Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Daily Eats 9/30

I was running late this morning so breakfast had to be made to go. I used a container of blueberry Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of granola, 5 strawberries, and 1/4 cup of Cheerios. I think this is my favorite breakfast yet. Mr. R calls this my Swedish breakfast because apparently in Sweden they use yogurt instead of milk in their cereal. (Who knew?)
I spent my morning grading papers and updating my grade book. The end of first quarter is quickly approaching and my "to grade" pile is seemingly never ending. Although I made a HUGE dent in it today!

I was commenting to Danielle this morning that today really resembled my life three years ago when I was still working as an engineer. I used to spend my days in front of a computer screen entering numbers with my bottle of water, snack, and trust pens by my side. The only thing distinguishing today from three years ago was that instead of calculating nitrates and phosphorus percentages; I was calculating student averages.

My fancy new water bottle with my favorite pens. Truth be told, I only write with one type of pen. (This is one of the reasons Mr. R calls me Monkish).
My lunch featured more of the same today. Spinach quiche and fruit. Mr. R refuses to eat quiche, something about it not being manfood. This actually works out for me because I end up with a weeks worth of lunch leftovers from one dinner. The fruit is from the same Publix fruit bowl I bought on Sunday. I am so sad that its gone now. I guess its apples for me the rest of this week.
Fall has finally come to Florida. We have the windows open, the screen door open and the pups and I played outside while dinner cooked. I am so excited to be able to run and not start out immediately sweaty!These are new pictures of the pups from outside our living room window.
They love the new ottoman.
I can never get Simon to look at the camera!

And here is Sophie, just because she is adorable.

This was dinner tonight, strawberry salad with Gorgonzola and crasins.
And BBQ chicken pizza for Mr. R.
I did sneak a piece too. It just smelled so good!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taco Tuesday

I am sorry, I have no pictures for you today. I know, I showed so much picture promise yesterday! I did take breakfast pictures, but I forgot my phone at lunch and my dinner was not picture worthy.

I didn't like my dinner tonight, but I was hungry so I kept eating it. Terrible excuse. I just need to learn that if the food tastes bad, stop eating. Instead I smothered my dinner with sour cream and kept shoveling it in. I also had a margarita which rendered me very talky and loud. I am hoping I didn't say anything incriminating or stupid.

I am feeling full and gross right now so I am off to drink some tea and head to bed.

I feel as though I am ending this post on a sour note, but really I had a great day. My students were engaged, my grading is almost caught up, and I even accomplished a few errands. My eyebrows are once again two separate beings and I got Rachel's birthday gift as promised. I also came home to two adorable puppies who showered me with kisses and love.

All in all, I had a great Tuesday, although I think I need to lay off the firewater.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Shout out to Meatless Mondays!

I have to give a quick shout out to the lovelies at Meatless Mondays. They reached out to me on the blog after reading about my new veggie endeavor. There goal is to help Americans reduce their meat intake by offering easy vegetarian meals that you can substitute into your menu one night a week. The recipes are great and as I said they are EASY! (And most of the items you already have in your pantry on your weekly shopping list).

I will be test driving a few of these recipes in the near future.
1. Sweet Potato Burritos
2. Zucchini Frittata (You know how I love brunch foods)
3. Nacho Soup (A new spin on my trusty taco soup)
4. Layered Taco Salad (I bet Mr. R wouldn't even miss the meat in this one).
5. "Chicken" Salad ( I just bought some tempeh so this might be the first recipe I try).

I'll keep you updated with the photos and tasty results.

Daily Eats: 9/28

I am having a hard time getting up and getting motivated in the morning. I think this is the main reason I am not eating breakfast and am constantly almost late to work. I set the alarm for 5:30 AM this morning, which resulted in no morning run, but enough time for a long shower, coffee, blogs, and breakfast. I caught up with young house love, blue eyed bride, and mega nerd while sipping a pumpkin spiced latte (made in the crock) and eating yogurt and peanut butter toast.
Lunch was a recreation of my dinner yesterday. A roll topped with Swiss cheese, asparagus, squash & zucchini. I also packed a bowl of fruit as a snack. I ended up eating the fruit bowl with my sandwich. If you are in the area, Publix has them on sale.

