Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Die for Crock Pot Roast

This is a super easy crock pot recipe and oh so good. Probably one of my favorite roast recipes that I've ever had.

To Die for Crock Pot Roast

From Food.com


    • 1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, any kind
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages brown gravy mix, dry
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages dried Italian salad dressing mix
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages ranch dressing mix, dry
    • 1/2 cup water ( I honestly probably added around 1 cup)
    • I added half of an onion cut into fairly large pieces, some russet potatoes and carrots


  1. Place beef roast in crock pot.
  2. Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast. (I added the veggies at this point)
  3. Pour the water around the roast.
  4. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School

We are officially back in school. I always forget how different the beginning of the year is from the rest of the year. My goodness its exhausting! Now don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but it is exhausting. I laughed Monday when I came home from the first day of school with undoubtedly the biggest class that I've ever had (thank you Texas State legislature...please get registered to vote, check out the voting record of your current representatives and make sure to vote in the next election if you love me/any other educators at all) and found that I had received my new passport..haha..but no worries, I did return to school the second day : ) I am excited to learn about each of the little people that I have in my class and to help them grow this year.
My kinder team this year!
My two sweet friends that started their teaching careers with me in August of 2007. We were 3/8 of the kindergarten team that year. I absolutely loved working with them and am so thankful for the friendships that were made! Here's to our fifth year, girls!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

Easy, fairly quick recipe from The Pioneer Woman:

Mini Meatball Sandwiches
from The Pioneer Woman


  • 1 pound Ground Chuck Or Ground Beef
  • ½ cups Panko Or Other Bread Crumbs
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 jar (large) Marinara Sauce
  • 12 whole Dinner Rolls (or Slider Rolls)
  • 4 slices Provolone Cheese, Cut Into Four Wedges Each

Preparation Instructions

Mix meat with bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and milk. Knead together with hands. Roll into heaping tablespoon-sized rolls.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for one minute. Add meatballs between the onions and brown for one minute. (You might have to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet.)

Pour in jar of marinara; shake pan gently to mix. Put on lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, cut each dinner roll in half. Place a wedge of Provolone on the top and bottom of each roll. Spoon a meatball with the sauce onto the bottom bun; top with the top bun.

Serve immediately!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This weekend we got to get away to Surfside for the weekend with some friends for one last hoorah before school started. We enjoyed a house on the beach, yummy food, fishing, beach time, games and time with friends. I got to run on the beach where I ran my first half. I for some reason was not in a huge picture taking mood, but did manage to snag these from a more faithful photog.
The Guys

The Girls

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eli Young Band

On Tuesday night, Eli Young Band was in Spring (which is super close to where we live), so Meagan and I headed over with some friends to see them. When we got there, they were playing a set outside so we got to hear some songs while we were waiting in line. They played my favorite of their songs, "Crazy Girl," so that was super exciting : )

They were awesome and there was not a single song that they played that I didn't like. What a fun night!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Diabetes Drama

For the most part, I do not complain about my diabetes (Cody, mom and dad you may disagree..), but I can think of 3 specific occasions right now where it has been a big nuisance.

1. During Spring Break of my 8th grade year, my family went on a ski trip to Crested Butte. On our way home I can't remember exactly what happened, but supper time came up and we were in a tiny airport that had no options of food but vending machines. At this point I was taking 2 shots a day and I had to eat certain amounts at certain times. Well I ended up having to eat my carbohydrates from a vending machine and I just really didn't want to. This + a low blood sugar (remember low blood sugars have a big impact on my moods) resulted in a "fit" in the airport which included the words, "its just not fair." Oh I shudder at the thought...I am now publicly apologizing to my mom, dad and brother. : )

2. I was on drill team in high school. I loved drill team. I worked really hard to be the best dancer I could be. Each year we went to drill team camp for a week to learn all of our football halftime routines. At the end of camp, we performed a "show-off" for our parents. Physical activity makes your blood sugar drop faster than it normally would on its own. As we walked in for our show-offs my junior year, I realized that my blood sugar was dropping. We went through the first dance and then I started crying (low blood sugar = extreme moods for SB), told my director that my blood sugar was low. She had the entire drill team sit down while I ate fruit snacks and to bring my blood sugar back up. I am very glad that she was kind enough to want to wait to include me, but oh my goodness, I could've died. I was so embarrassed.

