January 2017 Reads

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I was a little slow reading this month, so I don't have much to review.  But what I did read was GOOD!!!

Yep, definitely me in school...and me now as an English teacher ha!  I get really excited when students tell me how much they love reading or found a book that they love.  That's the best part of my job.

I hate staying up late, but I will stay up late to finish reading a good book if I have to.  I remember staying up until 1 AM to finish Me Before You because I was that addicted.  And then I was really glad I was the only one awake because I was downstairs crying my eyes out 😂😂

So now that I've explained my love of reading, allow me to share the 2 books I read (plus the new one I started) this month.

 Amazon says....Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over—she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

The first book I ever read by Liane Moriarty was The Husband's Secret and I LOVED IT!  I loved it because I never would have guessed the "secret."  So since then I've read a few of her books.  I'm keeping The Husband's Secret at my #1 by her, but What Alice Forgot is definitely #2.  You have to love the fact that Alice wakes up and thinks she's 29.  The younger Alice is so likable and you'll find yourself rooting for her.  This book is a little thick, but it's good!

Amazon says...Hannah is tired of holiday gatherings−all her family ever talks about is the past. In fact, it seems to her that's what they do every Jewish holiday. But this year's Passover Seder will be different−Hannah will be mysteriously transported into the past . . . and only she knows the unspeakable horrors that await.

We are reading this book currently with my 7th grade English class, but I highly recommend it for all adults if you haven't read it.  Hannah is transported back into the Holocaust and only she knows what will happen in history.  We're to the point now in the book that some of my students beg me to continue reading because they don't want to quit--I think that's a sign of a good book!  And this book is thin, so it'll take no time to read at all.

And now I'm currently reading Killing Kennedy and I can't wait to finish it next month!

Friday Favorites: Short and Sweet!

Friday, January 27, 2017

 YESSSSS!!!  I survived this week even though it's been crazy.  I am so glad to see the weekend almost here!  Today's Friday Favorites will be short and sweet because after I finally got home last night, I spent my free time watching a certain show I'm really obsessed with.  Keep reading to find out!

 Yesterday I wrote about how eating more intentionally and exercising has been a major FAVORITE this month.  I got a few questions about the black bean burger patties that I use, so I thought I'd answer that here.  I buy mine at Costco and they are chipotle flavored.  But I do know that the Morning Star brand also makes chipotle flavored and I think those can be bought at Walmart and Kroger.  They are so good! 

 This show right here.  CAN'T. STOP. WATCHING.  I started it Monday and one of the reasons I love it is because it's only got 6 episodes!  I cannot watch anything right now that has like 126 episodes--too many for me.  Last night I watched episode 5 and when it finished at 9:45 last night, I seriously debated if I could stay up another hour to finish the series.  I decided no since I was exhausted, so I'll finish it Saturday while Dustin hunts.

Some days I dream about having someone bring me coffee to school.  From Starbucks or the 2 local coffee shops--it doesn't matter, it would just be so nice to have coffee delivered.  Well, yesterday I got an email about getting one of the local coffee shops to deliver, and I was so excited!!!  When I got the knock on my classroom door and opened it to a student holding my coffee, well, let's just say I was so much nicer teaching and drinking coffee haha!  This special treat was a FAVORITE!

Linking up with Erika, Heather, and Amanda

Update on Healthy Eating--January 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

If you saw my IG story Tuesday night (@saraheshaneyfelt) then you first saw my embarrassing admission of caving in to a sweets craving, BUT I ended it saying overall my eating has been good.

Well, it has!

One of my goals for 2017 has been to eat more intentional.  I've been able to do this during the month of January with the help of 2 friends.  We text each other each time we eat something during the day to keep each other accountable.  And you know what?  It helps!  

Seriously, my one piece of advice would be to find someone to help you stay accountable.  You could do this alone, but it's so much more fun with someone else!

I thought I'd share just some of the things I've been eating this month that's helped me to lose 6 pounds (so far!), but first I need to make some things clear.

1. I am not a food blogger, so my pictures aren't great quality.  Literally snapped it on my iPhone and that was it.
2. I took pictures over 2 days of meals and they seemed like the craziest 2 days of the month so my food wasn't my "normal."

