Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Blog Hop!

Well hello blog hoppers! My name is Amber and I am a senior at the University of Alabama! I will graduate in May with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education! I love to cook, it's my favorite hobby! That's why most people read my blog in the first place! So, look around, check it out, and follow me for a crazy, crazy ride to graduation and scarily enough, becoming a teacher!

This is me!

This is me and my baby brother, he's 16 and already 6'2!

This is my sweet little dog Trixie! She is the most loving dog ever! People always comment that little dogs are usually grouchy, but not this one! She's my sweetheart!

I love Alabama Football!!
This picture is well......enough said!

I LOVE going to the beach!
I could live there!

Well, that's really a short about me! But look around and thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to my blog! Just hop around and thanks for stopping by!
MckLinky Blog Hop

My Life!

I always get asked, "Why don't you ever call me anymore?" Or, "Where have you been? I haven't seen you in months!" Well guys, this is where I am! I am always doing something for school or work or a classroom. It's really overwhelming at times so no, I don't just pick up the phone to chit chat with people that I used to talk to on a daily basis. I mean, I hardly have enough time for my boyfriend and dog!

To some, my life may seem boring, stressful, or hectic...but to me... I love it! I wouldn't have it any other way. I have a cousin, Megan, and she is a nurse. I mean, bless anyone's soul who will go through nursing school and be a nurse. I used to want to be a nurse. Then I realized that it was a disgusting job and I hate the hours that you have to work and it's just draining. I saw where she was clearly getting tired of working her job and other nurses were also saying how miserable they were and that got me thinking that my life isn't as bad as I think it is. I mean, yes I have bookoos of stuff due every day and plenty of non-sense work to do but really, I'm doing this because I love the career I have chosen to do for the rest of my life! I cannot imagine dreading waking up to get ready to go to work. Why yes, every job has its bad day, but my job has plenty more good days than bad.

For example, there are some kids that I have taught that have been just straight up brats! These kids have more than I do and probably ever will. They do not respect you as a teacher and do not care what kind of activity you have planned for them because they have probably already done something like it at home and had more fun. But, then there are the kids that show up to school so happy to be there because this is their only meal of the day or because this is the only place they have air conditioning or heat. These are the kids that come to school because I, as a teacher, am all they have! These kids love me with all of their hearts and I love them too! They appreciate it when you get up there and teach to them. They really appreciate it when you bring them a fun activity to do with your lesson. These kids are why I will never hate my job and never dread going to work. These kids need me.

So, no longer will I gripe and complain about my life because honestly, I think I have made the best career choice for myself! No, teachers don't get paid well and no, teachers are not respected but I'm not doing it for money and I am most definitely not doing it to please other adults. I am doing it for my students. For the students I have this semester, the students I will have next semester, the students I had a year ago, and the students I will have ten years from now.

Well, this turned into a strange post. I never really get my feelings out like that but I'm glad I did. My basic message is this, if you hate your job and career you have chosen, don't just stick with it because that's the easy way, do what YOU want to do! My family about laid out a brick house when I told them I was not going to be a nurse and that I was coming to the University of Alabama to be a teacher. You have to do what's best for you and if you do that, you will always be happy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm still alive!

Well, I have been gone FOREVER! Actually, I haven't really went anywhere....I've just been victimized of Fall semester of my senior year! It has been INTENSE! Let me start where I left off!

I am placed at Northport Elementary School in 1st grade this semester! I love 1st grade! It is the grade I wanted for my internship, but I'm actually pretty glad I got it this semester because going from 5th grade to 1st grade has been a crazy experience! I love the students though, they are amazing! I have a German student in my class who speaks nothing but German. That has been an experience in itself. Can you imagine being in 1st grade in Germany or rather yet sending your 1st grade child to school in Germany by himself?! I know I can't! I go to that school every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7:45-3:15. I do a lot of teaching this semester but I'm very glad because that means hopefully I will be prepared for my internship next semester! Also, can I just tell you that there are only 33 days left of school for me this semester! I feel like I could die! That makes me so happy! I am so ready to be done and graduate and get married and have my own classroom!