3. Today was our convocation. We had been given instruction to make sure that we were on time and to account for all of the traffic as our district was large. My kinder team made arrangements to ride together and we got there so early. As we got out of the car, I realized that my pump had fallen out of my stomach. We were going to be up there all day and there was no way that I could go without my pump for that long. I was 25 minutes from my house and had ridden with other people and did not have my car. One of my sweet teammates had to drive me all the way back home (which was trafficy b/c we were headed towards town) and then back to the convocation. Thank goodness for sweet friends.

Now for the positives so that I don't leave you with a wah-wah-wah feeling
*If I was running late for class in high school, I may or may not have run to the nurse's office to check my blood sugar so that I could get a pass to class.
*I got to eat snacks in class regardless of whether or not we were supposed to..or I actually needed them..I mean, I'm diabetic
*I had the best pediatric doctor and nurses. I LOVED going to see them!
* My favorite excuse to get out of doing something usually includes the words "but I mean I am diabetic..."

Be looking for info soon on a possible team for the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes in H-town again this year. Go Team Sage!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Y'all we had rain today!!!! It was like manna from heaven and our grass was rejoicing! The only one not rejoicing was the 84 lb puppy hiding from the thunder...oh my... Look in the middle of the picture, behind the black shoes, kind of under the pants...that's her hiding spot

Friday, August 12, 2011

This is it...

the last official day of summer (but let's be completely honest, I've been up at the school everyday this week...not today though!)! Not that I am complaining though. I do realized how blessed I am as a teacher to have such a big break during the summer!
Monday starts meetings and such and then the following Monday starts the 2011-2012 school year!! Please be in prayer for:
1) The new sweet babies that will be in my class.
2)Pray for their mommies who may be apart from them for the first time
3)And I have a few specific prayer requests for me. I am starting grad school. I am a very organized person, but know that this will be adding on a whole new amount of work. Please pray that I use my time wisely and that I can give all of the love and attention that I need to 1)my husband and pups 2)my kiddos 3)my grad school work 4)my Fit girls (a running program I'm starting for girls at our school this fall), 5)my friends and my running.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Dr. Seuss - I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
Dr. Seuss - Oh The Places You'll Go

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

I have never made Chicken Spaghetti. I know that this is such a staple food so I think that it is weird that I have never made it. Whilst searching for recipes the other day on Pioneer Woman, I came across this Chicken Spaghetti recipe. It was very simple and had a very traditional chicken spaghetti taste..it was a hit at our house! We had guests and our house this night that were unaware of my obsession with photographing and posting my recipes on the blog, so I refrained. No picture for you today. I did however serve this with a salad made up of spinach, strawberries, blueberries, feta and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. For dessert we had the thin mints and ice cream sandwiches.

Chicken Spaghetti
from The Pioneer Woman


  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

*Next time I will freeze half of it prior to cooking and only cook half of it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Szechwan Shrimp

I had the shrimp that I had purchased from Katie's in Galveston and was searching for recipes that were 1. easy and 2. that I already had all of the ingredients for. A friend suggested cooking Szechwan Shrimp. I found a recipe on All Recipes and decided to try it out. (Since the shrimp was fresh, I had to devein. I also started off by cooking the shrimp in boiling water and draining.)
Szechwan Shrimp
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces cooked shrimp, tails removed

1. In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened.

*I steamed broccoli and added it into the mixture just prior to serving. I also served it over cooked rice that I had added soy sauce and crushed red pepper to. This was a super quick, easy and fairly healthy dinner.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Repurposed Window

My Aunt Nancy lives in a beautiful colonial home. Last year they began replacing windows and as they have replaced them, they have so graciously shared them with the fam. My parents turned theirs into a picture frame in their living room. If you know you my house, you know that I do not need any more picture frames, so I've struggled with what to turn it into. After much time on blogs and pinterest I finally decided how to use the window.
Three of the panes I wanted to be magnetic, so I went to Home Depot and got 3 stainless steel sheets. I carefully cut them (my goodness that was hard to cut without cutting my thumb!) to fit the panes and attached them with Gorilla Glue. After that had dried, I used Elmer's glue to attach brown damask paper that I had cut to fit. (It was not quite long enough, so I had to use brown paper to cover where the two pieces met).
On the other three panes, I attached sage green paper with masking tape behind the window pane so that I could use those panes as dry erase boards.
Cody attached a z-clip to the back of the window and the wall.
As I got ready to take a picture of it to share with y'all, I realized that our desk was a mess, so after cleaning it up I decided that I needed a book end.
In our garage I found two pieces of wood to nail together. I used a can of spray paint to make it white and then hot glued an "s" onto it (that I had already painted green to go on this wreath, but it just didn't look right on the wreath).