Day One
 I was running behind that morning so I made 2 slices of Ezekiel toast and topped it with a little natural peanut butter and apple butter.

No time for a snack today--seriously a crazy day!

 Lunch was a meal-prep meal my sister bought for me.   It was 4 oz chicken, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.

If you watched my IG story, you know what my snack was 🙈 #thattimeofthemonth

 Supper that night was a smoothie--1 cup mixed berry fruit, 2 scoops this protein (super healthy!!!), 1 tbs chia seeds for fiber, 1 tbs lime juice, and water.  I was missing my greens powder and 1/4 of an avocado for healthy fat.

Day Two
 Breakfast was at home this morning so I had my usual Ezekiel toast with natural peanut butter and chia seeds.

 Dustin loves these little smoothies, so I brought one for snack at school.  I took one swig and almost spit it out.  It. Was. Nasty.  ðŸ˜‚😂

 Thankfully I had this little cup in my fridge, so unsweetened applesauce it was!
**Once you start eating unsweetened applesauce, you'll never be able to eat regular applesauce ever again!

 Lunch: black bean patty, brown rice, and salsa.

 And this is what it looks like mixed together!  It's like eating Mexican food!

 This was my after school snack.  I LOVE the vanilla Siggi's yogurt!  There's 14g of protein and only 9g of sugar.  Before you eat yogurt, be sure to check the amount of sugar because lots of yogurt brands really pack in the sugar.  I add a little bit of protein granola to give it a crunch.

 Ingredients are important too!

Supper was this cheeseburger pasta made with deer meat.

A few things you should note...
1. I'm not a huge fruit eater during the cold months.  Once it warms up, give me all the strawberries, pineapple, and blackberries there are, but now give me all the hot food.  That's why it looks like I'm not a fruit eater.
2. There's also little veggies, but remember, this was only 2 days!  I always incorporate veggies into supper....except pasta because that's a meal by itself.
3. I'm starving when I get up in the morning but I drink at least 1 glass of water before I let myself eat.  My breakfasts have to be bigger meals and I can eat less during supper sometimes.
4. I try to eat lots of high protein and high fiber foods and low fat and low calories--the exception to that is healthy fats like peanut butter.  Those I eat in moderation.

I also like eating Think Thin bars, homemade breakfast burritos, hardboiled eggs, and baked chicken.

Do you have a favorite high protein/fiber recipe?

What's Up Wednesday--January 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

If it weren't for my friend Emily, I would have forgotten about it being the last Wednesday of the month, so I would have forgotten linking up today.  #ineedapersonalassistant #thanksemily

I know this makes me so much older by saying this BUT I cannot believe the first month of 2017 is almost over.  Usually January is the worst month because it last forever, but not this year.  To see my What's Up posts for 2016, click here.

What we're eating this week...
We ate out Monday, and last night I had a smoothie while Dustin had chicken salad.  Tonight is a knockoff cheeseburger helper pasta meal and tomorrow is salmon patties.

What I'm reminiscing about...
Last January, I was beginning my final stretch of grad school and starting my internship.  This January I don't have to think about when assignments are due or writing papers!

What I'm loving...
 My new apple watch 2!  I got the gold watch with a cocoa band.

I'm loving Ivanka Trump's style, and cannot wait to see everything she wears in the next 4 years.

What we're been up to...
 We went to Memphis recently for a concert.

 I went hunting for the first time ever.  (And maybe the last??)

We deep-cleaned the house, and Dustin washed baseboards 🙌🙌

What I'm dreading...
I can't think of anything I'm dreading!

What I'm working on...
Eating more intentionally and incorporating weight lifting into my workouts.

What I'm excited about...
Lots of fun things to come in the future!   And Grey's starts back tomorrow night!

What I'm watching/reading...
Watching:  I'm obsessed right now with The Night Manager on Amazon.  I came home yesterday and watched 2 episodes before doing anything I needed to--it's that good.  I'm also watching This Is Us and Grey's and lots of reality tv--RHOBH, Ladies of London, Revenge Body, and Summer House.

