Monday, August 31, 2009

Manic Monday

Hi loves!
I hope everyone had a great weekend and is of to an easy start of the work week. My weekend was uber busy but pretty fun and very productive. I'm loving my work and the kids crack me up all the time, which is great, even if they don't get my humor in return....but I guess sarcasm isn't something you pick up in high school? I know I did, but then again I was never the "normal" high schooler.

And now, here is an update of my recent life via food:
This was a meal from last week when my internet was down and I was forced to take a hiatus from blogging. Most of my meals were pretty dull anyways so I just deiced to really take the week off. But after my Mom and I whipped up this meal of fettuccine Alfredo with zucchini and my homemade stew tomatoes I couldn't not document this winner of a meal. Wow. So good. So, I'm not sure what I had for breakfast on Saturday but I know it wasn't these gummy worms. Oh no, I had them as a prelude to my "lunch" which was really a random plate of leftovers from "Happy Hour" on Friday night. My parents started this tradition after I was in college of not having a meal on Fridays, instead just doing some light snacks and calling it Happy Hour. I decided if you can't beat em, join em, hence the drogging on Friday night. Stuffed mushrooms, baked cheesesticks with marinara and a few fat pieces of pickled okra. Another classic Weird Jess Combo. But it did the trick and held me over though some errands in Gville and Saturday evening mass, before I met up with some of my Gainseville Darlings for dinner out. Our favorite downtown Thai join has sadly gone to the wayside and is now a quick service tex mex place, so we oped for Dragonfly Sushi instead. I started off with one of their sake based cocktails:It was basically a Bloody Mary (one of my fave cocktails, if you haven't noticed already) with sake instead of vodka. Pretty tasty and the wasabi rim made it unique, but I wouldn't get it again.I ordered a bowl of edamae of our table of 5 to share. The funny thing is I snapped this picture after we'd consumed about 1/2 the bowl and it still doesn't look like it. So tasty. I've got to remember to start getting the frozen bags at Publix again. The lovely Christine and I each ordered 2 rolls and then split them. Or rather ate each others plates, since they don't play with the roll size at Dragonfly. No way either of us could have finished our portions. She got the KrispyKrunch (tuna, crab*, avocado, c.cheese, roe. fried with panko bread crumbs) and the Mango Tango (smoked salmon, mango, cream cheese and avocado topped with sweet potato curls and a mango plum sauce). I actually enjoyed the krunch roll more than the mango one to my surprise given my love of mango and general distaste for the fried sushi rolls. I did pick most of the breading off, but it was great.

I got the signature Dragonfly roll (tuna, yellow tail & scallions wrapped with grouper. baked
with spicy sauce then finished with eel sauce) which was tasty, but not in a sushi kind of way. It was like mini stuffed, baked fish and I really couldn't taste the yellow tail-which is my fave fish!- or the tuna to be honest. The real winner of the evening for me was the Bahamma Mama (conch, cucumber, scallions & fish roe with spicy sauce). I had never had conch aside from in fritter form and this was surpurp! So crunchy and fresh with just a hint of sweet. Oh man. Love. Even though we had stuffed our selves silly with delicious Jananese fare no even is complete without yogurt or gelatto in my crowd. So we wandered down to The Gelatto Company where I got a small trio of Chocolate Delight, Cake Batter and Blueberry White Chocolate. I was really only digging the blueberry and ended up trashing the other 2 flavors, but it was really about the flavor, cause lord knows my tummy was fullllllll at this point! A great night out with some old and new friends!

Sunday brought around a lot of work on the barn project. I'll update that segment of my blog another night, so stay tuned for that. Every good construction worker needs a hearty breakfast to start them off right and how could I say no to the lovely omelet that my mom whipped up using my produce! She loves having me around, since I buy all the "fun stuff" that my dad usually skips at the market.
This lovely was a combo of fresh spinach, mushrooms and some maters with Cabot cheddar! I had a slice of WG toast with some olive oil spread and raw honey, plus 1/3 of a peach. Yum. I love breakfast!

