Monday, April 29, 2013

Bipolar Weather

What a difference twelve hours can make.  This first picture below was taken at 8:00am on Sunday morning.

This next picture was taken just before 8:00pm.  Freak snowstorm in the morning and an even more freak occurrence...nice weather! Alaska, have you had too many drinks?

Cody and I spent most of the weekend cooped up inside relaxing.  It was seriously nasty most of the weekend so we laid low indoors.  Snow days are the perfect excuse to have a movie marathon (which we did).  Late Sunday afternoon the weather FINALLY cleared up so we took Specks out for a jaunt at the beach.

Other than that I have just been slaving away at school.  Fridays cannot come soon enough.  Don't get me wrong, I love my students.  But, it is data collection/testing time.  This means I spend more time calling kids up to my desk than actually doing anything awesome with them.  Super lame.  At least we get to enjoy these awesome views from our classroom.

That's right, my classroom sits at the bottom of one awesome mountain.  Oh, Juneau…even with all of your inconveniences and Alaska-isms you still manage to amaze me regularly.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vegan Running

Running Update:  I have been seriously slacking.  But,  I am back in the game thanks to these fabulous running shoes!

VivoBarefoot Vegan Running Shoes.

I love them.  They are amazing.  Also,  any time I can support the vegan products I do.  These shoes are an awesome alternative to the barefoot running craze.  I have only jogged in them once so far but my knees were already thanking me tremendously.  New shoes make all the difference, eh?  Hopefully these shoes will help me keep on my training path so that I can take on some actual races in the future and not just jog for recreational purposes.  I will keep you guys updated on things I do/don't like about the shoes and whether or not I would still recommend them after a couple weeks worth of running.

What type of running shoes do you wear? 
Do you buy vegan products? 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Downtown Juneau

Juneau is a HUGE town.  And by huge, I mean huge.  It is larger than the state of Rhode Island.  Seriously, wikipedia told me that it was, and I generally believe wikipedia.

Juneau, AK Wikipedia 

It is separated into seven different areas.  These areas include (from closest to our house to farthest): North Douglas, Douglas, Downtown/Juneau, Lemon Creek, Valley, Auke Bay, and Out The Road.

We spend time in all of these "neighborhoods" as much as we can because they all have so much to offer.  This weekend we focused our attention on Downtown, which is only about a ten minute drive from our house and definitely the most "urban" and populated part of Juneau.  Soon, it will be the heart of tourist season though and it will be difficult for us to spend very much time Downtown because of the influx of people coming off of the cruise ships.  We figured we better enjoy it before those crazy tourists take over!  Here are some of our favorite pictures from our adventures in Downtown Juneau!

Look, I'm a tourist! 

Cruise ship docks (sans ships).
Cody trying to give me a heart attack.  

Cody pretending to fall and ACTUALLY giving me a heart attack.  

Posing where the boats tie up when they dock. 

Downtown.  Rows and rows of shops to enjoy :)  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lately in The Last Frontier….

It has been a busy week.  I spent most of it in parent-teacher conferences (ugh).  Only four weeks left until summer vacation! Woo!!

Other than conferences, I spent my time this week cutting up milk cartons to use as flower pots for my students upcoming week of spring-themed lessons….

Enjoying the little things about Juneau, there is nothing like a rainbow over the ocean….

Attempting to sell this very Alaska-ish truck that we bought when we first moved to town…..

Cooking delicious and healthy meals to keep our tummies happy (recipe to come)…..

And, celebrating a birthday by gearing up for an evening cookout/bonfire.  I threw on my xtratuff boots, wool socks, and insulated rain coat.  I feel like such an Alaskan, hah!  (Btw-people were cooking moose burgers at this party, MOOSE BURGERS!!)

Busy weeks usually lead to relaxing weekends so I have no complaints.  Today I am just going to enjoy the sun and warm weather.  I may even spend the afternoon reading on my front porch and getting a little Vitamin D.  Life is pretty darn good :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April (Snow) Showers

In many places, April is a time of sun, warm weather, children frolicking in the sun…..

