Friday, January 30, 2015

Five on Friday

Ahhh, Friday :)

Here are my five randoms for the week!

1. I need to lose a few pounds....ugh.  So I've been trying to brainstorm a few new but healthy ways to lose those extra pounds.  I've been seeing lots of smote Pinterest recipes that look good, so I wonder how filling they are.  I've been researching the different blender/smoothie makers trying to decide if I want one.  Nutribullet or Ninja???  Or just a regular blender?  If you have one, what do you think?

2. Remember when I blogged about the Peloton app?  I've got my sister hooked on it!  Our gym has two spinning bikes side by side, so we will pick the class we want to do and start it at the same time.  It's like we're doing the class together which makes it more fun. And we love to look over at each other and make an "I'm dying" face!

3. If any of you have Netflix, you need to check out this show called The Paradise.  It's a BBC show about the first department store (in London, maybe??).  It has been fascinating to watch!  I watched the entire first season (all 8 episodes) before I got married, and I got an email from Netflix earlier this week letting me know that season 2 had been released--and there's 16 episodes!!!  Ahhh!!!  I love it!  It's a very clean show, too!

4. Monday night I cooked a really awesome supper.  I blogged the recipe here.  It was easy and Dustin couldn't get enough of it!

5. HUNTING SEASON IS ALMOST OVER!!!!!!  Do I seem a little excited?  I have loved the fact that Dustin has been able to enjoy his hobby this year, but I've missed him every time he's been gone to his hunting land.  I'll be glad to have him back for a while!
He was trying to explain mortgages to me for the millionth time.  I was trying to watch The Bachelor.  Which one could I summarize to you today?? :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Healthy Chicken Pesto Stuffed Peppers

Monday night after a crazy, busy day, I made what I think is a yummy, healthy supper!  It really was easy to make and perfect when you're in a time crunch.  You get part of it started in the crockpot in the morning, and then you finish it that evening!  Easy!


Crockpot Part:
2 chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
enough water to cover chicken

Put chicken breasts in the crockpot and pour in enough water to cover the chicken.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours.  Take out chicken when cooked and shred with tongs.

Chicken Pesto Stuffed Peppers:

2 bell peppers
cooked chicken breasts (see above)
1 cup pesto
1 cup panko crumbs
1 box frozen spinach (thawed, drained)
2 cups mozzarella cheese (divided)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1. Cut bell peppers in half length-wise.  Take out the seeds and lay flat in an 8x8.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, spinach, pesto (with oil from jar), panko, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
3. Spoon lots of the mixture onto the bell pepper halves that are still in the 8x8.  You will really load these peppers high!
4. Sprinkle the tops of the peppers with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!!!

I almost made a side for this but decided against it and I'm glad I did.  These peppers were so filling by themselves, so it really is a quick-fix supper.  Hope y'all love them as much as we did!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Six Months Down and Thousands More to Go

Yesterday marked six months of marriage, and as cliche as it sounds, it really still feels like yesterday.  Time flies when you're married to your best friend and having the time of your life.  Three months into our marriage I blogged about a few lessons I had learned.  Those lessons still apply today--I probably need more grace than ever, I am learning to let go of things, and I really married the best, most easy-going guy ever!  I am so thankful that God allowed me to marry exactly who I needed.  He knew I needed someone to keep me on time, explain math concepts to me, and keep me laughing.  God knew Dustin needed someone to show him how wonderful it is to live in a clean house :)

On our honeymoon touring Savannah

On a golf date where I was the best caddy ever

Starbucks when it first felt like fall!

Nothing better than Starbucks white hot chocolate, Hobby Lobby, and our first Christmas!

Going to doctor's appointments together

Weddings/birthdays together

We loved starting new Christmas traditions tougher at the Galaxy of Lights!  And yay for random date nights!

Christmas at our church

:)

Our first Christmas together!!

Christmas 2014 at my mom's

Playing with his new Christmas present!

Dustin,  I have enjoyed every single day that we've been married!  You exude Christ's love for the church and I am so thankful for you!  I love you!   xo, little Shaneyfelt

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Christmas Present from My Mom

This past Christmas instead of giving my sister and I each material gifts, my mom gave us a road trip to anywhere.  I used mine yesterday with a day trip to Tennessee!

I have always loved seeing how things are made.  I've done a few tours and always watched shows on TV explaining processes of how certain things are made.  One of the places I have always wanted to tour is the Jack Daniels Distillery.  So yesterday Mom and I headed to Lynchburg, Tennessee, to tour the distillery and make a few other stops.