After being a hard working construction gal for nearly 5 hours I was about to gnaw on a hammer, but luckily we wrapped it up with time to relax by the pool. I also had my lunch poolside which was just some leftover Shrimp Chow Mein and fried rice from earlier in the week. Served up with a side of carrot juice and "The Kite Runner" which after a slowish start I am enjoying immensely. A complete review to come. I'm only about 1/3 through it at the moment. When some popcorn made it's way out the the pool I couldn't say no to a few handfuls from this basket!

Dinner was a simple but oh so satisfying affair. Grilled chicken with fresh green beans and mushrooms and a side salad. Of course I dipped my chicken in a blob of ranch, bbq and hot sauce, but found I was really enjoying the flavor on it's own. I really can't tell you how long it's been since I had just grilled chicken and it so hit the spot!Which brings us back to doe, a deer, a fem.....oh, excuse me, I mean Monday:

Plain old cheese (provolone) toast (whole grain) and water. Actually I had a lovely cup of mocha coffee too, but it was gone before the camera stumbled out of bed.
Leftover sushi for lunch, but don't you love how they packed it up? It's like I got sushi takeout! They gave me napkins, soy sauce, chopsticks and a fresh serving of wasabi and ginger too! So impressed with Dragonfly! (oh, I had a yummy peach too!)

Dinner was another simple but comforting meal of back beans over a small bed of rice. Topped with purple onion and some apple cider vinegar. I love black beans, which you probably have noticed already. But I do love stating the obvious too!
Phew! What a post. Long and fun filled. Just like my day was. Now I'm off in search of the perfect BioChemistry lab to do on Wednesday with my Bio kiddies and a new hairstyle. I finally am going to the hairdresser on Friday. I haven't been since April and um, it's pretty obvious. Yuck.

Love to all,
~A harried and crazy haired, Jess

Friday, August 28, 2009

She's baaaaaack!

Hi loves!
Miss me? I sure missed you. I finally have my computer/Internet duo up and running thanks to some help from my friendly and fabulous "computer geeks" that do wonders for our district. Seriously, they are 3 of the best men in my life and not just because they allowed me to reaccess my blog obsession.

Tonight's post is going to be short and sweet soon since I am drogging (blogging while drinking to be polite) and a tad over emotional since Mum and I have been watching the Ted Kennedy memorial since 7pm. Why did I not know what a wonderful man he was until he died? Why had the Kennedy legacy along with Vietnam, The Gulf War and many other "modern" historical events been glossed over in my history education? I am saddened that we have lost such a wonderful advocate for equal rights, reading initiatives and of course health care. I can only hope that the remaining members of the Senate, Congress and all of Washington will be inspired to live up to the standard that Senator Kennedy has set for so many years. God Rest his Soul and bring Peace to his family.

Regularly scheduled posting will begin again tomorrow. And please know that since my Reader inbox is nearly 1000 even if I'm not commenting, I'm reading and catching up on all the exciting things happening in your lives.

Love to all,
~ A saddened but oh so hopeful, Jess

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Love Hate Relationship..... what I'm currently experiencing with my computer. For whatever reason, despite the fact that my wireless adaptor card is working and I am technically connected to our wireless network I cannot get on the 'net. This is beyond frustrating for a blog a holic and new teacher who needs her access to the WEB! Please, computer gods, work with me. So I've hijacked my dad's work laptop for the day (my parent's "family" computer is ancient and I can do nothing but read on it) to try and get my lesson plans finished for the week for a second time (that is a long story, but basically be thankful that you don't work in a school district that decides to have it's overworked teachers create new curriculum maps for the school year AFTER THE YEAR HAS STARTED. What? Yeah. Not happy, but busting my arse, cause what else can you do?). So between rewriting EVERYTHING I had already planned, making a new curriculum map for one of our courses (thank god, we each only had to do one) and making all the pre/post exams, which are all based on new DOE statutes, that oh, hey btw,they changed the freaking codes on! I haven't had much time for blogging. Sorry loves.