I have also been working on my Social Studies unit that I will teach at the end of the semester. I am teaching Thanksgiving! At first I thought these kids wouldn't like it because they already know everything but I was so wrong! I asked one of the little boys why the Pilgrims came to America and he told me "To chase them rainbows and catch the gold at the end of them." I laughed when he said this then he said, "Why are you laughin'? They needed money!" lol It was the cutest thing ever! My students have no knowledge of Thanksgiving so I have my hands full when it comes to teaching that!

With Fall semester comes football and Fall weather! Speaking of football....can I just PLEASE get a Roll Tide!! This Saturday was our Homecoming against South Carolina! Is that not crazy? Why on Earth would we play an SEC team for Homecoming?! OH well, it was a GREAT win! It was so cold but so worth it! Also, this Saturday is our biggest rivalry game.....Tennessee! Ugh, I feel almost dirty just typing that word! We will most definitely tear them apart! I can't wait!

Fall weather is my favorite in the world! I just love it! I love my highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's. It's just perfect to me! With that weather comes food! I love warm, comforting food in the Fall and Winter! So, I have been cooking. I have a killer good chicken casserole and homemade macaroni and cheese recipe at the end of this post! Check it out!

But, I need to go. I have a million lesson plans to write and I need to finish these parts of my unit that are do and type up a reflection! Ahh!

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This makes a really big pan but I like to have it for leftovers for lunch throughout the week!

Here's what you need:
2 cups of elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp of butter
1/8 cup of all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk (you'll need a little extra too)
1 tsp of dried mustard (I promise, you need it.)
1 beaten egg
80z of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper

Preheat the oven to 350

First, boil your macaroni. You want to make sure that you undercook it just a bit.
I suggest only boiling it for about 7 minutes because it will cook more in the oven.

Next, beat your egg in a separate bowl and set it aside.

In a LARGE pot, melt the butter and the flour together on medium-low heat. Whisk these two together for about 3-5 minutes or until well blended. You have to continually whisk it or it will burn.

Next, add milk and dried mustard and whisk until smooth.
Cook this for about 3-5 minutes.
It will start to get really thick like gravy.
It gets really thick really fast so you want to make sure that you watch it.
If it gets too thick like mine always does, just add a little more milk.
It needs to be creamy/thick not chunky/thick or runny/thick.

This is how it should look!
Once it looks like this, take a 1/4 cup measure and
pour some of this into the bowl with the beaten egg.
This is called tempuring. If you put the egg straight into the pot
you will have scrambled eggs! So, tempur the egg with this mixture by whisking it in the bowl, then add it to the pot and whisk it together.

Once it is smooth, you can then add the best part.....CHEESE!
Save a little bit of the cheese because that is what you will top it off with.

Now, whisk this all together until it is really smooth.
At this point is where you add the salt and pepper.
Please, don't be stingy.

Once you have tried the cheese sauce and it is to your liking, then you can add the drained macaroni noodles.
Mix it together well.
I just add a little bit of noodles at a time. Sometimes you can add too much and not every piece will be cheesy goodness. So, just add it a little at a time so you can make sure each piece has PLENTY of cheese on it!

Once it has been mixed together, pour it into a buttered or sprayed dish.
This night I only made a small pan because it was just for me, but other times I cook it in
my glass 13x9 dish. You can also cook this in a casserole dish.

Then add some more cheese to the top.

Then pop it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
You want it to be bubbly and starting to brown!


My favorite home-cooked meal in the whole world.......

It's so super easy and cheap! I mean it literally takes like 5 steps!

Now, some of you don't eat anything with the word casserole in it, so just call it Poppyseed Chicken and add some poppyseeds and no one will ever know!

Here's what you need:
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers (you can use store brand like I did)
2 chicken breasts
1 8 oz container of sour cream
2 cans of cream of chicken soup

First things first, season your chicken breasts with some salt and pepper and boil them for about 20-25 minutes.
Once they are done, shred them up into a LARGE bowl.

