Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some thoughts.

After biking for 25 minutes and doing yoga for an hour yesterday, although it was just one day, I think that I can confidently and without any desire to offend anyone say that I freaking hated it. 
Yoga I actually enjoy but usually as a nice stretchy end to my run. Biking to get somewhere is fun but I'm a wimp when it comes to being alongside cars and potentially crashing so the stationary bike is where it's at for me. I tell you though, reader, that it just does.not.do.it.for.me. 
I'm lucky that I have the time and physical energy to be active, of that I certainly don't complain. I am also blessed to have access to a gym and exercise classes and all that good stuff. But I do seriously need to get this off my chest, my biggest first world complaint {other than not loving the way tap water tastes} : I get so bored on the bike. Like, SO BORED. Plus I hardly feel like I'm doing anything. I don't sweat for at least 20 minutes. I think it might take about two hours of biking for me to feel the way I feel after half an hour of running. That's probably exaggerating but there's much more bang for my buck when I'm hitting the pavement rather than pedaling away.
It was nice to do stuff yesterday since before then I had been in a weird limbo where the doc said I shouldn't do a dang thing. It would have been MUCH nicer to run, though. Much.
Since I'm on a rant, I'll throw in that I wasn't enamored of my yoga class last night either. My YMCA used to have this really awesome instructor for the Monday evening class but she's gone. I don't doubt that last night's lady knows her stuff but she wasn't super warm about it {my old girl was} and seemed to just be winging it rather than having planned a class. Plus she was doing this type of yoga that is much less "movey" and active than what the description of the class is. There was a whole lot of just sitting and stretching and not one downward facing dog. Or cat/cow poses {my fave}. I do enjoy some flow-yoga and this was pretty stagnant.
But my Y has other instructors so I'll give it a try later this week.
And there you have it, my complaining for the week. Thinking about how I try to be positive on Mondays makes me feel guilty right now getting this out but it was on my mind y'all!
What's that?
You'd like a bit more just so I can be really bad? 
I'm having some sinus/allergy biz-nass going on so I got some meds to take.
Folks, this stuff is blue. And it's gross too. Gross as in it tastes like the fake blue raspberry flavoring that is so prevalent in candies nowadays.
Growing up I adored getting sick {kind of} because it meant I could take Dimetapp {that glorious purple grape-flavored stuff} and everything since then has been a let down. Do you perchance feel the same way?
Anyway, the whole point of this post was not to quejar up the wazoo but to reiterate a deep love of running. It is my perfect sport and hopefully I'll soon be able to enjoy it again. Even if it means hours and hours of biking. With a nasty scowl on my face.
 xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, February 27, 2012

Marvelous Monday.

What made/makes today grrrrrrrreat!
1} I biked and yoga-d today...totally pain free!!! This is great because it means that what my physical therapist lady last week told me about these knees of mine is {hopefully!} correct. More strengthening, stretching and cross training for this girl!
2} A certain hubby had Italian panini ready and waiting {read : melty & cheesey} for me when I got home after said biking & yoga.
3} The Voice is on; are you as into it as we are? It doesn't hurt that Mr. Maroon 5 {as Fencey calls him} is duh-reamey. And Cee Lo's cat makes it even more worth while.
4} We've got some fun trips ahead of us in the next two months...more to come on that!
5} Spirit Week at work is also coming up; look forward to five days of costumes. It's like a work week of Halloweens!
What's been great about your day today? Your week? Much I hope!
 xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Man-Oh-Man. Today was a double nap day. I ended up not going to Yoga. But I sure as heck felt RELAXED! Maybe I would've been a bit less sleep inclined if our building's fire alarm had not gone off at 6 AM. 6 AM isn't that big of a deal Monday through Friday but it's Sunday, man! My time to sleep in a bit! We spent about 45 minutes outside because it was so loud. Then the fire department came and got everything all-cleared and evaluated : it was a malfunction. But when it first went off we both sprinted out of bed we were convinced that it was something in our apartment. Mike even went so far as to drag a chair over to right below our smoke detector and he tried to start fanning away the imaginary smoke. 
Despite sawing more ZZZZs that necessary today, I did accomplish a heck of a lot of cleaning and organizing this weekend. Though we have most of our things organized pretty well in our apartment, nothing "fun" {like pictures on the wall} has been done. I blame it on moving in at the beginning of December, running a marathon the next weekend, driving to Phoenix the next weekend, coming back after New Year's, having finals and a bunch of grading to do, etc...I digress. It was nice to get things cleaned and taken care of.
Currently we're flipping back and forth between the Academy Awards and the NBA All-Star game...it's a good night.
And, alas, we did not win a dang thing at the raffle last night. 
But we did have fun.  
Good Sunday Night to you!
 xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Today I've been working on my rehab exercises.
Yea! They're oddly tiring. I think that coming from running high mileage as how I get my kicks I've always assumed that little exercises like this doesn't do much but it totally does. I guess that's what I get for thinking that way!
On the fitness front, tomorrow I'd like to crawl {literally} back to my YMCA and do some time on the bike and a yoga class. Wish me luck!
Today I've also been watching some trashy MTV and relaxing a bit. Tonight we're going to a church polenta dinner. I'm pretty excited actually! It's a fun dinner, I love polenta, they make a delicious sauce aaaaand their raffle is where we won our TV two years ago!
Are you having a lovely and relaxing weekend, reader? I sure hope so!
 xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, February 24, 2012