And what photography I have done has been rather scatterbrained. Hi, My Name is Jess and I fail as a food blogger. Oy. I even when to a good friend's wedding yesterday and was totally psyched to get sat in the front isle only to realize that my camera, was not in my purse where it normally hides out. Oh no, it was on my desk, waiting to be uploaded, to a computer that can't freaking connect to the Internet! ahhhh. It was a lovely wedding and I am so excited for the new Mr. and Mrs. even if I have nothing to show for it.
Here is a bit of what I have been eating:

Sorry for the spastic post. I miss you guys, but am drowning in this teaching thing right now. Luckily my kids are still great. And my running is improving. Which is good, considering I'm supposed to be running a 5k in about a month. Yipes.

Hope everyone is have a relaxing weekend....I don't think I'll be having one of those until June 6th, 2010, so have a drink by the pool for me, ok?

Love to all,
~A just slightly overwhelmed, Jess

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exhausted but Still Smiling.....

That's me! I don't think I've been this tired since camp. Anyone? Anyone? I guess the love of kids just sucks it out of you. While I'm totally worried about a 1001 things right now: do my kids actually get what I'm teaching or are they just nodding? Gosh I hope they don't all bomb the test next week. Speaking of tests will they do good on FCAT? FCahhhhhhT is more like it! How do I deal with hover parents (it's day three people, seriously?) can I ever get the damn get your copies in 24hrs in advance thing? My brain is whoring, so I am taking a "night off" which means dealing with all the shizz I've been putting off the last 2ish weeks while I've been in "teacher mode" not stop-ok no stop sans a rocking weekend in WPB. Phew. I've got most of my bizz-naz taken care off and after a little blog writing and stalking I just have some light (I hope) paper grading to do.

Thanks to everyone for your support. It means to world to me. I love having each and everyone of you in my life! Seriously. If I could hug and kiss you all, I would. And yes, that means whether you like it or no! haha.

I'm also taking another break from my training schedule today thanks to Mother Nature. She thought dumping on my neighborhood would be cool when I really TRULY wanted to run today. And no Jillian Michaels did not fill the void. Bletch. Some inversions might on the agenda, no doubt.

Breakfast today was like running into a long lost lover's arms. Well, ok, perhaps I'm a tad overdramatic, but it was good.
GreenMonster with Van SoyMilk, 3 giant handfuls of spinach and a whole banana. Plus a generous spoonful of Naturally More peanut butter. Couldn't finish that beast. I also had a toasted WG English Muffin with some new Pumpkin Butter, which was tasty, but I wish had more straight up pumpkin flavor and less molasses. It has a nice and clean ingredients list though. I couldn't finish this either, so the Chubster glady ate the other 1/2.

Lunch was some leftover Turkey soup-oh so still amazing. Have I mentioned that I love soup? Because I've got to share a secret with you guys, I LOVE SOUP.Plus grapes and a SoyJoy bar I did not eat. It's hanging out in my snack drawer now. Lonely little bar.....

Dinner was a join effort from Mum and I. We repurposed the dreaded (so says my tummy) pork roast into a messy mexican-ish meal. I made black beans and got the toppings together while she cubed up and spiced up the pork.
My plate had pork and a tiny sprinkle of cheese in a falling apart WW tortilla topped with lettuce, tomato, purple onion, green olives and japs. But most of my plate was dedicated to black beans. Have I mentioned I also LOVE black beans? Yeah, I do. Plus a little dollop of sour cream and a few chips to scoop up my messy, mess.

Mom thought her plate was much prettier and I agree. So she said I should take a picture of it. So I did. Pretty.

Now on to some excitement.
A great camp friend of mine, Brittany ( who I now live near again, yay!) gave me the Premium Meme Award yesterday.