Not in Juneau.  It has been two weeks with hurricane-force winds, frequent snowfall, and torrential downpours.  Thankfully, it cleared up on Saturday and Sunday just enough to allow us to enjoy some amazingly spring-like weather.  No complaints about the recent upswing in the weather.  We are happy, Specks is happy, all is right with the world.

This weekend we did lots of exploring.  We walked the Gastineau Channel Bridge, which connects Douglas Island (where we live) with Juneau and all surrounding little Juneau-burbs.  The wind made it a chilly trip but the views more than made up for it.

We also went out to Auke Rec, which is located in Auke Bay (about 20min from our house).  Auke Bay itself is in the direction of "Out The Road" aka where Juneau becomes unconnected with the rest of society.  Gorgeous views as well (and much warmer).

Finally, we spent some time over the weekend sitting on our front porch, enjoying frosty beverages,  cooking out, and spending some quality time with one another.  Life is good :)

Beginnings of a cooking fire.  

Do you "explore" your town? 
What are your favorite weekend activities? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Warm Quinoa Salad & Vegan Fettucini Alfredo

Soooo….I have been slacking just a bit a whole lot on posting anything food-related lately.  So, here are two of my favorite recipes from recent meals.  The first is Warm Quinoa Salad and the second is Vegan Fettucini Alfredo.  Pretty dang tasty if you ask me.

Warm Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups edamame
Olive oil
Squish of lemon juice

Directions: Toast quinoa in dry skillet for 4-5 minutes or until it starts to smell deliciously popcorn-like. Bring broth to a boil in a medium-sized pan.  Add quinoa to boiling broth. Add seasoning.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 7-8minutes.  Add edamame beans (**note: I sauteed mine first with some spicy goodness ahead of time for about 2minutes) and let cook for an additional 7-8minutes.  Remove from heat.  Let cool for about 5minutes, squish with lemon juice, and then add on top of a delicious salad!

Fettucini Alfredo Sauce (V) with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
2tbs flour
2tbs garlic
3 tbs nutritional yeast
1tbs non-dairy sour cream (Tofutti is a great option)
1 1/2tbs olive oil
Italian seasonings (all kinds welcome!)

Directions: Heat oil on med-high in a saucepan.  Put garlic in the pan for 2-3minutes.  Then add flour and whisk to create a thick, roux-like substance.  Stir in milk slowly.  Cook on medium for 4-5minutes.  Add seasoning, nutritional yeast, and sour cream.  **For brussels sprouts:  Heat oven to 450F.  Season sprouts.  Cook for 20minutes.  Add to sauce when complete.  Woo!

These are two pretty quick, easy recipes.  They are both packed with awesomeness as well.  Try them out!

Do you like brussels sprouts?  They seem to be a much hated food! 
Do you cook vegan ever?  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring has Sprung

Spring has Sprung here in Juneau!! At least it has for a day or two.

Cody, Specks, and I spent our amazingly spring-ish Sunday hiking with friends out on both Bluff Trail and Rainforest Trail on Douglas Island (the island that we live on-connected to Juneau by bridge).  The weather was very warm, almost 50F!  The views were some of the best that I have seen since arriving in Juneau thanks to the abundance of sun.

Rainforest Trail. 

Beach-y views with my favorite boy. 

After hiking we tucked into this delicious meal of Vegan Fettucini Alfredo with Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  Cody had his with some freshly caught halibut but I enjoyed mine the veggie way (salad not pictured).  Perfect end to the weekend!

Yummmm… sprouts. 

I promise to post the recipe to this and some of my other recent dishes this week.  I know I have been slacking!  But, with it being Spring and all I need to step up my game.  Recipes to come, scouts honor.

Do you hike for exercise? 
What is your favorite veggie dish?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Snowy Saturdays

After a week of beautiful weather and decent temperatures I had high hopes that spring had arrived.  I was wrong. So, terribly wrong….

