new friendships and relationships with good intentions, so our pastor was talking about the importance of revisiting the relationships that you already have in your life and being intentional with your time (and your friend’s and/or significant other’s). Sometimes you and someone that you are close to grow apart, and that’s okay. I tend to worry about what other people think of me, so that does affect my level of happiness because I want to make other people happy. I know this about myself, and often after getting down on myself about something, I literally tell myself that I need to stop thinking about it and move on so I can be happy. Ha!

I also liked this piece about being a good friend from church last week: in Mark 2, Jesus heals a paralyzed man, but only after four of that man’s friends carry him to the house where Jesus is preaching and dig a hole in the roof to get their friend inside. The point of this story was to remind us that we all depend on people in our lives for certain things…but we also need to BE that dependable person for someone else. Who’s mat are you carrying in life?! I’m working on surrounding myself with people who carry me…but also depend on me for support too.

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I have worked hard my whole entire life to be a teacher and I love it so far. As with any new endeavor, there is a big learning curve both on and off the job. Sometimes I like articles like these, and other times it sounds like millenials whining about how the grass is always greener…BUT this was a pretty accurate read. Enjoy 🙂

What’s “hap-pinning” with you?!

Vanilla Pound Cake

When is the last time you ate cauliflower for dessert?

No?

Just me?

Well, your answer to that question is about to change because I have a recipe for you that is filled with totally random, yet nutritious ingredients! And you will be able to say that you ate and enjoyed cauliflower for dessert. 😉 This weekend, I was craving something sweet, and while I can’t say I have ever eaten pound cake in the past, Pinterest came to the rescue here. I wasn’t sure how the combination of these ingredients would turn out, but aren’t the Pinterest “fails” just as much fun as the Pinterest successes?! I think so! Ultimately, this Vanilla Pound Cake was easy to make, required few ingredients (my kitchen rule of thumb!) and tasted delicious!

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Original recipe here.

Ingredients

1/2 cup steamed cauliflower
1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup vanilla protein powder
2 eggs
4 drops vanilla extract
Cinnamon (to taste)

How To

First, preheat your oven to 325*. Steam your cauliflower (I used the microwave) and get your electric mixer or blender ready to go!

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Combine eggs, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl. Add steamed cauliflower, then add protein powder. Finally, drop in some vanilla extract and cinnamon!

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I used my hand mixer and it worked really well! One thing to note: the “batter” is very thin in consistency at this stage of cooking. I kept checking the recipe to make sure I didn’t forget anything, but I didn’t, and you didn’t either! It is just very thin. Grease your bread pan (I used Coconut Spray Oil) and set your timer for 30 to 40 minutes.

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At the 30 minute mark, start checking your pound cake. The top should be slightly browned and the consistency should be much more firm to the touch.

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I was able to slice this loaf into 8 pieces, and using MyFitnessPal, I found that each piece of pound cake was about 75 calories! I ate it plain, but you could add honey for a touch of sweetness, too. Word to the wonderers: you cannot taste the cauliflower. 😉

Enjoy!

– Do you like cauliflower?

– Have you ever tasted pound cake?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! This week has been both long and short. Long because I am counting down the days until NEXT Friday when I can drive home for Spring Break. Short because we didn’t have school Thursday or Friday. 🙂 I do enjoy living in a place where everyone is afraid of snow. Though in their defense, we got 7 inches of snow! Baltimore and DC both got 9 inches so it’s been a big mess everywhere. I finally ventured out to go to the grocery store today but it’s been a nice few days of relaxing and catching up on work before midterms next week!

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Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci to share some of my favorite things! Blog one of your favorites and join us 🙂

March means spring, right? In our dreams! I’m pretty sure most of the country is still covered in white. I can’t be too upset when the view of The National Mall is this pretty, though. One of my favorite places looking beautiful before the latest storm hit!

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The local news station was sharing a bunch of images posted by viewers and when I clicked on someone’s Instagram, I found this image from earlier in the week. This picture was taken from a plane that was about to land and I just think it is so majestic. Yes, I said majestic. Go with it.