This is before we headed into the museum to sign up for a tour.  The great thing about this place is that the tours are FREE!! (Unless you wanted to do the taste-testing tour, and we didn't care anything about that.)  Our tour lasted a little over an hour.

Here we are with "Jack on the Rocks."  This is right outside the underground spring that the distillery uses for their whiskey.  I thought it was so neat that they have been using this same spring since Jack Daniels first came to Tennessee to make his whiskey.  Our tour guide says it give the whiskey a sweeter taste because of the minerals.  I'll just take her word for that.

This is inside the museum.  See the barrel on the right?  We learned about the whole process of how they make those barrels and that they use a new barrel every time they make a new batch.  Apparently the oak barrels play into the taste, too.

This is a small barrel house on the property that we were able to tour.  They have about 80 more six story barrel houses!  Our tour guide said that they aren't insulated or climate controlled and that they just let nature do its thing.  The barrels of whiskey sit in that house four to six years--depending on where they are located.

This is the hardware store downtown, and if you can see, it only has Jack Daniels merchandise.  This is what I noticed about Lynchburg--it caters to tourists and bikers.  

Me and Jack 
I got a few comments on my bag yesterday when I posted this picture.  You can find it here.

My gorgeous Mom!

After the tour, we went to eat at Miss Mary Bobo's.  She used to own a boarding house and would house inspectors who came to check out the distillery along with businessmen and teachers.  The distillery bought the house in the 1980s and turned it into a restaurant.  We ate at the 1 o'clock seating.  It's interesting because you eat at a table of 12 and everyone passes dishes around to each other.  They had fried chicken, meatloaf, mac and cheese, fried okra, pintos, apples soaked in whiskey, sweet relish, cornbread, and fudge pie.  I don't eat any of that type of food anymore so I felt sick after, but it was good!

Then we drove into Fayetteville to visit Sirs Fabric.  If you need fabric from somewhere, this is the place to go!  It is definitely worth the drive.  The picture below doesn't even show a third of the store--it's huge!!  Part of my Christmas from my mom is that she is going to help me recover my dining room chairs since Dustin and I bought it off of Craigslist.  I had been searching all over looking for fabric, but since I needed about four yards, I wasn't about to pay $25.00/yard at Hancock or some place like that.  The fabric at Sirs is very inexpensive!!!  I ended up finding some for $5.99/yard and it was 25% off!  We racked up!  I'll do a post of a before and after when my chairs get done.

Mom and I had such a great day and I loved that she gave us road trips as her present to us.  I'm already trying to think of what I want to do for my next Christmas present!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Recap


Friday:

This is the surprise I wrote about in my last post!!  (Sorry for those of you who thought I was pregnant!  I got a few texts about that and didn't realize people might think that.  Don't worry....it'll be a while!)
Rachel found this Friday night!  I got an email around Thanksgiving asking for permission to print a wedding photo that my photographer had submitted to a magazine.  You better believe I gave permission!  The magazine was published this month!

Page 49!!
And so I got a few.

Dustin and I also went and watched American Sniper late Friday night with a bunch of friends.  It was really good and eye-opening.  It made me really thankful for our military and the families that they leave behind.  I think this movie did a really good job of showing how hard deployments are on wives and children.  After the movie was over, not one person in a theater of 400 said a word as we walked out into the lobby.  I don't even know how to describe the emotion in the air.  No one felt like it would be right to talk after.

Saturday:

Dustin left around 2:30 AM to go to south Alabama to hunt this weekend, so I decided to head out shopping.  (But not at 2:30...more like 10)  I had some leftover Christmas money and gift cards that needed to be put to good use ;)

I really needed a new pair of boots.  I have a pair of Guess boots that I've worn for five years now and they are getting worn out.  I also have a pair of Frye boots but they look like cowboy boots so I wear them occasionally.   Here's what I ended up getting:
These Nine West boots were on sale, and they're actually cheeper online than they were in store.
And then I splurged...
I bought another pair of Frye's (and don't say anything when you see me wearing these everyday...) My mom always says that Frye boots are investment pieces that will last a very long time.  I listened to her this time :)  But seriously, these can be worn with almost everything I own and are so comfortable that I could stand and teach in them all day long.  I'm in love.

Then I bought a...
bundt cake pan from Williams-Sonoma!  
I found a recipe from Mix and Match Mama (love her blog) and it looked super easy and tasty.  I tested it out Saturday night and I think it turned out great!