What did I do to be so lucky?

"Live where I do" apparently. Here are two shots from this week's weather.
That's crazy, right? Granted we're no northern tundra here in California's Bay Area and there looks to be some rain ahead but this is freaky-deaky for such a sustained period of time. 
I might be terribly wrong but I have a feeling that we're going to be hit with a whopper of a wet spring. One that will go into summer like last year. I'm the type of person who eats her vegetables first so that she can enjoy whatever carbs and cheese come later in the meal and I feel the same about weather; give us a dreadful winter, get it over with, and let's have a glorious spring.
Oh well, there's certainly no real predicting going on.
Good Friday to you!
 xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In which I explain that picture from Wednesday.

This one:
and not this one:
...just to clarify.
I've been thinking about periodically talking about my favorite things. Not to promote amassing stuff {see : yesterday's "rant"} but because I'd like to document, in some way, the things around me that I love. I think I'll go by geographic regions and probably this will be limited to things around the home because, well, I'm a homebody.
Anyway, that handy dandy little green plastic square is my favorite thing in our sink.
I don't know if there's an official name and I'm pooped from teaching teenagers for over four hours today so let's just call it The Scraper. My dear mother-in-law gave this to me over Christmas {ha ha I hope she wasn't giving me a hint!} though I think I have one lurking around my grandmother's house. I LOVE it. The Scraper lives in this little suction cup sponge-holder thing in our sink and it can be used to scrape off just about any dang thing from dishes. It's fabulous for last night's baked on casserole and I no longer use my poor finger nails and end up with little scrapes underneath them; ouch!
It even has a cheery little flower etched into it!
Do you have any kitchen items that make life easier? I sure do love my coffee pot which grinds the beans for me {luxury!} and my counter top mixer I got for my first Christmas out of college {thanks to my grammy <3} but this scraper dude is what I'm majorly loving on these days.
Oh, also, in knee news {I adore all alliteration!}...I went to physical therapy for the first time today and LOVED it! My lady {lady = physical therapist} was super nice and told me SO much about my legs and stance and what my silly knees do when I run {they turn in - those stinkers!}. She and I talked a lot and here's the plan :
  • despite what my general medicine doctor lady said, I can cross train to my heart's content! Yea! I certainly have gotten used to my more sedentary life style but I'm ready to get back to normal.
  • My knee issue has to due with weak hip and thigh muscles on the left side of my body {I'm right handed and legged}.
  • Running a marathon that included about six miles of intense downhill and was on the uneven side of a highway aggravated some little ligaments that weren't super strong to begin with thanks to those weak muscles.
  • Apart from cross training {to keep up fitness} {biking and swimming - non impact creating stuff as well as yoga to help lengthen things} I have a bunch of strengthening exercises to do and I'll go back in a few weeks. My new friend told me that she wants to see "buns of steel" then. That means that those muscles are stronger which will help my sad knee ligaments. Then maybe I can start running.
Honestly, I am a bit bummed. But it's not like this is a shock because I've been dealing with it for about two months. What I am is SO super happy to know what's going on and to be able to get active. I think I'm going to rejoin our YMCA which is funny to me because I dropped that membership when we moved to our apartment since the exercise room here is nice but there sure ain't no pool and knowing me, I need to mix up biking and swimming to keep from getting really, REALLY bored...wish me luck!
Oh...happy Thursday! Do the weeks just FLY by for you too?
 xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Hi y'all. I'm not a "two posts in one day" kind of gal but I put up that first one and then had some more thoughts; let's just deal with it ;).