For this, I have to list seven traits about myself and then pass the award onto seven other bloggers who deserve recognition for the personality they share through their blog.

So, I choose:

Hollywood of The Hollywood Memoirs
Jenna of Sounds and Furies from an All American Girl
Lindsey of Life According to Mrs. LC
Allison of Green Dog Wine
Kailey of Snackface
Wiggs of The Beholder
Angela of Oh She Glows

And now Seven Traits about Jess:

1-I am a complete and utter SPAZ. No really, I am. Oh wait, you noticed? haha. I am always in a rush and by trying to do 4 billion things at once usually drop or break something. I even fell off my one of my moderately high heeled wedges hustling books over to the office during my planning period today. Thankfully no one saw me, I think? I hope.

2-In spite of my spaz-i-ness I was a classically ballet dancer from age 3 through my freshman year of high school. Yes, I did pointe and everything. Hard to believe? I don't blame you. I miss it terribly and often wonder if I made the right choice in choosing to stay with the band while I was in HS instead of dance, but eh, it's in the past. (for those of you who are confused I was the girl who did EVERYTHING. Dance, band, 4H, Hunter Jumper Horsemanship-so something had to give. Course then I became a cheerleader. haha, it ever stops.

3-I'm actually very shy. You would never believe that if you saw me with a group of my friends, but meeting new people is SO HARD for me, because I just clam up. So there, secret's out.

4-I cannot take a short shower to save my life. Just ask my parents, they begged me to take shorter showers for years when I was a kid and eventually gave up. Rightly so. My roomies can voutch too.

5-I love to laugh. Hard. Belly Rolling, Gut Shaking Laughter. I could put your Uncle Chuck's gawawfs to shame.

6-I believe the day you stop learning is when you die. No further explanation needed.

7-I find motivation, humor and inspiration in strangers. I have spent many an afternoon on a park bench just casually observing people come and go. And to keep this from getting to mushy, because of all my park stalking I have the uncanny ability to recognize people from a distance simply by how they walk. That and I'm nearly blind, so it's helpful!

Hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me tonight.
Of to cuddle with the dog and grade some papers.
Love to all,
~A sleep and stuffy, Jess

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Knocking on Wood

Give a girl a teaching job and she disappears from her blog, right? And just after she promised to blog more regularly too. No worries dear readers, I'm going to keep squeezing blog time in, but after my first day of students I had a TON of things to get done last night (not that I don't this evening) and then forced myself to go to bed "early"at midnight. haha, considering I get up at quarter after 5am now that's not saying much! Also, as I promised I only ate leftovers and repeats yesterday, so you didn't miss any great new meals; not that leftovers aren't wonderful!

I almost hate to say this after only 2 days of teaching, but I think it's going to be a great year. My kids are pretty great-at least behaviorally and I'm winging it great thus far. I even had one of my students tell me I was better than their old science teacher since "I actually knew what I was talking about." Um, thanks? haha, if she only knew. ;)

I could gush for white a while here but lets get straight to the eats before I type myself into a grave about my classes, eh?

Breakfast was a new combo and very satisfying:A WG English muffin with 1 slice bacon (the real stuff! Living with my parents is a bit too tempting at times as you will see....) topped with 1/2 a banana and a drizzle of organic honey. I was channelling Elvis' infamous banana bacon sammies when I made this.

Lunch included more bacon-which I just realized as I posted this. Whoops.
A BLTC (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Cheese-provolone) sandwich on Honey Wheat bread. I also had a huge plum that I didn't finish and this Archer Farms mocha thing I've had hanging around for too long (it even moved with me!). It looks like a shot glass, so some of my co workers were teasing me about "drinking" on the 2nd day! haha.

Dinner was ironically more pork, what is my problem? At least if I start oinking you will know why. sigh.Roast pork with yellow squash and 1/3 of a tiny baked potato topped with homemade horseradish. Yum. I am so making baked potatoes with "horsey sauce" again!