Late Saturday night, I headed to my dad's house to watch the fights.  Deontay Wilder, a guy from Tuscaloosa, was going to fight for the world heavyweight championship.  He was fighting the current champion, Bermane Stiverne from Haiti.  I was brought up watching boxing so I love it.  I predicted a knock-out by Wilder in round 4 because he was five inches taller and had a 4-5 inch longer arm reach than Stiverne.  What I didn't expect (and probably no one else did too) was for the fight to go all 12 rounds.  
Deontay is on the right.  The state of Alabama has another championship to add!

Sunday:

I had the worse crick in my neck and shoulder yesterday that I could barely get out of bed.  Here's to hoping I recover fast because 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five on Friday

Oh Friday, I thought you would never get here!!!  Is it just me, or did this week seem to crawl by?  We're out of school Monday and it couldn't have come at a better time!  

This week I'm going to share five photos from my wedding!  Not necessarily my five favorite photos, but five random but gorgeous ones :)

One
I loved these bridesmaid dresses!  I picked out six different dresses for my girls to choose from--three strapless, two one-shoulder, and one with straps.  I wanted the girls to get something they would feel comfortable in.

Two
Every time someone asked about my wedding colors, I would tell them pastel pink, pastel blue, and white.  And then I would get a strange look, and I would have to reassure people that it might sound like baby shower colors but that it looked good in my head.  I think the color scheme turned out great!

Three
My first piece of jewelry from Tiffany's!  (Note: I can't read anything without my glasses.  How sad!)

Four
I got a lot of compliments on this one!  My make up artist did wonders!

Five
This is right after we walked down the aisle as husband and wife and were heading to the car to get to the reception!  I had never been so happy to be walking with my HUSBAND!!

I've got some exciting news coming up this weekend, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

White Chocolate Strawberry Brownies

I love baking.  I love sweets.  I also have to watch my intake of sweets.  I've blogged about that here.  But that doesn't stop me from baking.  This past weekend I tried out a new recipe to bake!  While I wanted to eat the entire pan, I allowed myself and Dustin a piece and then sent the rest with him to work to give away to his work buddies.  

If you're looking for something easy to make but also something that might not be found on the dessert table at the potluck already, then these White Chocolate Strawberry Brownies are for you!

(Please excuse the green countertop in the background.  Part of the joys of apartment living!)

White Chocolate Strawberry Brownies
1 box strawberry cake mix
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup skim milk (or whatever you have but I used skim)
3 handfuls of white chocolate chips (or more)
a handful or two of leftover white chocolate chips for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 11x7 baking dish.
2. Mix together the cake mix, egg, vegetable oil, and milk first.
3. Fold in the 3 handfuls of white chocolate chips until they are spread evenly throughout the batter.
4. Evenly spread batter in greased pan and bake 20-22 minutes.
5. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to cool.
6. Melt the leftover white chocolate chips.  Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate all over the strawberry brownies.
7. Cut and enjoy!!

You might want to stick the pan in the freezer after you drizzle the melted chocolate over the brownies to harden faster.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Spin Class App (that I'm obsessed with)

Last Friday, the male PE teacher at my school showed my teacher friend and I this new spin app (Look up "Peloton Cycle" in the app store) we could use in our school's spin room instead of trying to find a random spin workout on Youtube.  I downloaded it at school on my iPad and checked it out before we headed to spin after school.  IT IS THE BEST THING EVER!!!!!  I cannot get over it!!!



Here's what's so great about it:  I love group fit classes.  I love being pushed and having to make myself keep up with the rest of the class.  I am so competitive with myself.  While I joined the my new gym for their variety of classes, there is one class offered three times a week (and during the times I can go) that I tried and didn't like.  This app is like being in a group fit setting, but you can do it whenever is convenient to you.  You can join a live class or do an archived class if you can't spin at a time when the live class is offered.  I've done two archived classes from the instructor Nicole and love her!  She's upbeat, a great motivator, and her music is awesome!  When you do an archived class, you're able to choose the amount of time you want to spin--Friday, I went 45 minutes and Sunday, I only had time for 30 minutes.  

If you look at my picture above, you'll see that the spin bikes at my gym have a little area for two water bottles by the handlebars, but thankfully, it's a perfect resting place for my iPad while I watch the instructor!  

Here's the only negative:  the bikes in the Peloton spin classes apparently have a computer screen that tells them their resistance levels and RPMs.  Mine don't.  You just have to guess on the resistance and I watch Nicole's feet peddle so I match her RPMs.