Today is Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Church. I won't talk too much about it. I mentioned Lent yesterday a bit anyway. I was thinking, though, about the various meanings and what our life is like and how we can be better people and blah blah blah.
Part of the symbolism of the ashes worn today is our sin; they represent that we are sinners. I probably should have asked to have them rubbed all over me {think : overindulgence of Girl Scout Samoas and sometimes maybe not picking up after Guinness [when it's dark! when my hands are already full!]}! In that vein, I was thinking about what I'd like to do for Lent.There are three basic ideas when it comes to these 40 days: Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving {literally giving [$] to those less fortunate}. Growing up everyone gave up things like chocolate or soda. I think, though, that as we age, it's encouraged to give up less tangible things and maybe even add more thought and consideration to our days. As for praying and giving, those two are pretty self-explanatory.
In a compromise, here's what I'm thinking about for myself this Lenten journey; it's pretty "fasting" heavy and light on the other two but I'm trying.
  • I'd like to fast from stress, worry and negativity. I think that's a pretty tall order when it comes to self improvement but I also think that it's where I'm being called. I'm pretty darn good at worrying about things that aren't worthy of worry. Growing up my dad would liken me to Telly Monster {click on his name to read more...you know you want to!} from Sesame Street. I think that the latter two qualities {worry & negativity} quite easily stem from the first. Ideally when I notice myself starting down this path, I'll remember today/my desire to make life a bit easier and I'll stop myself. Or at least reason with myself. Note to self : good luck with that.
  • I'd also like to fast from commercialism. Again, I recognize this as a lofty goal; me + Target = TRUE LOVE. But. That's a huge "but" actually; BUT. I'd like to get away from that part of my life. I recently listened to this {btw it's about an hour long show...you can click HERE to listen to just parts of it}:
    which got me thinking. I'm nowhere near eloquent so, please, just take a listen if your curiosity is at all piqued. Concretely {and ideally} this will be a time where I buy nothing new for myself that isn't meant for eating or medicinal purposes. If there's something I need for work, perhaps, that's cool but I would like to abstain from the unnecessary pretty dress purchases and the oh-so-nice mani/pedis. Not to sound righteous...not to be righteous, actually, but if others can do without, so can I.
    ***Paranoid disclaimer***...this is a self-betterment/Lenten kick that I'm going on and I'm not judging anyone or saying anything about anything at all...honestly, I'd probably live like the Kardashians if given the means. But I've been thinking about the things we do and the way we {me, myself & I} live...that's all.
  • Food, however, is something I don't mess with. If I'm hungry, I'm hungry. I've been anemic and Hangry enough over the course of my life to know that edibles are just something I need and since I can have them, I will. Also, the world is a MUCH happier place when I'm not hungry. Plus, it's not like I'm eating Foi Gras every day. Just Tuesdays. 

  • As far as Prayer goes, I'm more of a thinker. And I'd like those thoughts to lean towards the sunny side of the street {refer to bullet #1}.
  • Almsgiving, thanks to where I work, will go to a sister community we have in El Salvador. Since it's work related I'll keep it brief and as anonymous as I get but El Sal is near and dear to our hearts.
If you're still reading, thanks! This is definitely one of my more touchy-feely posts but sometimes I just have those thoughts. Do you "do" Lent? I really don't think it need be a Catholic thing, I actually really like the idea of self-evaluation and thinking about what it is that we've got going on and how to be better. If that makes sense. 
I may or may not put out a few updates between now and Holy Week when this all formally ends. This is fairly internal for me but, for accountability's sake, felt the need to blog it. If you yourself are keeping some Lenten thoughts, peace to you in your journey!
xoxo, natty ♥

Wordless Wednesday™.

 xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras in a box.