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My view is not quite as spectacular. When it’s not so foggy and white out, I actually have a really pretty view of UMD’s campus! But for the past few days, it has looked like this. The sun knew we needed a little happiness so it’s actually shining today! Next week it is supposed to be in the fifties. I tell you, weather is crazy. I have noticed that people love to talk about the weather and either get excited or complain depending on the forecast, but what’s going to happen is going to happen regardless of if I check the weather so typically I don’t discuss these matters. 😉 Although, that is how I get myself into situations like the one I found myself in last Sunday: pulling my hoodie tight around my face as I “ice skated” home from the gym because there was freezing rain and ice. #yougetwhatyouget

One of my favorite ways to get inspired in the kitchen is to play around on Pinterest. Earlier this week, I mentioned that I felt like I kept making the same thing over and over and over. SO, last night when the fridge was looking barren and it was my turn to cook for my roommate and I, I made these Italian chicken sausage and feta cheese stuffed peppers.

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I was very proud. I sort of followed one recipe and I sort of followed another…so does that make me a real chef? Because I basically made this up on my own?! 😉

The first recipe [here] called for goat cheese. I very often half listen to recipes and add or omit whatever ingredients I do or do not have. Hahaha #creativeflair But lucky for me, while I was contemplating whether or not I could substitute goat cheese for feta cheese (which is what I had on hand), I found this recipe [here]. They turned out SO good! The only time consuming part was cleaning out the peppers. I am also not known for my patience, so it took some skill to cut the peppers without cutting myself. Fun story: last week I used the handle of a knife as a spoon. Which means I was holding the blade. Because you see, I only needed to stir something for a second, so no big deal, right?

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Can I blame the blonde hair?

It’s no secret that I love to work out, so it should come as no surprise that my favorite Friday activity for the last few weeks has been checking out new studios around the Maryland/DC/Virginia area. My friend Kristen and I tried our luck at [solidcore], which is a strength workout completely done on one machine called a megaformer. To say it was difficult would be an understatement. I have never felt more uncoordinated and the guy next to me was just whipping out the lunges and crunches like it was no big deal! So after that interesting experience, the following week we went to Soul Cycle, which is known for being a really popular cycling studio in NYC. There are two around here now, one in Maryland and one in DC, and I was really excited to go because I am certified to teach cycling classes, so I really love taking other people’s classes! I get new ideas and I get re-inspired. Plus sometimes it’s nice to not be in charge of your workout and have someone else tell you what to do! The guy who taught our class was literally INSANE! Crazy energetic, great music, just all around motivating and fun. So we are sticking with what we know and going back to Soul Cycle tonight. Yay for Friday fun!

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While we’re on the topic of things that make me feel good (like working out), something that makes me feel GREAT is when my jeans fit exactly how I want them to. Which is what happened this morning (or should I say afternoon) when I finally got dressed. A favorite moment for sure. I even found myself out and about today thinking, I hate pulling my jeans up. Why didn’t I wear a belt? But this is no reason to complain so I quickly told myself to shut up. 🙂

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HA! Ecard, I win.

I have been playing around with the idea of “flexible dieting”. Basically it means that I am paying attention to how much protein, fat, and carbs I eat. I have a calorie goal for the whole day, but honestly I haven’t met it yet. I am not used to eating this much! I spent a lot of time in college counting calories and eating tiny portions so this idea of “more food, more weight lost” is still very strange to me. But the jeans fit so I’LL TAKE IT!

Finally.

Finally.

The good stuff.

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So I understand that your eyes are probably drawn to “no sugar added”. BUT PEOPLE. This is my new favorite ice cream. First of all, I do not believe in sugar free desserts. That’s just wrong. You are eating dessert, so enjoy the sugar! When I see things like sugar free brownies or sugar free fudge, my brain just wants to know why. I understand that some people actually need to pay attention to their sugar intake, I’m just saying, if you’re trying to watch what you eat and you decided to indulge in dessert, just go all the way. Just do it. Be Nike. Eat all the damn sugar! 🙂

ANYWAYS, the reason I am over the moon about this ice cream is because it’s not completely free of sugar. It’s sweetened with Splenda and it is so so tasty. I don’t eat a ton of ice cream (I’m a salty person) so my ice cream taste buds might be different than yours, but I really liked this!  So my suggestion to you is to go to your local grocery store and buy the happiness.

Happy weekend everyone 🙂

– Is it still a winter wonderland in your area?!

– What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?