My work day was a blast. We made lots of these....
After reading this...
And my students kept trying to sneak a few of these, while my back was turned.
I left school early today to make sure I could get in a run. I ran for 40 minutes on the treadmill. I lifted for another 30 minutes. I really like lifting weights, it makes me feel strong and powerful.

We were supposed to be eating tortellini for dinner tonight, but I forgot to plug in the crock pot this morning before I left so our dinner was shot. We always have fixings for pancakes in the house and who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? We had pancakes with spinach, mushroom, and onion quiche. I topped my pancakes with almond butter, bananas, and maple syrup. Mr. R had his with a sausage patty.
Amazingly enough I ate all five servings of fruit and veggies today, which is something I never usually accomplish. My tummy is full and a new episode of Mad Men is calling my name. See you tomorrow for Taco Tuesday in honor of Rachel's birthday!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Where did my weekend go?

This weekend seemed to fly by with me accomplishing very little. I even failed on my mission to get all girlie and beautified. Don't worry I will find time this week. (The brows will be tamed!)
On a more interesting note, Danielle introduced me to a few new bloggers who are also on the fit train. They have fantastic eating ideas for vegans, vegetarians, and the meatlover who occasionally eats veggies. I am actually excited about cooking and eating this week. I have to admit I have been a little freaked out about changing my diet and cutting out my staples. I mean what's a girl to do without cheese and chicken fingers?

Here's our weekly menu and I promise all meals will be full of yumminess and you will never miss the meat.
I will try to be as awesome as Danielle and post pictures of my eats, but I am not making any promises.

Sunday: roasted veggies (asparaus, squash, tomatoes, and zucchini) served on a roll swiss cheese and then broiled for 5 mins. Result: melty, gooey, wonderfulness.

Monday: tortellini and red sauce with spinach; Jeff will be eating his with Italian sausage.

Tuesday: Out. Mexican food for Rachel's birthday.

Wednesday: Pancakes with veggies confetti eggs.

Thursday: Blackbean quesadillas with green peppers, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, avacado, and black olives

Friday: Veggie twice baked potatoes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ME day...

Today is my ME Day. This weekend Mr. R has a bazillion things going on. He is booked from 8:00 am this morning until almost Sunday morning. Do you know what this means for me? An entire day devoted to girlieness!
My plans so far: run, haircut, errands & shopping, dinner or maybe just wine...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Skinny Day

I am all to familiar with fat days. On these particular days I stand in my closet, in my birthday suit, and curse my clothes, my thighs, and my poochy belly. Over the past two years, I have had my fair share of fat days.

Today, though, I had my first skinny day in a long time! I woke up this morning and my jeans slid over my hips and fit perfectly. No muffin top in sight! My shirt slid on and draped properly. I ate just enough to feel full during lunch today. And while Danielle's cheese fries called my name, I soldiered on and felt content with my quiche and crasin combo.

I celebrated my skinny day with race packet pick up and sushi with Mr. R. Okay, if we are going to be honest here, I should also tell you I also had 3 oreos.

Tomorrow we, Mr. R, Danielle, and I, run a 5k. I haven't run all week so I am not expecting a stellar 5k time. It will be fun to run an actual race again instead of just me and the Garmin. Wish me luck!

BTW: I spent a couple of hours searching blogs for veggie dinner options for the coming weeks and I am pleased to say I found several dinners that satisfy my husband's meaty needs and still meet my dietary requirements. I'll post my new menu tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

She's now gone meatless.

This is actually a phrase from a favorite MONK episode of mine. Say what you want about me being old and having bad taste in television, I LOVE that show. In the episode my title phrase turns out to be a Russian phrase that means "this is not my coat".

In my life this phrase means, I going back to my old vegetarian ways. In the past two weeks, I have been feeling awful after eating meat. Some nights I just have an all over crappy feeling and yet others I feel nauseous.

Up until 4 years ago, I almost never ate meat. In fact, during my years of grad school I was a vegetarian. I think my body just works better and I feel better, when I am not eating meat.

I talked over my new veggie status with Mr. R and we decided to have our first week of meatless meals. (Well, meatless for me and semi-meatless for Mr. R). He swears he needs meat to live. Considering I am also off of soy products, this weeks menu is a bit of a trial & error for me.