Then add your sour cream and soups to the chicken and stir.

Next, pour that mixture into the bottom of a buttered or sprayed dish. Here's where my macaroni dish went off too....hmmm...I wonder if I had them together that night?!

Next, crush up an entire sleeve of crackers. I just crush them up in the sleeve then open it and pour them on top.

Next, dot the top with butter.

Then, bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Then serve it up with some homemade macaroni and cheese and there you go!
A delicious, warm, comfort food that should now be a favorite of yours!

Go try it!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

When life gives you peaches.....

So bloggy world...what all have you been up to lately? I for one have had a great week! The Tide beat the Hokies after one high blood pressure causing game! I swear, I think that being a Bama fan will take 5-10 years off of your life. It's ridiculous. But as always, we pulled it out! I sold my student ticket for this weekend. I just really don't want to deal with all of the traffic and mess and it isn't really a good game anyway. I will just watch it on espn360 online because well, it's PPV and I'm not paying for that either. Besides, I will also be watching Mississippi State whoop up on Auburn this weekend! Yay! I so hope MSU wins, because well, that would be the best thing ever!

Saturday before the game however, I won a bet. Justin has suddenly gotten on this tennis kick so of course he went out and got us these really nice tennis rackets and really nice tennis balls and everything. Well, I made a bet last Thursday that I would win. The deal was that the loser had to buy Outback or Olive Garden and the winner could choose whenever to cash in on the deal. Well of course being the macho man he thinks he is, he laughed in my face and said to me, "are you sure you want to do this? You know what you are betting right?" Well if you know me at all, I am extremely competitive. I come from a competitive bloodline. And if you don't know me, well.....you just need to know. So, this of course made me want to beat him even more so we shook on it. Saturday we drove up to the Rec Center tennis courts and we played 12 matches of tennis. I won 7 matches and he won 5! So I won!! So Sunday night, I cashed in on it and we went to Olive Garden. Of course he was a baby about it and didn't want to go through with it, but a bet's a bet and I won! He assures me it will never happen again. We shall see. Just call me Amber Sharipova.

Monday of course was Labor Day. We really didn't do anything. At all. We went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch for our free chicken sandwiches that day. And in the words of Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that."

Tuesday class started back but yuck! I hate class. But they will be over soon and I will intern in January and never have to take them again. Until I get my master's, and I have to get my Master's if I plan on having a job, or a good paycheck.

That brings us to today. I had a great day today. Justin and I went to City Cafe for lunch today. This is the best place ever. If you are ever in Tuscaloosa on a Monday through Friday between 11 and 2, you have got to eat there. It's home cooking for poor college kids. I had a meat and three sides and sweet tea for five dollars. Yea I know, you want to be there now don't you.
Tonight we went to Outback. Well, we first went to Iguana Grill but according to Justin I am a "spoiled brat that always gets what they want because if I don't then everyone will be miserable and have a horrible time", I chose to go to Outback because we always go to Iguana Grill. Turns out it was a great idea though. They dropped our food on the way to the table so they gave us a free dessert after dinner. We got to choose, and since I say I am the nicest non-spoiled person ever, I chose the Nutter Butter Pie because Justin doesn't like chocolate. I could have picked what I wanted, the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under, but I'm nice. Spoiled schmoiled!

Well, now I have nothing to do but sit around and wait for next week. I start my school next Wednesday. I'm pretty excited! Actually, I'm MEGA excited! I'm so ready to have a 1st grade class and lucky me, my aunt teaches 1st grade so yay! I have all the lesson plans and activities I need! We had to choose a picture to put on our form. So the picture had to be a nice professional one because the first impression is always the biggest deal. Here are the two pictures I decided to choose from.

Justin told me to choose the top one because the bottom one took part of my head off. So, of course I listened to him. What do y'all think I should have chose?

