Saturday, December 15, 2012

Days 2 - 5, a Recipe, and some Thoughts.

The rest of the week just FLEW by.  It was the last week of classes, so I was just trying to keep up with all of the end of the year stuff.  Here's how I'm doing on my 2 week challenge - Poorly.  I might do something on its first day, but then I fail to carry it through.  I have been drinking my water, mainly because I have an annoying cold.

Day 2: Drink 1.5 L of water (12/11) - 1 L again, but I at least drank water.
Day 3: Regulate your meals (12/12) - My 27th birthday! - Impossible.  Students in and out during office hours.  Birthday, not my healthiest days.  No regrets.
Day 4: Make a healthy meal / snack choice (12/13) - Another crazy day and I didn't even think about what I was eating.  Eeee.
Day 5: Go for a gentle walk (12/14) - Unless you count walking from my car to the bar and back again when I went out for my birthday, no walk was had.  

Maybe I have to start over again.  


As promised, here is a recipe!  We made it tonight, and it goes well with almost any green veggie and starch. 

Buffalo Chicken Bites

- 2 - 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed to your liking (I like 1" - 2")
- 1/2 cup flour
- Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Olive Oil

1. In a medium sized bowl, place flour and mix in salt and pepper evenly.
2. Heat large pan over medium heat; pour oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  You may need to refresh the oil if all the chicken doesn't fit in the pan at once.
3. Cover each cube with flour and place in pan.  Brown on all sides.
4. Over mostly baked cubes, shake Red Hot Sauce.  This is completely to taste.  If you have little ones who are sensitive to hot things (Elliott's favorite snack is Hot 'n' Spicy Cheezits, so this is not an issue), you can use honey mustard, BBQ sauce, or some other sauce you enjoy.  
5.  A few more moments in the pan, and you're done!  

It's super easy, and usually yields leftovers, at least for our family.  They also re-heat well, so they make great lunches (packed and at home).


Finally, some thoughts.  The events of yesterday have definitely upset me, but not just because I'm outraged that something like this happened again.  My sister is a first grade teacher.  She adores her students and just knowing that these little ones were the same age as her kiddos makes it even more real.  I'm planning on writing my Congressman and Senator, and hopefully you are too.  Around the holidays, it is easy to find a lot of worthy charities and ways to help.  One of my favorite blogs, MODG, is running a program where those in need can make requests, and those of us who can help try to make their holidays easier.  

- M.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Over the Web.

Hey!  Today my guest post for Early Mama went up, so check it out!

I discuss carving out spaces for student moms, which is a must if you want to be successful.

If any new readers have stumbled over here thanks to Early Mama, welcome!  Comment and introduce yourself.  You can also follow us --------->

- M.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 1: Eat a piece of fruit.

Okay, this one was pretty easy.  Since Elliott started on solids, we've had a lot more fresh foods in our house.  I had a banana with lunch and that was that.  It could have been a little riper, but oh well.  However, I brought it from home.  If I hadn't packed a snack and had to rely on the cafeteria, I would have had to choose between melon and more melon.  Not in season, no thank you.

Tomorrow is drink 1.5 L of water.  I drank water only today just to see how much I normally drink if I have a water bottle.  I actually drink one liter to begin with, so tomorrow is going to involve a lot of trips to the little ladies room, but it won't feel like a burden.  The exercise days are going to suck.

Semester is almost over.  I got my early birthday present (a sweet sweet new camera).  Going out for my birthday for the first time in three years.  Life is pretty good.

- M.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Two Weeks.

When I was pregnant, I really considered everything that went into my body.  I drank a lot of water, ate more green leafy veggies and protein, and exercised.  I got out of the habit of exercising during those 6 weeks of rest after giving birth, and although I've tried to get back on the exercise train, it hasn't become a real habit.  I drink more water than pre-pregnancy, but not near enough.  My diet is a joke.  It's difficult to eat well on our campus...very difficult...and very expensive.

I saw this list of things to try for two weeks.  You add another one each day, and they are real baby steps on the path to living healthier.  I figure I'll give it a try and report back here periodically.

Day 1: Have a piece of fruit (12/10)
Day 2: Drink 1.5 L of water (12/11)
Day 3: Regulate your meals (12/12) - My 27th birthday!
Day 4: Make a healthy meal / snack choice (12/13)
Day 5: Go for a gentle walk (12/14)
Day 6: Throw a compliment at someone (12/15)
Day 7: Drink 2 L of water (12/16)
Day 8: Get up earlier (12/17)
Day 9: Make another healthy meal choice (12/18)
Day 10: Do a plank (12/19)
Day 11: Spend 10 minutes gently stretching (12/20)
Day 12: Have a portion of green veggies (12/21)
Day 13: Substitute an unhealthy snack (12/22)
Day 14: Powerwalk (12/23)

That takes us right up to Christmas Eve.  Those two days are BUSY BUSY BUSY, so I'm not going to try fitting in anything specific.  It'll be challenge enough to keep things regular enough for Mr. E.

