Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Weekend

Happy Memorial Day (Weekend)!! Cody and I had a ton of fun this holiday weekend.  We were jam-packed with activities over the weekend, but no complaints about that! It was serious summer weather here in Juneau.  We had temps in the sixties and non-stop sunlight (about 18hours of it a day).  It was the perfect weekend for outdoor activities!

Saturday we went out to eat at one of Juneau's awesome restaurants, Hangar On The Wharf.  It is right on the Gastineau Channel and has the best views.  Cody had a shrimp basket and I went for this Brown Rice & Spinach Salad served with a side of GF bread.  Yum!!

Then, we spent the evening prepping some more tasty treats for a big cookout that we were part of on Saturday evening.  I made roasted asparagus, veggie kabobs, and orzo. My fellow veggie-lovers made some feta-stuffed tomatoes and homemade guacamole.  The meat-eaters cooked up some salmon, chicken, and meat kabobs.  I LOVED all of the veggie foods and ended up royally stuffing myself. I was obviously too busy eating and socializing to snap photos.

Sunday we had a little bit more of a lazy day.  We spent most of the day as a little family (the two of us and the dog).  We went for a hike on Sandy Beach here on Douglas Island.  It is the only sand beach in the Juneau-area.  We did about an hour of strolling on the beach (serious workout in the sand) and then explored this natural amphitheater-type hole on the trail.  It was a beautiful trip!

The lovely Sandy Beach. 

Cody at the "amphitheater."

Abandoned pump house, part of Treadwell Mines. 
We tucked into one of our favorite meals for  Sunday dinner, CALZONES! We seriously love these.  Mine was a veggie version (obviously) and Cody ate one with ham stuffed into it. We enjoyed them while watching the new season of Dexter (our favorite show).

Finally, we wrapped up our long weekend on Monday by enjoying some coffee and breakfast together.  We waited until low-tide, found our favorite boulder, and tucked into our meal.  Soooo relaxing and beautiful.

Then, we purged our house in an attempt to "minimize."  Cody and I have decided to try to be more minimalist (more on this later).  We took all of our extras to local places to donate them.  Goodbye books and clothes!

We wrapped up the day with an evening jog and some hula hooping (ok, only I did the hula hooping).
Hooping is one of my favorite ways to work-out and it was great to have weather nice enough to do it outside!

**Special Note:  Thanks to all those who serve in the military!  And, a special thanks to my wonderful brother in-law, who is currently serving his fourth tour overseas.  We love and miss you Ross!!

How did you spend your holiday weekend? 
Have you ever tried living more minimalist?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My First Pinterest Craft

I am one of those people.  The kind that pin 10,000 DIY projects on Pinterest.  So, I decided to finally commit to a project and test it out.  I always see people completing these awesome home projects, homemade gifts, stylish clothing designs, etc.  I can be one of those people, right?? Right!

So, I figured that there was no better craft to start with than some end of the year homemade gifts for my fellow teachers! I made pots of Brown Sugar &Vanilla Hand Scrub.  You can check out where I got the initial idea from here (the website linked with my original pin).  But, below is the recipe that I used.  Just mix everything together, scoop it into sealable pots, and voila! It turned out awesome and my fellow teachers love it!

2cups Brown Sugar
1cup Sugar
4tbs Olive Oil
Dash of Vanilla (adjust to your desired scent)
Hint of Lemon Juice (literally like three drops)

Step 1: Mixing all of the ingredients together. 

Step 2: Pour into jars (and take cute pictures). 

Step 3: Add a pretty bow and enjoy :) 

Do you use Pinterest? 
If so, do you ever make crafts from Pinterest? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Classroom Explosion!

Today's post was supposed to be about Meatless Monday.  I planned on incorporating my meal, recipe, and some awesome websites. I even had it all planned out and partially written...EPIC FAIL.  But, at least I have a good reason for my short post today.

Yes, this is my classroom.  If you have ever wondered what a teacher does the last week of school (post-students) this is what it looks like.  Boxes, trash, projects, more boxes, freebies from the library….so much stuff!! Where am I supposed to store it all???? If someone has some free storage space in Juneau, hit me up!

On the bright side, I did score these awesome free books from a kindergarten teacher.  She let me go through four whole boxes that she was getting rid of (she is transferring to be the new librarian).  Needless to say, I am building a small in-class library :) Can't wait!

My teaching career is currently a little up in the air.  I know at the very least I am transferring to teach pre-k at another local school (the program at my current building lost funding).  However, there is a possibility that I may move up to teach 1st-4th grade.  I plan on doing a longer post on this in the future.  Any insight on which grades you (teacher friends) prefer to teach, please share!

How do you organize all of your seasonal junk?? 
Teacher friends: What grade do you prefer to teach?? 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rainy Weekends in May

This weekend was a pretty relaxing one.  We spent some serious time lounging around the house, watching Dexter (our obsession), and eating tasty meals.  My meals have changed a bit over the last week thanks to a gluten issue, more on that later.  I did enjoy some tasty roasted tempeh and asparagus one night and mixed veggies with quinoa pasta another night.