I love running, but I might be on a spin kick while it's so cold and yuck outside.  I know once it warms up and stays daylight longer, I'll get back outside and run, but right now I am having so much fun spinning.  Hope you get to try it!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five on Friday

These are a few of the things I'm loving this week....

1. The Mix and Match Family blog.  The author of this blog just happens to be the sister of a recent Bachelor--Sean Lowe!!  I've been reading this blog since Sean and Catherine's wedding where Shay was a bridesmaid.  They are in China right now picking up their little girl that they are adopting.  It's been really interesting reading along!

2. Looking at potential homes.  If you read my recent post about my favorite thing in 2014, you noticed at the bottom I wrote that 2015 was (hopefully) the year of the house.  It's been really fun looking online at homes that we think meet our criteria and picturing living there.

3. Getting up early.  I've tried getting up much earlier than normal to kind of gain a couple extra hours in the day.  It's been really nice!  I can take my time eating breakfast and catching up on my blogs, and I'v also been able to get some laundry done.  Hopefully this is a habit that I develop!

4. My daily devotional book.  It's called New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.  My small group from my church's women's ministry is doing this devotional together and we're posting about it every day on our small group Facebook page.  I have loved it!  It seems like every devotion fits exactly what I needed to study that day.  Isn't is awesome how God works like that?!

Okay, so I ran out of things that I'm loving this week.  I think being sick and not feeling good has done that to me :)  But here's one thing I'm not loving this week:

5. The cold weather!  We had a two hour delay yesterday morning because the wind chill was in the negatives.  It was so cold!!  I'm the kind of person who wants the cold weather in December because I want to be bundled up while I drink hot chocolate and sing "Let It Snow," but now, I'm over it.  Bring on the warm weather!
I'm dreaming of warm weather so I can eat ice cream in my bathing suit after a day at the beach!!  This picture was taken at Leopold's Ice Cream after a long day on Tybee Island!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Day in the Life--January 6, 2015

Tuesday morning started bright and early with my new goal of waking up earlier than usual. My alarm was set for 5:10 so I only slept 4 extra minutes...not too shabby!


 I head downstairs first thing during the winter.  I cannot stand jumping in the shower as soon as I wake up when it's so cold out.  I have to warm up first, so I eat breakfast.  Once it warms up outside then I'll shower before breakfast.  Is there anyone else like that?

I mix it up at breakfast sometimes.  Usually I have 2 slices of whole wheat 35 calorie toast with apple butter, but this morning I went for the whole wheat bagel with whipped Greek yogurt/cream cheese.  I needed the extra nourishment on this first day back!  I also drink 1 glass of water each morning at breakfast.  I'm a big water drinker and I make sure I start my morning out drinking it.

This is what my classroom looked like as I opened the door.  Since I got up earlier, I was able to get to school a little earlier.  Win-Win!  (Seven Habits, anyone?)  I prayed for my students before they walked into homeroom.

My planning period was normal--extremely busy.  I teach 4 advanced English classes, 1 regular English class, and 1 intervention class.  I introduced linking verbs, predicate nouns/adjectives, and verb tenses to my students and then we cleaned our binders out!  I thrive on organization (not evident in the picture below) and want my students to be organized too.  They don't realize how much easier their life will be!  In my intervention class, we started reading Freak the Mighty.  I read The Hunger Games with them last semester and they LOVED it!  I'm hoping they will fall in love with this book, too.

Today also started back my outside afternoon car duty for 9 weeks.  (insert silent cry)  It's going to be below freezing on Thursday--as in, the windchill will be in the single digits.  I may wear a ski mask.

When I walked in the door this afternoon, I found Dustin in the kitchen :)  He's cooking this week (his first time while we've been married) and so he had to cook his supper before he left for work.  He breaded and baked chicken nuggets (which were pretty good!!!) and collard greens (yuck!).

Sidenote:  I wasn't able to get a picture of my outfit this morning before I left because Dustin had already gone to sleep.  Here I am after school...I looked much better that morning, I promise.
What I'm wearing:  
Dress and necklace: Anthropologie
Gray tights: Hue
Boots: Frye

After Dustin left, I sat down for about 30 minutes to check social media. Then I changed for the gym and got there around 5:00 PM.  This picture is blurry because I had to take it before someone saw me!  I did the elliptical for 32 minutes.  I was still a little sore from the 2 classes I did Monday night.