Today is Mardis Gras. Or Fat Tuesday if you're not into the whole being a Francophile thing. Here's what Wikipedia wants to tell you about the day. Here's what the #1 result is according to Google {it's actually a teacher's site but there's some interesting stuff}. And here is what little old me is able to tell you: 
Mardis gras is the day before Ash Wednesday which, in the Catholic Church, marks the beginning of Lent. {Wiki's answer & the Church's answer.} Lent is the 40 day period leading up to Easter Sunday and, along with a few other characteristics, is a time of fasting. Thus, in preparation for 40 days of denial the day before Ash Wednesday is a time to overindulge. For some...Basically Fat Tuesday is your last chance to get in all of those vices which you will give up during the next 40 days.
Mardi Gras is also a very popular holiday in several areas around the world. Carnaval in Brazil being one of those places along with New Orleans {Louisiana}. 
In my family we've had our own little shin dig for many years though I cannot exactly tell you why. I think it's just that we like having fun?
Part of the Mardi Gras celebration is a King's Cake which I talked about here. It's a treat that is shared around Little Christmas time {early January} but also at Mardi Gras and I honestly cannot tell you why.
Anyway, along with a King's Cake we also have a big dinner of crab, shrimp and dirty rice. And we wear beads that were purchased at a store and not earned any other way.
We'd ordered a cake actually from Nola before and last year I snagged one at a bakery but this year my grandmother bought a boxed mix at World Market; score!
I had the honor of following the directions and present to you here my favorite parts of the Lazy Girl's King's Cake.
  • The directions actually told me how to create a "warm place"...how novel!

  • The mix included the baby. Per tradition there is to be a small charm or baby stuck in the cake and the lucky recipient gets to hold the next year's celebration. I think that there's also another Churchy holiday that comes after the Epiphany and that the person who gets the baby hosts that celebration when the cake is had at Epiphany and not Fat Tuesday. 

  • When I looked at the front I noticed that the baby is also in the picture on the front cheering me on. 

  • The cake actually wasn't that easy and involved yeast, two separate rising times and rolling out the dough. Sooooo...I felt like a capable baker; yea!
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
 xoxo, natty ♥

Marvelous Monday.

Better late than never! Five things that make/made today great. Even though it's Monday.
1} Can you say "Day Off"?
2} Thanks to #1 = no alarm clocks!
3} Despite #1 I got some grading done today - always a good thing.
4} I also got in a nap today - totally gratuitous considering I went to bed before 11 last night and slept in until nine...what can I say...it was a day off!
5} So many pretty little blossoms are popping up all over the place around here; spring here we come!
What's been enjoyable about your day? Are you looking forward to anything this week? Do you have any Lenten plans?
 xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recipe for a great Sunday.

  • A Day-Off tomorrow.
  • Lots of time for St. Paddy's Day crafting while watching Teen Mom 2 which resulted in this beautiful garland.
And the left-overs from cutting out my circles which I sewed to a bit of thread to hang up for more color around the old apartment.
After having taken a picture I realized that they look like cheese and I might need to take them down.
Wreaths! One for me and one for someone else!
And a printable framed. 

  • A Law & Order SVU marathon on TV.
  • Dinner in the oven.
  • Much laundry done {including folding} which isn't fun in and of itself but it certainly is nice!
  • Many dishes done too. Not so fun but see above.
This certainly wasn't the most thrill-filled weekend but the slow pace definitely did me good...and there's a whole day left!
What's been great about your weekend?
 xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Today we fed our brains and went to a museum. The Oakland Museum of California is one of my favorite Bay Area museums as well as one of my favorites in general.
I went here once with my pops when I was little which I obviously don't remember well. I have also gone several times in the past five years as a teacher taking her class on a field trip. 
Though from a student perspective I loved field trips, they bring me endless amounts of stress as a teacher. I wish I could think otherwise but a combination of the following prevents me from being able to do so : 
  • Being in charge of a large group {"large" being more than one} of minors that are not my blood relations.
  • Planning and organizing the transportation of said charges.
  • Hoping and praying fervently that nothing goes wrong, no one gets sick or lost and that as many students that left also return. 
  • Making detailed plans for the substitutes in the classes I left behind.
Needless to say, it was lovely to be able to enjoy such a cool place as an aware adult who's not completely preoccupied with the well-being of many young people. Mikey and our pal Eddie and I had a great time walking around the California history section of the museum. There are several other areas but this one is so chock full that it's enough for one whole visit.
The history section starts with Native information and goes to present-day California. 
This wasn't "modern-day" but I enjoyed it.
The whole exhibit also incorporates many interactive elements {which is awesome, as far as museums go if you ask me} one of which was this cool map.
There were little red dot stickers and patrons are invited to place one on the world map according to where they or their relatives hail from. There was also a guest book where folks can explain a bit more. It will all be incorporated into a formal exhibit some time in the future. I put one in Colombia since that's where my mama came from.
We had a great time and then the mister and I fed our tummies by buying a take and bake pizza from Costco so all-in-all it's been a fabulous Saturday and I hope that yours has been too! 
 xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, February 17, 2012

There is no better feeling...