There wasn't a ton of outdoorsy-ness happening this weekend for us.  It rained most of the weekend (ick) so we spent most of the days inside.  We did spend last weekend outside though so here are a couple of the "lost" pictures from that excursion to the Mendenhall Wetlands. It was only a little rainy so we managed to squeeze in about forty minutes of hiking on Sunday before the skies opened up on us.  These pictures were taken BEFORE we got soaked, ha ha.

Our lives were pretty low-key this weekend.  But, we plan on having an eventful week.  Cody and I both work for the school district, which means the last week of school is a crazy one for both of us.  Thankfully, next weekend is Memorial Day and we have three days off to spend some time and just enjoy life :)

Did you have a busy weekend or a lazy one? 
Do you usually let a little rain dampen your outdoor excursions?  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Hiatus & JAMM Concerts

Sorry for the long hiatus from blogging.  I have really been struggling to get into a schedule with my blogging.  Hopefully, over the summer I can get into some sort of regular routine. I have been checking out some websites that offer advice on making blogging a routine, but any suggestions are welcome.  All a girl can do is try!

ProBlogger: 14 Bloggers Share Their Daily Blog Routine
Fitting Blogging Into My Daily Routine

In the meantime, I have been swamped with year-end tasks that have to be accomplished before school ends.  Monday is a teacher work day, Tuesday and Wednesday we have students in attendance, and then Thursday and Friday we will be closing our classrooms down for the end of the school year.  This means so much cleaning, sorting, and packing.  I think I could probably get a job as a professional mover.  World Wide Movers, are you hiring??

We are wrapping up the year with concerts put on by JAMM (Juneau, Alaska Music Matters).  JAMM is the music program for Juneau School District and they do some amazing things for the students in our schools.  Check out their website here.  Below is a picture that I snapped of some of our students performing at Egan Library on the UAS campus this weekend.  Cody and I both had students in the program so we went to show our support.

This weekend has been fairly low-key other than the violin concert.  It has been raining like CRAZY in Juneau.  But, that is pretty much a constant for those of us living in SE Alaska (we are in a rainforest).  Hopefully, the sunny summer days are ahead of us and we can spend more time doing the things we love (hiking, running, biking, etc.)  Until then, we will endure the rain and make the most of our days :)

If you blog, how did you get into a good schedule? 
If you teach, does your school have an awesome music program? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blogger's Block

Friends, I have developed Blogger's Block. I can't think, I can't sit down, and I can't even imagine spending time at the computer.  I think I may pull through this difficult time with some effort.  Thankfully, I know what the catalyst behind this illness is…..NICE WEATHER!!

Here is a picture of my boys just taking a little nap on a rock in the ocean during low tide. We have had spectacular weather in Juneau (and most of Alaska) this week.  I just can't bring myself to spend more than five minutes indoors.  Don't worry, I am sure it will rain soon and I will go back to blogging more regularly.  Until then, go outside and enjoy :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hunting Starfish

This weekend I had one goal: find and take pictures of as many starfish as possible. Lets rewind to Tuesday.  Cody's kindergarten class took a trip to the beach and he saw a TON of starfish.  Not to mention, he saw otters, sea lions, anemones, and bunches of other awesome stuff.  So, both days this weekend we packed up the car and headed out to the beach.

We spent about two hours hiking and traversing this rough terrain on both days.  It was quite the leg workout! Totally worth it for the scenery!

Sadly, I never saw a single starfish!! I really didn't SEA much of anything (play on words-gosh I am funny).  There were literally billions of clams and mussels (and a few of them spit water at me).  I saw one cute urchin but that was about it. **Pardon the crummy picture.  I was terrified of dropping my phone in the water!

I think the rainy weather may have hindered our wildlife viewing.   Both trips were incredibly fun but I did leave feeling the teensiest bit disappointed that I didn't see anything new and exciting.  Fingers crossed that the next time we go it is a sunny day and the wildlife is on display! I can't complain toooo much though because it was lots of fun, the sights were gorgeous, and I got to spend time with this wonderful guy :)

Have you ever held a starfish?
What are your favorite sea critters?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Alaskan Awesomeness

Alaska is awesome.  Let's just all agree on that upfront.  But, here are three (of many) things that I love about the 49th state….

1.)  The local berries.  We have a blueberry bush just growing wildly by our front door.  And, there are a plethora of wild (edible) berries growing everywhere.  Free, organic food?  Sign this girl up!  Our berries aren't growing yet, but I am getting a jump on eating some store-bought goodies in preparation.

2.)  The wildlife.  Bear prints in the yard, sea otters playing in the channel, and starfish washed ashore.  We see so much unique wildlife each day.  Check out this gorgeous starfish that Cody found out at Auke Rec.

3.) The views.  We are in heart of the Tongass National Forest (a rainforest) and we are surrounded by snow-capped mountains.  This awesome view is from my house.  I stood on my front porch to take it about two months ago.  The beauty that is available in my own yard amazes me.

 Alaska is amazing.  If you haven't ever been, you need to put it on your bucket list.  Trust me :)

Have you even been to Alaska?  
If not, would you visit?