After I got home and showered, I heated up some of the chicken nuggets and had some veggie chips.  This isn't my typical dinner, but I'm thankful for Dustin's cooking this week!  (note the glass of water!  I drink at least 2 during supper each night.)

I washed the sheets and sat down to watch Friends and blog.  I caught up on a show I had DVR'ed earlier in the week.

Before bed, I straightened up a few things around the house--sweeping the kitchen, putting all of the dishes away that have dried in the dish drainer, etc.  

I did my quiet time--which is a nighttime thing for me and then I went to bed at 10:00 PM!  Ready to do it all over again tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gym Classes and Chocolate

School started yesterday for teachers and I found out Sunday night that I didn't have to be at work until 8:00 AM--not 7:30ish like I thought!!  Yay!!  Then I got this idea in my head that I would wake up super early and go to the gym to work out.  Later that night, I reasoned with Dustin that it would make more sense for me to sleep in and work out Monday evening while he was gone.  Yep, I pretty much talked myself out of an early morning workout and had my husband agree with it haha!  Side note:  I'm making it a goal for myself to make myself a morning person.  I'm fine with getting up at 6:30 to workout during the summer, but I need to get up much earlier to be more productive during the school year.

After Dustin had left yesterday, I watched a little bit of TV before I had to change to get ready for the gym.  A few weeks ago I moved my membership to another gym in town that had a lot more to offer in the group class area.  And that's what I love.  I love a good hour-long class with other people pushing me to do something that I would have quit if I were working out alone.  Plus, now that it gets dark earlier and I've got after school car duty for the next 9 weeks, there hardly is time to run in the afternoon during the week.  Last night I decided to do Step Cardio and CXWX (which is a core class).  Let me just say this--I really wish I had a video camera on me during the step class.  I felt like I was in Zumba but with a step--I am not coordinated!  I had to hold in a laugh when I looked at myself in the mirror trying to remember the moves and keep up with the instructor!  Thank goodness it was only 30 minutes!  I loved the CXWX class after Step Cardio--it kicked my tail and worked my core so much.  I am going to be sore!

I rushed home in time to shower, eat supper, and watch The Bachelor.  Eating healthy is so important to me but I'm human and I was craving something sweet!  I raided our pantry for anything that was sweet--which wasn't much because I just don't buy it.  I ate about 5 (!!!!) leftover reduced-fat oreos and a handful of chocolate chips.  I felt bad afterward but hopefully my metabolism was still up from my workout earlier!  Eating sweets are fine as long as it's done in moderation, and in my case, not every day!  Also, I NEVER consume caffeine and so I may be up a while from all the caffeine I had in the chocolate.  You may think I'm kidding but I can't eat chocolate after lunch time because I'll stay awake at night.

I plan on doing a "Day in the Life" post soon of my day today.  I just finished reading one from another blog and thought it was so interesting.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Brain Dump

1. I am making the drive to Huntsville to get my wedding prints ordered.  Yes, we've been married 5 months and I still haven't ordered any major prints....getting it done this week!

2. I have so many books I want to read right now.  I just started All the Light We Cannot See and am adding The Rosie Effect and Unbroken to my list.  I'm a month ahead on my reading for book club (thanks Christmas break!) so I'm going to try to read all three of these in January.  Big goals since I'll also be teaching 2 novels this month to my English and intervention kids.  What are some of your favorites?

3. My goal this month for the house is to get a pair of lamps for our nightstands.  I've got a lamp on mine that I had when I was single, but I'm going to hit up Home Goods for a pair of matching lamps for our bedroom--most likely something that's glass.  I'll probably keep my old lamp for a guest bedroom or something.  When we moved in, I focused so much on getting the rest of the house in order that I gave up when it came time for decorating the bedroom.

4. School starts back tomorrow and I'm looking forward to seeing my kids!  God really blessed me with a wonderful group this year that I look forward to going to work everyday.  I am really going to miss them when this school year is over.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Favorite Thing About 2014

2014 was a big year, and I loved every minute of it.  

I spent the first half of the year preparing for a marriage and wedding, and the second half of the year I've enjoyed every single second of being married. 


 I have loved creating new traditions for our family and planning for the future.

I love this picture so much. 

For 2015, my biggest prayer is for God to use me to help make more disciples.  We started a new Women's Ministry at my church this year, and I know the Holy Spirit is moving in the hearts of the women involved.

I hope 2015 is the year of the house!  Dustin and I have started looking at new homes, and who knows, we could be in a new home in just a few short months!

I also am planning on blogging more in 2015!  I can't wait to see what this year holds!