Reading: Killing Kennedy, Knowing God, and Hillbilly Elegy

What I'm listening to...
Lots of Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, and the Avett Brothers Pandora station.

What I'm wearing...
 Still loving this sweater and these jeans (similar).

This sweatshirt

This dress (I'm also jealous at how cheap it is now), vest, and booties

And I thought I might show y'all real life 😂  Dustin and I ran over to my dad's house last night to hook up his Amazon Fire Stick and I had on running shorts and Dustin's high school t-shirt.  So I threw on some Uggs and a Northface jacket.  So fashionable, right?!

What I'm doing this weekend...
A little shopping and resting!

What I'm looking forward to next month...
A fun Nashville trip with my 2 besties!

What else is new...
I can't think of anything??

Bonus: Who is your all-time favorite Bachelor?
I'm not a really big fan of The Bachelor (I know, I'm the only person), so maybe Ben since I can only compare his season to Juan Pablo's--and no one likes JP!

Linking up with Shay and Jenn!

Black Bean Enchiladas

Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Monday!!  Today is my first day back to work for a full 5 day work week, so here's to hoping I survive 😉  I feel like I haven't worked a full week since before Thanksgiving!

It rained a lot this weekend and I didn't get out much unless I ran an errand or went to church yesterday, so instead of doing a normal weekend recap, I thought I'd share a really good recipe with y'all!

I made this almost 2 weeks ago, and both Dustin and I thought it tasted so good!  It was flavorful and healthy--in my opinion, the best combination.

Black Bean Enchiladas

2 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 large red onion, sliced
2 tbs minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 lb lean ground meat (I used deer, but you can use turkey, beef, chicken)
1 15 oz can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
6-12 whole wheat tortillas
1 16 oz jar salsa
1 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat your olive oil and sauté your peppers and onion until soft.  Add in the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.  Then add in your meat and cook until brown.
2. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, black beans, and 1/4 cup salsa and stir well.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.
3. In a 13x9 baking dish (or 2 dishes if you make 12 tortillas), spread 1/4 cup salsa evenly over the bottom.
4. Lay your tortillas flat and add a few spoonfuls of the mixture to the center.  Roll tightly and lay seam side down in your pan.  Your pan should fit 6 tortillas.  Then spread the remaining salsa evenly over the tops of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes

**If you choose to only make 6 enchiladas, then you'll have leftover mixture.  You can freeze for later or mix with rice for a healthy lunch!

Friday Favorites!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Happy Friday!!!!  We made it! 

 I don't know about you, but this week has been crazy busy for me.  Not only after work, but at school, too.  We started a new novel unit on Tuesday this week and even though I love it, starting a new novel unit is always exhausting.  Especially this one.  We've been learning lots of background on Judaism since our novel begins with a Seder meal, and because I don't know much about Jewish traditions/rituals, I've had to really research a lot!  (If anyone reading this is Jewish, I have some questions for you!!)

Today I'm linking up with some of my FAVORITE blogs to share some of my FAVORITE things!

This is my #1 FAVORITE today!!!  I have an hour long massage scheduled for after school today, so I'll be counting down the hours until I'm experiencing complete relaxation.

 Since we were out of school on Monday for the MLK holiday, I ran a million lots of errands.  And it was 70 degrees?  I have a hard time dressing for weather that isn't seasonal.  I threw on this really comfy Southern sweatshirt (a FAVORITE) but paired it with flip flops.  I felt weird about that (but it was hot!) until I saw lots of people in sandals 😂

 Since one of my goals this year is to eat healthier, I've been enjoying new recipes and figuring out how to incorporate more protein and fiber into my diet.  I made a wonderful new recipe (coming to the blog soon!) and it started out looking like this--super colorful.  It was really pretty!  A new FAVORITE for us.

For me, fashion doesn't have a political affiliation.  I don't care if you're Republican, Democrat, or neither, if you dress great then I'm going to enjoy looking at your clothes.  I enjoyed looking at the clothes Michelle Obama wore, and now I'm really excited to see all of the clothes Ivanka Trump will wear.  I saw this yesterday on my IG and this dress immediately became a FAVORITE.  Very classy!  Can I find something with a big bow in the back that I can wear?!