Oh, to my title here. I'm sure you've all been wondering, "alright dummy let's get to the peaches." Calm down, I'm getting there! When life gives you peaches, make peach cobbler!! If you know my family, then you know we love some peach cobbler. Now that I have two cousins following me on blog, Megan and Briana, they can vouch for me that it is the best you've ever put in your mouth. Don't second guess me!

So, I will leave you with the peach cobbler step by step recipe. Because a. it's delicious and I want people to know how to make good peach cobbler so when I am an old lady at an old cafeteria and I ask for it, I don't get the nasty stuff, and b. because I like to make detailed directions and take pictures. It's the teacher in me. So here you go savages....eat up!


Peach Cobbler
1C. milk
1C. sugar
1C. self-rising flour
1 stick butter
1 can peaches ( I was feeling rather Prairie like so I used fresh peaches that day)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the stick of butter in the pan and
put the pan in the oven while preheating
so it can melt.

Meanwhile, pour the flour and sugar
into a bowl. Then add milk and stir it together.

Your butter should be almost melted by now.
Get it out!

Then pour the flour/milk mixture into the pan
It will look funny but don't freak out.
It's supposed to.

Then pour the peaches on top.
And for Pete's sake do NOT stir this.
Got it? Good. Moving on....

Take a palm full of sugar....

And evenly pour it on top of the mixture.

Pop it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
Then don't pay attention to the fact that your pan
has been through the wringer.
Or is it just me.....?

Then take you a nice, healthy scoop.
Put it in a bowl with some Bluebell Homemade Vanilla icecream.
Please, if you don't have Bluebell, you must use Homemade vanilla
flavored ice cream not vanilla or vanilla bean or french vanilla.

Trust me. It's the law.

Then don't give any to your dog and take a picture of how sad they are.
She's got it rough doesn't she?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Roll Tide Roll

So how many of you are ready for football this weekend?! I know I am! I cannot wait to see the Tide play, it's been way too long! Living in the south among all of the SEC schools and fans, I know that college football is serious business. It is something that I watched as a little girl and still watch it as an adult. It's addicting and just downright AWESOME!

If you've never had the privilege of sitting in Bryant Denny next to 92,000+ other fans, well I have something to share with you. They play this video in the huge jumbotron in stadium. Well, there are multiple jumbotrons but you get the picture. Anyway, this is the best video ever. It gives me chillbumps every time I watch it. I'm not lying. Everyone loves it and it just gets so loud and ahh....I just can't wait!

Unfortunately, this will be my last football season as a student. I'm very sad about that but, I'm also happy that I have gotten to be a part of it for three years. Ijust love it but, that means it's timeto move on with my life and graduate and get a real job!

Speaking of moving on, I got my placement yesterday. I got placed at Northport Elementary school in 1st grade! I'm so excited about it! It's a brand new school, it's only been there for like a year so it's amazing. I'm so glad to actually get babies this time and not big kids!

As far as school goes, I have a ton of assignments already. Thank goodness this is a long weekend. I should be able to get it all done! But, I need to get started on all of that. But I will leave you with two amazing videos! If you are an Auburn fan or worse a Tennessee (ugh I feel horrible just typing it) then you may not like what you are about to see. I understand, not every school can be as amazing!

Roll Tide Roll!!!

and another

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Claudette, Praxis, and school!

Wow, it's been a while! I haven't been keeping up with the bloggy world lately because A. I have been so busy, and B. well I guess that's it! lol Let's recap shall we?!

The weekend of the 14th, Justin and I went to Florida for the weekend. It was great to just get a nice weekend getaway before school started back! We had a great time. The beach was absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect. I mean seriously, I have never seen the water so clear before in my life.

There was a lot of marine life in the water though because it was so warm. We saw several baby sharks, jelly fish, and some massive sting rays.