Monday: Spicy Sweet Potato soup with spinach quiche
Tuesday: Leftover soup & pecan, cranberry, blue cheese salad (Loving the new Sargento salad sensation in the produce aisle)
Wednesday: Costco Orange Chicken (for Mr. R) with brown rice and roasted veggies (for me)
Thursday: Whole wheat penne pasta with vodka sauce (out of the jar).
Friday: Out! Mr. R and I are having a date night with friends.

Wish me luck on my new veggies endeavour. And let's hope my stomach feels better about the healthy choices I am trying to make.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Philippians 4:6-7

I read a lot of blogs on various spectrum from running, to decorating, to fashion, and some that can only be categorized as girlie nonsense. What I love about blogging is learning about the struggles and triumphs of others. I recently found a blog titled Kelly's Korner where the author documents her struggle with infertility and then the miraculous conception and healthy arrival of her baby girl. Her posts about prayer request and thanksgiving take me back to what is really important in life. It's not what's in my bank account or what size clothes I am wearing, or where I am going or not going on vacation... its about changes in our lives for the good and bad and how we work through them.

If you have been following my blog for the last few months you may have noticed that we at casa republican have been working out a few marriage, family, job, and health issues. No issue is life threatening or deadly. Our marriage just has a few kinks and the family status will come in time, I am sure. The job situation is stable for now. But... all of that being said I am still anxious and at times worried.

I am worried that I will not finish this marathon, that after this year my job won't be safe, that Mr. R and I will never start a family because something new will pop up that seems more pressing at the time. I worry that I may never lose this weight and that Mr. R and I will never be that couple who is just able to "be" in their marriage instead of working so hard at our marriage.

I promise there is a point to all of this background info.

My daily devotions took me to Philippians 4:6 & & today. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".

So often I try to take care of everything myself. I want to be the one that fixes the problem. In the world's eyes I am a strong and independent person, but in the eyes of God I am a sheep in need of a shepherd who is able to meet my needs if I only ask. Man, is that a humbling and yet wonderful thought.

As I close this post, I will leave you with the words of Mary Southerland, "No matter what lies ahead, God is faithful. No matter how hot the fiery trial may be, God will deliver us. No matter what man says or does, God loves and accepts us. So praise God! Thank him today for every victory tomorrow holds! "

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

We sang this song in church this morning and I cannot tell you how great it was to let go of myself and my burdens and just really focus on God and all that he has done for me. Our message today was on the wonder of God. And to be honest it has been a very long time since I had contemplated how much God continues to do in my life and how very little I deserve his grace and mercy.

I wanted to take a moment from my daily musings, rants, and nonsense to focus on all the things in my life that are full of wonder and praise worthy.

1. Mr. R and I own a home and are able to make our mortgage payments and save for the future.

2. We are both currently employed and would not be if we didn't relocate two years ago.

3. We are credit card free. (And believe me this was a long time coming).

4. We have wonderful friends who accept us as we are and welcome us into their lives and hearts on a daily basis.

5. We have two adorable dogs (Simon & Sophie) who provide unconditional love no matter what mood we come home in.

6. We maintained our marriage for almost four years through times of love, anger, feast, and famine.

7. I live in a nation that allows me to express my opinions, vote for who I want, and better myself.

8. I am running a marathon in 4 short weeks with four other wonderful women who are constant encouragement even when I don't believe in myself.

When I list my praises out, I have so many things to be thankful for. Philippians 4:8 says it best. When I am overwhelmed, bogged down, or feeling unlovely this week. I will think on these 8 things and be filled with wonder and praise for my heavenly father who makes all of these things possible.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


September 11th 2001, was the first national tradgedy I had ever expeirenced. I remember hearing about the Oklahoma City bombing and I read about Columbine, but I did not know those people nor did I feel a personal connection or loss.

I went to college in northern NJ a short 30 minute train ride from NYC. On the morning on September 11th I was worried about an organic chemistry test and by early afternoon my campus was on lock down. I spent that night attending a vigil in my school's gymnasium praying for family members, friends, and acquaintances that were lost or still missing.
Eight years later I am now a teacher to middle school students who have no memory of 9/11 and struggle to understand why a moment of silence is necessary to remember those who we lost in the twin towers, the pentagon, flight 93, and the firefighters and police men and women who gave their lives during rescue efforts.
Mr. R, a more gifted writer than me, wrote a response to Eli Saslow's article on teaching children to remember 9/11. (See below).