While the book end was drying, I found a mason jar in our kitchen that I covered with some of the leftover paper from the window, so that I can use it for pens, highlighters and pencils. Basically, I got the desk ready for grad school...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thin Mints

I love Thin Mints. I teach in an elementary school which means that I get asked to buy a lot of Girl Scout cookies. Do I mind this? Most def. not! I always buy an obscene amount of thin mints and they always mysteriously seem to disappear. Well since we are out of girl scout cookie season, I decided to try The Little Kitchen That Could's Thin Mint recipe.
(This is not a recipe the can be made quickly in one afternoon. There is a lot of freezing/cooling that has to occur between steps).

Thin Mints
From the Little Kitchen that Could
for the cookies:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
for the coating:
12 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
parchment paper
Step by Step
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. With mixer on low speed, add the milk and the extracts. The mixture will resemble curdled milk. Slowly add the flour mixture until well incorporated and fluffy.

Shape dough into two long logs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (4 cm). Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours, until very firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into round no more than 1/4 inch thick. Slice carefully so they are as close to the same thickness as possible. You will have some very soft and others very hard if they differ too much in thickness. Make sure they are no more than 1/4 inch thick or they won't be crispy. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies can be very close together because they will not spread much at all.

Bake for 13 minutes (see recipe notes); until the edges of the cookie are firm. Allow cookies to cool completely. In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Remove and stir; continue microwaving in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.

Dip each cookie in melted chocolate and rotate to cover whole cookie. Using a fork, scrape off extra chocolate so there is a thin coating. Place cookies on parchment paper or wax paper to allow to cool and set; at least 45 minutes. Reheat chocolate as necessary to keep is smooth and easy to dip into.

*I keep these cookies frozen until ready to serve. They do not taste exactly like Thin Mints, but do have the yummy chocolate/minty combo.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Taking a cue from the Little Kitchen That Could, I made ice cream cookies sandwiches to help fight this extreme heat. (As a disclaimer: Do not make if 1. you are staying home all day 2. you are the main person in your house that eats sweets or 3. you have no self control....I might have eaten a lot of these...)

I started off by making my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
* 1 cup chopped nuts (I usually leave these out)
PREHEAT oven to 375° F (Our oven cooks hotter so we do 350)
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

After the cookies completely cooled, I took out a gallon of our favorite Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. It cannot be beat! Yumm! I let it get really soft and then scooped a small amount into the middle of one cookie and placed another cookie of the same size on top. The sandwiches were placed in the freezer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to freeze. Once they were sufficiently frozen, I put the cookies in a ziploc baggie and refroze.

PS: Houston friends..come eat the ice cream sandwiches or my weight and blood sugar will suffer....they're really good! : )

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bowtie Lasagna

On Monday, I processed some more of the deer meat. This is exactly what every hunter hopes for: That he will bring home his prized deer and his wife will process the meat with a pink Kitchen Aid mixer into a pink mixing bowl in a very pink kitchen. Obvi a dream come true!
Afterwards, I was trying to figure out a good quick recipe using said ground venison and I came across a recipe for Bowtie Lasagna from the Pioneer Woman in a series called 16-minute meals. Super easy meal from Pioneer Woman? Okay! It was wonderful and we had quite a bit still for leftovers!