Friday and Saturday were gorgeous days with gorgeous water, but on Sunday, Tropical Storm Claudette decided to show her mean side and she showed up. I have never been through a storm like that in my life! I'm going to be honest...it freaked me out! The wind was INSANE and the sand and rain would like beat against your legs and that hurt like a mother! Of course, being from the south, everyone wants to know "What are you going to and what did you eat?" lol My parents and family asked me that...oh I don't know...9468721 times! The first night we ate at The Back Porch. It's in Pier Park and it's really good! I had Mahi Mahi and yea it was good! I like seafood though, and seafood kinda freaks people out so you may not think it sounds good but trust me it was!

Then for lunch on Saturday we ate at Red Robinnn Yummmm.... I said that in the commercial voice but you just didn't hear it. Anyway. I had the whiskey river burger and it was awesome! I don't remember what Justin had but it was something like "Oh my gosh this is too ridiculously hot to eat" but that's his style. If it's hot, he's going to eat it.

For dinner that night we ate at Reggae J's! I love this place. It reminds me of Jamaica even though the food isn't really Jamaican like. It's just the atmosphere. I had Mahi Mahi tacos. Again, if you're not a seafood fan, you may not like the sounds of that, but I promise it is wonderful! We shopped around and everything too and spent way too much money but what the heck...it's a vacation right?!

(The view from Reggae J's)

(Waiting for my dinner at
Reggae J's)

(Outside of Reggae J's)

(Me outside of Reggae J's)

(We saw this guy when shopping)

The next day we ate at a place called Red Brick Pizza. It was good too! I liked it and it was also in Pier Park. Then for dinner that night, we ate at Pineapple Willy's were I of course had to order a Pineapple Willy. It is so good, but for 8.50, I can make the same thing even better at home! Maybe I will make some this weekend and share with you! Then Claudette showed up and that's when it hit the fan. I was so ready to go home. It was just freaking me out.

(The birds going nuts when

Claudette showed up!)

On Monday we came home, and I of course had to run straight to my laptop and check to see the dreaded Praxis results. Well, I looked and tada!
I passed on the first time! Wahoo!! The state requirement is a 137 and I made a 170! I was too excited! Thank goodness that's over! Now I can intern in the spring and graduate in May! May 8, 2010, Coleman Coliseum at the University of Alabama...BE THERE! lol I will be for sure!

School started a week ago and it's already ridiculous. I do like my classes though, it's just going to be tons of work! I have to teach 3 units and in the mean time make a million lesson plans and 500 observations and blah blah blah! I will have 240 hours of field experience this semester thus making my new resume a total of 490 field experience hours so far, and I still have to do my internship! I mean, it's a lot to do, but I'm so glad that they make us do that many because I am going to be more than prepared next year when I'm a teacher....ahhh!!! Next year....that's so close!! There will be a lot of work this year, but I'm so happy that it's work that I'm actually going to use and will benefit me in the classroom!

I would also like to give a congrats to my friend Brittany on making my lasagna recipe! I'm so glad that it was easy for you to make! I have several more recipes coming up soon, especially with fall coming along! I know that may sound stupid, but when it starts cooling off, people like to cook more....don't judge me! Well, I'm going to go now. I hope all of you have had a great week and have a great weekend. I'm thinking that cinammon rolls are going to come into play this weekend, so I will post some detailed pics of that for all of you this weekend!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What have I been up to? Well, not much really! Let's see.

Last weekend I went to Jasper to my mom's house. I didn't stay the night but I went up there on Saturday. I went up there to get a wallet that she had bought me and of course, I left it up there. So, I went up there this weekend. Sunday was an extremely lazy day. I did nothing. Monday I looked up some new recipes and went to the grocery store.

One day last week I made an awesome dinner. It is my meal of the week. I will post it at the end! It is called Mexican Chicken and it's great! It was the first time I ever made it so I of course have some tweeks I would have made but I will share that with you later.

Another day last week I made some homemade chicken fingers, homemade ranch and homemade macaroni and cheese. I wish I would have taken pictures of the macaroni and cheese, but I make it weekly so I will show it next week! Easy, cheap, and quick!

I started going back to the tanning bed last week. I now remember why I love it so much. I am so excited about going to the beach this weekend! Ahh I can't wait! It's been a whole year and that's been long enough. I'm sorry beach, we will never go this long before we see each other again. I promise!