Today marks eight years since that terrible day of September 11, 2001. Many of us have memories of that day that we'll never be able to shake, but for children, that day is not even a memory - it's a lesson. I highly recommend you read an article in today's Washington Post by Eli Saslow.It's about one man's mission to remember his brother who was killed on 9/11 by creating a lesson plan that schools all over the country can use to teach about that day. Despite the obvious shortcomings of the lesson plan, the article did make me evaluate how we should teach about 9/11 to those who do not remember.

Regardless of the many dark memories I carry from 9/11, the real lesson of that day is heroism and the unbreakable spirit of the American people. Think about the firefighters who rushed into the towers and the Pentagon - over 300 of them never came out again. Think of the thousands of people who lined up to donate blood just because they felt like they needed to help in some small way. Think of the thousands of phone calls from hijacked planes and burning buildings to husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers. Think of the prayer vigils. Think of the soldiers who were soon sent overseas - and who are still there, fighting to keep this from ever happening again. Finally, think of the brave passengers on Flight 93 - ordinary people who fought back knowing they would probably die in the process.

For those of us with these memories, it is our duty to teach the lessons of 9/11 to the next generation. So if you get a chance, thank a firefighter, police officer, EMT, or Red Cross worker. And if you have children, tell them why these people are heroes: They are the ordinary people that we never think about until we need them - but they're always there.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Running & Thinking

I think running in the early morning gives me the time and the quiet to actually think. (I know this may sound hard to believe with all the heavy breathing and gasping for air that my body is doing). The hour I spend on the road or the treadmill lets my mind wonder and imagine or pontificate.

My latest musings:

1. If senior citizens are spending all of their social security money on medical care, why not end social security and send that extra money over to health care. I can't figure out how cutting $500 million from the medicare/medicaid budget will help fund health care. (Do the math people!)

2. If I keep modifying my curriculum to fit the needs of every individual education plan am I really teaching my curriculum?

3. The Simpson's and south park were way ahead of the their time. The issues (nonsense) they covered in the 90s and early 2000s portray the stupidity I see on a daily basis. The episode featuring voting on the school mascot is sheer brilliance. I currently think I am in the same boat with the new state senate and gubernatorial elections.

4. Since when does parenting equal sending emails and throwing money at your child?

5. Why do so many people smoke. Didn't they have DARE programs at their middle school?

6. Obama's health care plan makes no sense and if you really think you can have a public and private plan simultaneously then I have a bridge to sell you. The old adage was right, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

7. Why do politicians automatically assume they have your vote before they have proven themselves or their cause? Just because we live at casa repunlicana, does not mean I have to vote the party line. (aka please do not vote for Dan Quiggle on 9/15)

8. Aren't loose fitting skinny jeans the same things as straight leg jeans?

9. Why will my dogs eat baby carrots, but not slices of carrot?

10. And finally, why did the lesbians have to take over Birkenstocks? Those sandals are so comfortable and I miss truly wearing them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Starbucks Wisdom

At casa republican we are avid coffee drinkers. As much as I would like to pretend I am a coffee snob, I will drink almost anything as long as it is served black and is full of caffeine. I found a Starbucks gift card at the bottom of my purse (a gift from one of my kiddies, cue smile) and just new a trip to Yuppie latte heaven was in order. (I can say the last phrase becuase we lived in the land of yuppies and starbucks for a short time).

As I was grooving on my caffeine fix I saw this quote stamped to my cup.

Embrace this right now life……take your bites with bravery and boldness since the learning and the growing are here in these times, these exact right nows. Capture these times. Hold and kiss them because it will soon be very different.

This quote was meant for me. I may be scared to death about my situation right now, but atleast I am here, I am breathing, I will learn from this, I will survive, and I will never have these moments again. Today I will be thankful for my right now and I will embrace my todays and tomorrows with a bit of boldness and a bit of hope (and of course a lot of prayer).

Friday, September 4, 2009


I made it through the week! It was a rough week. I am exhausted and I don't think I accomplished much at all. I am going to be grateful that I am employed, I have an awesome husband to come home to, and that I am healthier (mentally, physically, and spiritually) than I am have been in a long time. Happy Friday and here's to a better week!