Anyone else watching this show?  It's my new FAVORITE!!  Even though I don't quite agree with the concept of losing weight in order to "get revenge,"  I am loving the transformation that you get to watch.  It's encouraging!  I love watching people workout and talking about eating healthy, so this show is right up my alley.  If you haven't watched this yet, it comes on Thursday nights!

What are some of your FAVORITE things?

Linking up with Erika, Heather, and Amanda

24 Hours in Memphis

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Part of my Christmas present (bought in November) was tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Memphis this past Thursday!  I was really excited to get to visit Memphis since I wasn't able to go run the St. Jude's Half in December.

So this past Thursday morning, Dustin and I loaded up and headed to Memphis for a mini-vacay.  We didn't leave as early as we should have (probably my fault 😜).  We originally had planned on arriving in Memphis at lunch time and eating lunch at the famous Rendezvous BBQ joint.  Well, we stuck to that plan even though we didn't get to Memphis until almost 2 PM!

 I was planning on getting chicken but they weren't serving the full menu at that time so ribs it was.  I ordered the small slab, and learned quickly that I'm not a fan of dry rub ribs.  I ate three only because I was starving and gave Dustin everything else.

We walked over the The Peabody so I could see the ducks.  I thought the fountain would be a lot bigger.  Anyone else feel the same way?

 We explored Beale Street and I was pleasantly surprised to find it a lot cleaner and way less rowdy than Bourbon Street is in the daytime.

 Our concert venue was right behind Beale Street and we learned that the Westin hotel would have been the perfect hotel!  Right across from the Forum and right behind Beale Street.  **So if you plan on going anytime soon, stay at the Westin no matter what the price is!  It would be worth it!

 We stayed at the Sheraton and had an end room.  It was slightly curved and had a ton of windows--not all were able to fit in this picture.  It was a really nice room and our view overlooked the river!  The best part?  The bed was actually really comfortable.  We have a Tempur-Pedic mattress, so you know nothing compares.  We both talked the next morning about how comfortable the bed was.

 Dustin quickly connected to wifi (remember our text message conversation?) while I painted my nails haha!

sweater / jeans (same brand) / flats (same brand) / purse (same brand)
Concert outfit!

 We grabbed dinner and an app at Huey's downtown, and let me just say, this was so good! I couldn't get my picture to turn and upload to this post, so you may have to turn your computer, but I had the Old Tyme A1 and you can see how cheap the prices are.

 I did not order fries since I splurged big time on this hamburger.  Doesn't it look amazing?!

 We were lucky enough to get parking passes that had direct access to the level our seats were on.  I was so pleased with this set up.  And Dustin waited in line patiently to be let in to the Forum.  What a good husband ;)

 It was an AMAZING concert!!!  In terms of entertainment, I'm ranking it in my top three and Dustin ranks it as #1.  I promise, well-worth it!

 Breakfast the next morning was another great recommendation near The University of Memphis.  We ate at Cafe Eclectic and I had the Rachel Wrap.  It was eggs, bacon, cheese, onions, bell peppers, avocado, and tomato.  THE BEST!  I couldn't even eat it all so Dustin finished this one too haha!  In his defense, my breakfast was much better than his so he was really excited to get to eat this.

 Driving through the campus

 And we found their stadium..... #thingsyoudowhenmarriedtoDustinShaneyfelt

 We also spent 500 2.5 hours in the massive Bass Pro.  

 And some of us tried on clothes (and bought lots).  One of us didn't buy anything the entire trip...... 😉

We stopped at Corky's in Olive Branch (another recommendation).  Guess who had what--one is healthier than the other haha!  I enjoyed my salad and Dustin enjoyed his nachos AND banana pudding.

It was a really quick trip since we had to go hunting the next day, but we both agree that we've got to go back in order to visit lots of the museums and Graceland (on my bucket list 😜).  If you've ever been to Memphis, what are some must-do things you recommend?

Linking up with Jenn
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