I wanted to run after dinner this evening (didn't have time before) but my stomach wasn't happy with me and I knew I should be too far from the house.....(if you know what I mean. ugh.) Obviously I should not have pig 3 times in one day. It was an honest mistake, since I didn't realize it until now, but I have certainly learned my lesson.

I have really been enjoying coming home to a cooked meal most nights since I've moved back home, especially since I'm totally wiped from teaching all day and have work to do all night, but I obviously need to start mixing more of my own eating habits back in. I was already thinking this when I stopped at the local grocery store on the way home and picked up spinach, vanilla soy milk-because the store didn't carry almond milk...shocking, I know! haha- and some all natural pumpkin butter. Needless to say I'm pretty psyched about breakfast tomorrow. I'm many of you can guess what I'll be having, but you will have to wait and see if you are right! hehe.

I have an exciting bloggy surprise (well exciting to me, and I hope to you all) but since it's drawing close to 10pm already and I have to do lesson plans for two courses before bedtime I think I'll leave you in suspense until tomorrow.

Love to all,
~A happy but oh so tired, Jess

PS. For all my fellow Twilight fans out there check out what I picked up at the DG (that's Dollar General to most people) yesterday:Edward Cullen Chocolate. (The top heart says Bella and the bottom one says Edward) Sadly it tasted like the fake crappy crap it is, so after one bite I pitched it. Cute none the less!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mixed Media Weekend!

Hi darlings!
I hope everyone has had a great weekend. Mine was super jam packed, but so much fun! Warning, mega post ahead, we've got a lot of catching up to do, and not much time to do it in!

After an "interesting" day at work on Friday, including being mainstayed by the mentally handicapped janitor at our school over the disposal of the seriously dead cats in my store room (long story, but someone was sticking his special little nose where it didn't belong, and I'm ready to wage war!) and running around like a crazy chicken with my head cut off trying to get things ready for students on Monday (tomorrow! ack!) I was beyond ready to hop in my car for a weekend of birthday celebrations and a last hurrah of summer for the 211 girls before we all start back for the school year, this time as teachers! I met up with Jenna, the Orlando bestie, and her bf in Otown and we carpooled the rest of the way down to WPB. Upon arrival we broke out the champagne, of course in traditionally 211 style and gossiped the night away before crashing into our respective beds-or couch, in my case.

Eats on Friday included a banana-fest for breakfast:Oatmeal Squares and Life with 1/2 a banana and reduced fat milk, plus the other half of the banana with Naturally More PB and honey. I can't seem to get enough of this combo, so don't be surprised to see it again.

Lunch was burgers and baked beans from provided by the Florida Farm Bureau. I forgot to take my camera to the Ag Shop where lunch was being served. It was tasty, but nothing to write home about. I'm really glad that I didn't decided to go veggie, because I wouldn't have been able to eat any of it. Even the beans had meat in them! Welcome to the country, ya'll. haha. I don't think anyone even knows what "vegan" is here!

Dinner was a bust, kinda. I attempted to get a "healthy" dinner at Micky D's, so I got the Chipotle BBQ snack wrap and the Apple Walnut Salad.Small much? I think I had about 6 apple slices and 2 whole grapes!...the snack wrap was tasty, but not enough to really fill me up for long.

So this happened later in the car on the second leg to WPB.Bad Jess. Twisted Frosty with Fries. Mostly yum. They put the coffee toffee thing in my Frosty by mistake, and considering I already had part of a Heath bar this week it didn't work for me. Tooooo Sweet. The sole male in the car enjoyed it though, and we all know it's important to keep the driver happy, so it wasn't a complete waste.