I have a very busy week ahead of me though before this lovely trip:

Monday I am going to lunch with Bridgett. We are Hokkaido freaks (you would be too if you ever had it) so we are going there, of course. But first that morning, I am going to Woodland Forrest Elementary School to talk to the teacher that I will be helping on the first day of school. I'm so excited about it! I can't wait to see the first day of school. Not only that but the first day of Kindergarten, which brings me to....

Tuesday I am going to help out on the first day of school. Why? you ask. Well, I have this form to fill out and that will give me one free day to miss during my internship. It will be a day that I do not have to make up so that's great! It's going to be so neat. All of these little babies and worried mom's and dad's that keep hanging around all morning. I will also see how to manage the first day of school such as getting the students a tour of the school and a schedule and where to put ALL of those school supplies!

Wednesday I will have to work ALL day. Like a normal person. This will be 2 full whole days in a row. 8-4:45 is going to suck! Oh well, I have to because the girl subbing for me Tuesday morning is working my shift plus her afternoon shift so Wednesday I will work her morning shift and my afternoon shift.

Thursday I am packing and cleaning and getting everything together to head to the beach!!

Friday I will be beach bound and blogger absent! I can't wait!

I have a busy week ahead but I'm looking forward to it. I can't believe school starts on the 19th. Ughhhh I'm not looking forward to that. Although, I thing between looking forward to Fridays, Football Saturdays, birthdays, weddings, Halloween, and Thanksgiving Break, my Fall semester is going to FLY by! Then in January I will begin my internship. Ahh! I'm so excited....(and I just can't hide it!)

Well, that's all that's been going on with me. How have all of you been? I hope you all have had a great weekend and have a great week! I will be back with my meal of the week next week!


Mexican Chicken

You will need:
2 chicken breasts
1 packet of seasoning (note: I used this fajita seasoning and I honestly wasn't feeling it. I'm thinking next time I will pick more along the lines of chipotle taco seasoning)
2 cans cream of chicken (note: I think next time I will only use one. I thought it was a little runny with 2 but after it sits it may need it. So maybe 1 and a half)
1 can Rotel
1 8oz pkg cheddar or mexican blend cheese
1 10pk tortillas (note: I used flour tortillas, but you may want to try corn. Also, I think I would have liked it better with crushed tortilla chips, or maybe even Doritos....yum)

(I told you there were some tweaks, but it's a girl's first time so hey....!)

Preheat oven to 350

Season your chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Then bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the chicken. Cook for about 30 minutes.

After the chicken has cooked, put it in a pan to shred the chicken. I just shredded mine with two forks

Once the chicken is shredded, put the seasoning on the chicken and just add as much water from the chicken pot, because this is now chicken broth, to the seasoned chicken. This will make it kinda stewy like the chicken you get in mexican restaurants.

Here's the seasoning I used.

Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer.

While the chicken is simmering, take your tortillas and place them in your casserole dish.

Begin cutting strips. It was easier for me to stack them up
and use a pizza cutter so I could tear them quicker.

Place the cut strips in the bottom of a sprayed pan.
If you decided to use tortilla chips or Doritos like I will
next time, just crush them up and make a thick layer of them
on the bottom.

After you have layered the bottom of your dish,
spoon on the chicken. I used a slotted spoon so I wouldn't
have it so soupy.

Then take your soups and Rotel and mix together in a bowl.
Here you may want to drain the Rotel so it's not so soupy like
mine turned out to be. Also, please do not accidentally buy the
extra hot kind. It's super hot and you won't be able to stand it.
But, I don't know anything, because I never make mistakes and buy
the wrong kind.....

After you have mixed the soups and MILD Rotel together,
spread it on top of the chicken. Then sprinkle as much cheese as you want
on top of the dish. Pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes, and it will be a
cheesy, chickeny, delicous Mexican goodness.

Then forget to take a picture of the finished product because you are so hungry that you just dive right into it and burn your mouth. But not like me though....savages!