Finally, I have exciting news: I'm making my debut as a guest contributor to Early Mama this week!  I wrote about making spaces at home, work, and school for the student mom.  My articles there will be primarily for early moms / students, particularly graduate students, which is a very underserved group.  I know not all of my readers fall into either category, but I hope to drop some general wisdom for graduate students and younger moms alike.  I'll be sure to link up when the article appears (probably Tuesday or Wednesday).  

I'm also turning 27 this week, so there's that.  

- M.

Favorite Things: Work / School

Dear Readers: Welcome (or welcome back!)

As Christmas approaches, I find that many of my favorite blogs do series highlighting their favorite things.  I thought, "Gee, I like things."  So, here is the first of my lists.  I also plan on having lists for books, house, kids, craft, beauty, and man.  But first: Work and school supplies!

I L-O-V-E office supplies.  It's part of my Type A-ness.  Without further ado, organization!

Moleskine Le Petit Prince Weekly Planner - Large ($22.95)

I am a Moleskine fanatic, so it should be noted that I have used a Moleskine planner for the last three years exclusively.  The year I had Elliott, I even bought a second planner that had a monthly calendar, so I could keep track of EVERYTHING.

2012 saw me using the Extra Large soft cover Weekly planner.  The layout is the best.  One side has each day of the week with plenty of space to write appointments and lists, while the other side is just lined paper.  Here I put a weekly to-do list, list of readings for class, craft assignments, and chores.

2013 will see me using the Special Edition Le Petit Prince Weekly Planner.  I find that book enchanting, so I was in love with the little address book, desk calendar, and cover illustrations.  It's also hardback.  They also have Peanuts, Star Wars, and Lego planners (I didn't know about them when I bought the Petit Prince planner, because you can bet I'd have a Star Wars planner).

Papermate Flair Felt-Tipped Pens (16 Pack) ($23.99)

One of my best friends and I became obsessed with these in college.  We used it for projects and our notes in class and our notes to each other on our bathroom mirror.  We are never without them.  The colors are really vibrant and fun, my favorites being navy, tangerine, lime, and plum.

Staples Better View Binders (any size) (starts at $8.99)

These are far and away the best binders for long term projects, research, or even a home organization binder.  They have an insert for a cover sheet, as well as an easy-to-insert spine label.  They come in a lot of sizes and fun colors.  I use mine for my professional development materials and for my genealogical research (3").

Mead Flex Hybrid Notebook ($14.59)

The Staples binders are good for things you don't need to carry around, but the Mead Flex Hybrid Notebooks are lightweight, and they have dividers and paper already inside.  I use them for teaching and for conferences, since they are easy to travel with as well.

Avery Style Edge Insertable Dividers ($5.19)

Dividers are dividers, but if you need them to last long term, I highly recommend these.  They are sturdy plastic and reusable.  They are also pretty colors.  So, there's that.

I have a real thing for office supplies and this post could go on for days, so I'll end there.  Any other questions about the supplies I use / love?  Comment!

- M.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Beehive.

Our home should be nicknamed "The Beehive" because we are one busy family lately!  The semester is winding down, which means that it's the craziest time of the year for a student / teacher.  I have papers to write, papers to grade, and projects to finish.  I had a mock lecture last week, and I could not be more happy that I got it over with.  It's one thing to lecture to your students, but it's a whole other thing to lecture to peers and professors.  ACK!  I also had some crochet commissions, and while it made things a little more crunched, I'm very thankful.

Jason has been busy starting a side business.  As I have mentioned before, my hubby is quite the chef.  He makes mouth-watering meals, but he is a gifted baker.  He will spend Christmas break getting things in order, and hopefully will be ready to take cookie orders soon.  He's testing and taking orders from close friends and family now, but I can't wait for him to move forward in this thing he loves.

Elliott is teething again and growing like a weed.  We are waiting for him to say his first words other than Mama and Dad (the latter of which he loves to yell when he wakes up).  He also does a number of "tricks," or little animal sounds we taught him.  We also taught him some other imitations, such as Julia Child:

M or D: E, what does Julia Child do?
E: OOoooooh!

I keep meaning to record them, because they are all so cute.

Finally, keep an eye out, because I'm one of Early Mama's new guest contributors, focusing on being a student / mom / teacher.  I will submit my first post tonight, so I'll be sure to link it here when it debuts.  If you are a mom (early or otherwise), check out Early Mama.  She is highlighting a number of Mom blogs that are really just the best.

- M.

P.S.: Looking for those easy recipes I mentioned weeks ago?  One of them is already on my blog (Cheesy Crab Soup), while some of the others are at One Sleepy Chef, over on the side-bar.