Bowtie Lasagna
Pioneer Woman
  • 1 pound Ground Chuck
  • 5 cups Bow Tie Noodles
  • 3 cups Spaghetti Sauce (or Pizza Sauce, Whatever You Prefer)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (or More, Make It To Your Taste)
  • ½ cups Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
1. Boil the noodles until al dente. (follow the directions on the bag)
2. Brown the ground meat.
3. Drain the pasta and dump it over the top of the browned meat.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the noodles.
5. Pour the marinara or pasta sauce over the noodles.
6. Add garlic powder, italian seasoning and salt.
7. Add the mozarella and sour cream.
8. Stir it all together on low heat just until combined.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beach Day

I am ever so grateful that as a teacher, I have time off in the summers. I really am. I teach summer school, the past two years have taught a week long science camp, take staff development courses and catch up on doctors appointments, but I still have plenty of time off to play. No complaints here : )
Well as summer is drawing to a close, I thought we needed to squeeze out at least one more beach day. On Tueday, I headed down to Galveston with Meagan, Lauren and their puppies, Toby and Lyla (in my defense, I have two pups. The smaller one who would have fit well with the group is not a fan of the water. Ellie does not like being left alone without Chloe. Ellie LOVES the water, but then I would've felt bad about leaving Chloe, so the pups stayed home and played together).
We spent some good time on the beach relaxing, chatting, playing with the puppies and soaking up a little sun (a little too much for me...I might have gotten a little sunburned..).

Then before heading back, we ran over to Pier 19 and visited Katie's seafood market. We picked up some fresh shrimp to bring home to cook. I was tempted to also get some fresh tilapia or salmon, but they still had faces....and I didn't think I could muster up the strength to clean them. Maybe if I go back with Cody sometime he'll be braver than I. Katie's is definitely a great place to stop for some fresh fish.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

(Kind of Late) Weekend Wrap Up

This past weekend we got to go home to spend a few days with our families. We got in Friday evening and go to see both families before getting to bed fairly early.
We got up super early Saturday morning to head out to the Gregg County Airport for the Great Texas Balloon Race. This is a big event for the Longview area. They have balloon races, competitions, balloon glows, tents set up selling all kinds of things and country concerts at night. Due to the extreme heat and large crowds, we opted to go see the competition that took place at 6:30 on Saturday morning. We saw the key grab competition.

Afterwards, I headed over to the new Paul Borman Trail. Longview has connected a lot of its parks to create a 3ish mile trail that stretches from the Loop to Highway 80. It was super shaded which was amazing since I didn't start my run until after 9. Everything was so new and is kept very clean which is also very nice. The only negative I saw was a lack of water fountains, but I always bring my own water in the summer so that wasn't even an issue (and I later learned that the water fountains are in the parks that I passed through..).

I ran by starbucks on my way back to the Sage House to get a little pick-me-up and ran into my dad! I love that!! Wish we lived close enough to run into family on a daily basis.
Mom and I then went up to her school for the afternoon to organize some of her books.
Then both families headed out to the barndominium for dinner.
We spent the night out there and enjoyed time on the Gator, relaxing outside of a city and practicing shooting.

Chloe got a haircut last week. Doesn't she look pretty? : )

We went to church on Sunday before lunch and games with both families before heading back to Houston. It was a wonderful weekend where we got to relax and spend some good quality time with our families.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Today I am going to brag...not on myself, don't you worry, but on my momma.
My mom loves to bake and is super crafty (hm...crazy that I have those interests too!). She has taught me everything that I know about baking and she has also been working since I was little to get me sewing (I can hand stitch, but am currently working on threading the bobbin on my sewing machine sans help.....). I thought I would share two of her latest crafts.

1. Our living room needed a little extra color (the couch specifically). I found a chocolate pillow on clearance at Target and also found some beautiful yellow cloth napkins (via help from Lauren and the craft idea from her also). When we went home this weekend, mom quickly stitched 2 of the napkins together on 3 sides. I brought the covers back, put two couch pillows in them and sewed up the top and instant color! (Did I mention that she has sewed A LOT of things in our house..numerous pillows, curtains, etc).

2. For a wedding shower this weekend, mom made mini cupcakes into a center piece and they looked AMAZING! See?

She made these by making mini cupcakes (some chocolate and some white) and icing with cream cheese icing (that had a little meringue powder to set the icing a little more). She then placed a styrofoam ball in each silver bowl and used toothpicks to attach the cupcakes. After completing the entire arrangement, she added in leaves to give it more of a floral arrangement look. Amazing, right!? Now if only I can find the right occasion to make one too! : )