...than Friday night.
That and a good great Indian dinner.
Happy weekend to you!
 xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Warm Morning.

Last week I tried a new recipe. At around 9 PM on Wednesday night I mixed up up the follow ingredients:

* two chopped up apples. They were old but still good so I decided to get some use out of them.
* 1 cups of steel cut oats.
* 4 cups of water.
* 1/2 cup of milk.
* 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
* 1 tsp of: vanilla and cinnamon.
* 1 pat of butter.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

You might ask : What did you put them into San Jose Señora? And I would gladly answer: into my crockpot I put them!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Then I turned it to "low" and went to bed! When I woke up at a bit after six, breakfast was hot and warm and very ready for me.
I highly recommend this activity for anyone interested in this sort of thing...feel free to play around with the ingredient add-ons but I'm pretty sure that the oats to liquid ratio needs to stay the same {could be increased but incrementally of course}. The butter is optional, obviously, as are the sugary things. One thing is for sure, though, steel cut oats need to be used...either those or groats but definitely not quick cooking since they'd get really super soggy.

A recipe I saw online actually suggested putting all the ingredients into a heat-resistant glass bowl, putting the bowl into the crockpot and putting water into the crockpot just up until the edge of the glass bowl. This might prevent the crustiness that happens around the edge of the oatmeal but that gooiness didn't bother me.
Have you tried any non-dinner crockpot recipes? There are cake & dessert ones out there too which I wouldn't mind trying. 
Aaaaand by the way. In last week's Marvelous Monday I alluded to a new pork dish. It was made! And in the crockpot too! I put in a 3 pound roast I had rubbed in garlic and olive oil {with salt & pepper} and a bit of water and let it do it's thing all day; delish! My Rival cooker has been getting lots of action lately!
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I love you so much sweetie; happy Valentine's Day!
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, February 13, 2012

Marvelous Monday.

Ye olde Marvelous Monday.
1} Guilty pleasures...as in Jersey Shore!
2} Fondue for tomorrow night...using our own fondue maker!
3} We might be going to Reno this weekend...woot!
4} We've been getting a bit of rain here and there...which we need! And it helps those pretty flowers and new green leaves to start doing their thing.
5} Our very first and our very own Valentine's Day as a Married Couple ♥.

What's good and great about your week? Your Monday?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Since the age of ten I have loved magazines. Do you, reader, enjoy them as much as I do? 
I started my career with the American Girl magazine {which I loved} and the lesser known literary magazine for tweens called Cricket. It had no ads. It was kind of granola-y. I'd stay up late and read the whole thing the day it came in. Yeah, somehow, as a young child, I got hooked on a youth reading magazine. That about sums me up still.
Anyway, I ventured into Seventeen and Teen People for a bit. Oddly I only read Seventeen before reaching the title age. I may or may not have been able to sneak in a Cosmopolitan once or twice but {as it does still} that publication scared me.
I've been a loyal reader of Glamour for about ten years. 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
There's no better feeling than having the promise of a whole issue ahead of me. 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Pages and pages of fun!
I usually save new ones for when I'm kind of ahead on my grading and don't have much to do.
That way I don't feel too guilty. 
Magazine reading appeals so much to me because of the quantity of material that is condensed into one place all at the ready for me to discover and enjoy. I'm also a huge fan of Real Simple which is way more home care fun than the clothing/love-life/miscellaneous that Glamour offers. 
I'm not going to lie. US Weekly makes an appearance every once and a while too.
You'll notice a lack of intellectual material here and of that I'm not too bothered. I like being able to escape for a bit into those thin pages and not worry about serious matters. I will delve into Mikey's New Yorkers but to be completely honest I sometimes don't have the patience {am I a victim of today's instant gratification culture? Probably.} to read through those really long articles...as interesting and informative as they may be. There. I said it. Please judge not.
I also like actual paper tomes. My green tendencies fight against this, I guess, but at least I recycle them. The appeal of non electronic versions is that there are zero links to distract me. When reading an online article there is always a suggested reading or bit of information to google which goes along with the main piece. Don't pull me in so many directions! Let me enjoy and focus on the topic at hand! Please!
What's your favorite magazine? Do you think it still counts as reading if it's not a book?
And do you LOATHE those inserts as much as I do?
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Happy Day to you Reader!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, February 11, 2012