Saturday morning broke a bit breezy and overcast but we braved the weather, and the deli lines at Publix, and before long we were geared up with rented kayaks and trucking (or paddling if you want to get technical!) over to Peanut Island for a fun afternoon of hiking, swimming, grinder nooshing, beer drinking and photo shooting fun....wanna join? See below!
Yes, I matched my kayak and yes, we do like to jump- a LOT.
I really enjoyed the kayaking, since it was a fun way to get in some exercise and really concerted the idea in my head that I want my own kayak. Come on Christmas! ;)

After a furry of showers we headed off too YardHouse for dinner. It's a restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens that has 100+ beers on tap. We had a mixed media of beverages at the table:

Cider, porter, Bloody Mary (mine) and a Raspberry Martini. I really enjoyed my Bloody Mary, it was super spicy, and I needed a break from all the beer that had been consumed on the island already.The break didn't last too long though, since my next drink was a "Black and Blue"Guinness with SeaDog Blueberry. Yum. Love doing combos with Guinness. I get "snakebites" a lot too, which are Guinness with cider.

Dinner was interesting. I ordered the Chicken Enchilada Stack. I was intrigued by the description of:
chicken and roasted pasilla peppers in garlic cream layered with jack cheese, fresh corn tortillas, pinto beans, tomatillo and red chile sauce I found the chicken to be a bit tough. I wish I had tried to order this vegetarian some how, with more peppers and onions and beans, or something, but our waitress was a bit ditzy and thought it would be easier just to go with the flow. I ended up picking it apart and ate mostly the peppers and beans. The flavor was great though!

After dinner we went to see a local band play, The Midnight Life and then out for more (unpictured) drinks with the boys, especially since our Birthday Girl has been dating the lead guitarist and vocalist since we were in college, so yes, we know all the guys. If you like hard metal give them some love ok?

I woke up feeling great after a day of crazy drinking. Carrying water with me all night really helped I think. I went for a leisurely run around the neighborhood (they have asphalt running paths, love it!) and stopped at the park I had found on my last trip for a water break (gotta love water foutains-cause I dislike carrying a water bottle when I run) and some yoga in the shade. I felt so calm and relaxed that I just walked back to the house while having my own little "church" service. I love all the beauty that is in our world and think that God likes to hear some appreciation now and then. It was a lovely Sunday morning.

Ham and cheese toa
st was a nice refuel after a cold shower.Eventually we got packed and started the trek back north, but not before a pit stop at Chipotle. I love this place and don't go enough! I got the Burrito Bowl and had it filled to the top with:
Pinto Bean
Sauteed (and spicy!) Onions and Peppers
Shredded Pork (it's the best-if you are a meat eater like me!)
Corn Salsa and Tomatillio Salsa
Light Sour Cream
I know you can't see that huge list of yum under the lettuce, but it was the bomb dot com and I had a ton leftover! Lunch tomorrow? Oh yes. Paired with a lovely "Arnold Palmer" which is just iced tea with lemonade, if you didn't know.

After a nerve racking "game" of will we make it to the gas station before running out of gas I decided that some treats were needed. I got these to share with the car. So sour, so good!On my second leg of the drive I called one of my loves that lives in Gville and she suggested I stop by to chat, since I was driving right by. Of course I said yes! and what better place to chat than at TCBY?
I got a "Junior" size (5oz) of the Original Tart with raspberries and cookie dough pieces. Hit the spot, since I've been craving FoYo this week. I'm going to swap the cookie dough for dark chocolate chips next time though!

I finally made it home to find my Mom had cooked up a pot of homemade turkey soup with the carcass from last week's roast turkey. So of course I had to do some "quality control" and had a bowl. Oh so good. Have I mentioned that I LOVE soup? Because I LOVE soup! And there are some perks to living at home, walking right in to a cooked and on the stove top meal. I'm such a lucky girl!Now this lucky girl needs to get her arse in bed, since I have to head to the school early and get a few things finished up before the kiddos arrive. Wish me luck!

Love to all,
~A ready as I'm going to be, Jess
PS. Check out the beautiful flowers my M&D sent me on Friday. They freshen up my smelly classroom!