We got about 4inches of snow last night out of the blue.  Specks is thrilled, Cody and I not so much.

Anyways, I tucked into this delicious breakfast this morning.  I mushed the recipe together from a few different blogs that I read.  It was AMAZING.  Seriously.  If you are a breakfast person, you need to try this out.  Check out the recipe.

1/2cup oats
1cup water
1tbs chunky peanut butter

Directions:  Cook oats to package directions on the stove top.  Cooke until almost done (2-3minutes).  Then, remove from heat an stir in peanut butter.  Top with fruit :)

After that we spent most of our day being lazy.  We ran some errands, checked out a local bookstore, and then headed back home.  We bought Les Miserables, which we are planning on watching after dinner.  I am excited to watch it because I loooooved the book.

For dinner we enjoyed a little Warm Quinoa Salad. I will post the recipe later this week because it was truly delish :)

**We woke up Sunday to some serious spring weather and we are headed out on a big hike this afternoon.  Pictures to come!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Sometimes you just have to splurge…

Cody came home with this tasty treat for me today.


I am a firm believer in healthy eating. But, I am also a firm believer in eating what your body craves and allowing a splurge now and again.  Usually my splurges are healthier than this one.  I am honest though, and I will never pretend that I eat healthy, 100% organic, all the time (at least not at this point in my life).  Here are some of my other, slightly more healthy splurges.

Newman's Organic Cookies
Stonyfield Organic Froyo
Nut Butters (all kinds welcome!)

I just can't get enough of the sweets lately so I definitely have to monitor my intake of sugar.  However, I also know that a little splurging makes me a more successful eater overall.  I figure a couple sweet treats a week more than balance out eating healthy, organic, veggie meals all the time.  Just my personal thoughts on the issue :)

What are your opinions about splurging? 
What are your favorite foods to splurge on?  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reunited With Teaching

This week I started my new job and finally got to start teaching again!!

Heading to the classroom!! 
I am teaching Pre-K for a local elementary school, basically my dream job (although I do miss my kinders).  Here is how my basic day looks.

7:30am: Arrive at GV(Glacier Valley) and set up classroom for the day
8:00am: Get students off of the bus
8:10am: Student sign in, attendance, etc.
8:15am-8:30am: Morning Meeting
8:30am-9:00am: Breakfast
9:00am-10:30am: Curriculum & Centers
10:30am-11am: Snack
11am-11:30am: Recess & Bus

Then, a new group of kiddos comes at 11:30am and we repeat the process in the afternoon.  I have a great co-teacher and a great classroom aide.  We have a VERY staffed classroom, which makes life super easy.  I get to have so much one-on-one time with kids. The kiddos finally leave between 2:50pm-3:00pm.  We also only have students in attendance Tuesday-Friday and I get ALL DAY on Monday to prep and make my classroom pretty.  Ideal?  I thinks so.  Here are a few cool Pinterest ideas that I can't wait to incorporate in my new classroom!

Sub Tub: making it easy for days when I am gone. 

I really want to make this for those freezing cold/rainy days. 

Make these for their names, great way to teach letter recognition! 

Have you ever made a big job switch? 
Teachers: Do you ever use Pinterest ideas? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter in Juneau

Cody and I celebrated Easter in a slightly different way than most of you probably did….

We cleaned our house!! Ha ha.  We have been slacking so we did a little spring cleaning today. Not very exciting, but necessary.

Then, we headed out to get our exercise on! We took Specks out to Nine Mile Creek Road again this weekend.  It is part of the Wildlife Refuge and makes for some awesome hiking and spectacular views. Specks had a big time and so did we.  Perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Specks & I taking a break from hiking. 

Cody & Specks getting ready to race. 

Cody rocking his shades in cloudy weather. 
Then, it was home to tuck into some Warm Quinoa Salad for a healthy Easter dinner.  For most, it would seem like a typical weekend, and for us it was.  But, Easter is surprisingly less exciting when you live 3,000miles away from your family and don't have kiddos. Oh well, Happy Belated Easter!!