This morning my mom and I went to an estate sale. I've talked about this before so I'll not be too verbose. An estate sale is similar to a garage sale in that it's held in the home from which all items for sale originated but it's different in that usually everything is for sale because the owner{s} passed away or are majorly downsizing. 
This can be quite a huge undertaking for normal folks so many families hire a company to come in and carefully sort and price everything. These small companies will also facilitate the sale as well as the clean-up afterwards. I've always found sadness in these sales. I can be kind of emotional or maybe sentimental at times and it seems scary to have a life's possessions laid out for customers but what i try to keep in mind is that if there was anything truly of personal value to the owners and family, they probably took it with them. And that they most likely want these things to be taken care of. They are, after all, paying someone to take care of the whole situation.
So I kind of love estate sales. Once I get past my own weirdness there's much to be had. Unlike a garage sale these events often have some amazing vintage items. I have a penchant for old pyrex/pyrex-type kitchen and dish wares. I also enjoy some good pottery {platters and big bowls are my thing} as well as pretty linens. I've found great stationary items from the 50s and 60s and, oddly enough, there is ALWAYS a supply of holiday wrapping paper at these things. 
Garage sales are great too and their season {a.k.a. warmer weather} is rapidly approaching but estate sales offer slightly less "junk" than their counterparts.
This morning for $8.50 I walked away with a few magazines {kind of weird, I know, but for a quarter each, why not?}
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
, some interesting books {that little "Pleasant Sunday Afternoons" tome comes from 1907!}
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
, wrapping paper {ha!} and a couple of old beach towels.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Do you make the rounds Saturday mornings? Or are you the type that can't fathom the thought of even touching used things? I can totally relate to both; I do a major disinfecting before anything gets used.
Also on the agenda today: resting my knee {it's not good, more on that later this next week}, finishing taxes {that would be my husband, actually...thank you SOSOSO much Mike}, seeing a movie tonight {woot!} and maybe some dinner making.
Happy Saturday to you!!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, February 10, 2012


I teach at an all girls school. Thus, there are some topics of conversation that come up which might be taboo or a non-issue at a coeducational institution. Not at our school! To give you an idea of what I speak, certain personal hygiene products come up often. As do bodily functions and leg hair.
Anyhow, we also have a Spirit Week. The singe sex environment seems to encourage all-out craziness in dress up themes {look for five very interesting posts coming up some time in March...} which is another benefit of our lack of y-chromosome presence. 
A big part of our spirit week is a service drive. We don't want to condone extreme frivolity without giving back to others. In the past we have had a variety of themes to direct our helping. One year the idea was "Bellies and Booties" and we all brought in as much formula {bellies} and as many diapers {booties} as we could. Homerooms compete to see who can bring in more stuff and the four classes will compete for the same title. "Spirit Points" are awarded accordingly. The class with the most points at the end of the week WINS Spirit Week though this year new rules are being implemented that there will no longer be a "winner" which I think is great because the competition got to be Too Much and the students seemed to be losing sight of what it means to have a good time together as "sisters". 
We maintain our normal teaching during this time, for your information. 
This year we are doing what we did last year and having a collection drive for some products that are sadly overlooked in local shelters and food banks; feminine products! We're adding in women's underwear and socks too. It made a lot of sense to me when we started this in 2011. People donate plenty of food and clothing but these little things make a huge difference in a woman's life and are often forgotten.
The big week isn't for a month or so but the collecting has officially begun. And with that in mind, I present you this image.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
From here until March 16th the sight of panties {and maxi pads and tampons} hoarded under a teacher's desk will be completely normal. And we like it that way.
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lemony Lovliness.

This week I ventured into New Baking Territory and created my very own loaf of lemon bread; yum!
As I mentioned a few weeks ago one of my pals gifted me with a bagful of Meyer lemons and I decided to do something with them for my monthly baked good goal.
After a bit of searching I decided on a bread/pound cake thing with a glaze. It was pretty easy to whip up.
That red juice squeezer/bar contraption made things go quickly for me!
I might have baked it a bit too long because it seemed a bit dry but it might also be that I let it sit out for many hours "cooling".
No matter what, though, it was delicious and made good use of at least half of those lemons. The other five or so have gone into various dinners; thanks Lauren!
Yum! Yesterday's picture.
Have you baked anything new recently? Do you have a fall-back baked good? Mine is usually chocolate chip cookies {a little too often maybe} so I was glad to try something new. Happy almost Friday to you!

Here's an approximation of what I did. 

Cake ingredients:
1.5 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
about half of 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
A little over 1 cup of sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
Grated lemon zest from 1 to 2 lemons
A scant 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice {put some more aside for the syrup and glaze}
2 sticks of melted and cooled butter {salted or unsalted is up to you}
1/4 cup of sour cream at room temperature {I used plain Greek yogurt}
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Syrup ingredients: 
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

Glaze ingredients:
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

Make the loaf!
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In your mixer {or using a hand-held jobaroo} mix together the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Slowly add in the melted butter {I used a tablespoon to do the trick}.
  • Slowly add in the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Quickly fold in the flour mixture taking care not to over mix.
  • Bake this dude up in a 9x5 {approximately} baking pan. I greased the heck out of mine AND lined it with foil. Do what you will to ensure that your finished product pops out nicely and doesn't break apart in a sad and crumbly manner.
  • Cook for 20 minutes at 350 then another 30 to 35 at 325 {though I'm not sure how effective it is to lower an oven temperature in the middle of a job but that's what I did...}. Or at least until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the loaf cool. I usually put the pan with the loaf still in it onto a cooling rack or if you're brave and it's dropped in temperature a bit, put the loaf itself onto a rack.
Now make the syrup!
  • Stir together about 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice and the same amount of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until it dissolves. 
  • When the loaf has cooled for about 15 minutes then score the top and sides of the bread. Using a brush {or pour slowly} coat the top and sides of the loaf with the sugar/lemon mixture. Use about half, let it soak in for about 10 minutes and then finish it off. Or do it all at once. Whichever pleases you.
Now make the glaze!
  • Mix together half a cup of confectioner's sugar and a few more tablespoons of lemon juice. Mine came out thin so maybe go heavy on the sugar. Pour this over the top and enjoy!!!

xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Blegh. As of Sunday morning I have an ear infection. Who even gets these except people under seven years of age? I woke up with a horrendous feeling and decided to call in when it didn't get better. For another week or so it's amoxicillin's job to heal me.

Wish us luck!

xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, February 6, 2012

Marvelous Monday.

1} I think I'm trying a new pork recipe tonight...yea! I "think" because if I get home later than I'd like to then it's plain & quick tuna melts for us.
2} We're going to Reno!!!!
3} The sun's rising and setting a bit earlier every day {I told you this would be a weekly enjoyment of mine!}.
That's for this week in our zip code.
4} This is the week where I get to start running again...this could be not-so-marvelous if the old patellar tendonitis is still flaring up but then that only means that we can figure out why so all-in-all it's a Good Thing.
5} Lemon Bread...with a lemon glaze drizzled on top...more on this later.

Happy Monday to you all! What's good about this day for you? Did you enjoy a Super Bowl party yesterday? Are you looking forward to longer and warmer days coming up?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Last night we went to an annual dinner fundraiser at the school where I work. This shindig is not just any dinner but a Crab Feed. For those not from the west coast, now is dungeness crab season and lots of schools will do a crab dinner-fundraiser. The crustaceans look like this:
and provide plentiful white meat when cracked. It's a mild flavor made even more delicious with the addition of melted butter and lemon {meyers make it even better!} but also super tasty when plainly cooked with seasonings. 
The student servers bring out bowlful after bowlful of crab that's been cracked just enough to make it easy to eat. It's a fun night for all and the earnings go towards the school which is nice to know.
Also, you get to wear bibs; how fun is that? 
SO much fun!!
We're being crabs.
There's a raffle too which, if you're me, is draw enough. I would go to a roasted dung beetle dinner if there were a raffle {I would just sneak in my own food}. Since there are so many folks at this event we don't usually win anything. But last night, everything changed. That's right.
We're going to RENO!
Look forward to an interesting post about the Biggest Little City in the WORLD.
Go Patriots {minus Tom Brady b/c he ditched a pregnant Bridget Moynahan for Giselle...BLECH!}!
xoxo, natty ♥