Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So far so good...

I am two days in (this week) with my students and they are champs. They didn't complain during Cornell note taking and my classes all have almost a 100% homework average. I think I need to bribe them with really awesome labs more often. Or maybe its this year's new schedule. Whatever it is, I am grateful because so far, so good.

I am sticking to my Hal Higdon training schedule (thanks Kristin!) and today I needed to run 3 miles and do some ab work. I am back to running intervals of 2:1 or 4:2 and so far so good. No shin splints, no plantar fascitis, no blisters.

Tonight's dinner was stellar. I pink puffy heart Indian food, not me Indian (I mean Native American), but food from the country of India. And I discovered that the crockpot lady has an awesome selection of Indian recipes. This morning I mixed all of these spices and some Greek yogurt to make Tandoori chicken. I poured the mixture over 4 chicken breasts and 8 hours later, came home to this!We are eating our chicken over basmati rice and with a side of babagnoush and naan. Let's be honest I could eat nothing but babagnoush for the rest of my natural and eternal lives and be totally happy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Can you eat rainbow... eat rainbow... eat rainbow?

So the title is a play on words and a tribute to my favorite childhood TV show Captain Noah. If you lived in Philly or near Philly in 1986 you know what I am talking about. If not... you totally missed out! (He used to ask if you could sing rainbow.)

Yesterday while reading blogs I discovered a new love. A company passionate about eating healthy and getting kids to make healthy choices with food. The message is simple. If you eat a rainbow each day then you are getting your 5 fruits and veggies and eating your way through a host of necessary vitamins and minerals.

I know this is for kids, but seriously sign me up! I want to eat a rainbow everyday!

With my new goal in mind here are the colorful food choices I made today.

Red: fresh cherries at lunch
Orange: nectarine for post dinner snack
Yellow: yellow onion on my slider at lunch (I know I am stretching this one)
Green: asparagus with dinner, cabbage stuffed inside our chicken potstickers
Blue: None
White: do dumplings count?

And a quick snapshot of our dinner... because it's just not a post without pictures!

Today's Lesson

Mr. R and I have been in a bit of a rut. So I was excited when Cher posted her week long class. Spouse Loving 101. I am not sure what married life in like in your house, but I can tell you that it's easy for two overcommitted married people to forget to love on each other daily. Especially when you don't have matching love languages, but I digress.

Tonight is all about the make-out (and a little bit of graphing).
So Mr. R, (if you are reading this), class starts @ 8:00!
Attendance: Mandatory
Participation: Encouraged and Appreciated

And the lesson on graphing... (check it out below)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Full circle

Mr. R and I were talking about the olden days today... before we were married when we were living in the old house in Arlington, VA with 4 other roommates!
Life was crazy then! We had all of these projects going on with school and work. We were constantly fixing up the house. We had a busy social scene. And weekends would go by in an instant.

And it seems we have come full circle. We are in the heart of Republican campaign season. Mr. R is booked with events, volunteering for candidates and then he also has zoning board meetings. I am back to school and back to volunteering. We have LOTS of house projects to tackle. Mostly decorating so I see a few IKEA trips in our future :) And this weekend totally flew by.

I did get to wear my fun hat today. And make these amazing sliders again.
And I found this dachshund print!
I swear it looks just like Sophie!

The name game..

Everyonce in a while I get baby brain and Mr. R. and I start talking about names, nurseries, diapers, and expenses. He likes to talk about saving and making plans for daycare. I like to concentrate on the fun of naming our imaginary child.

Girls: Lucy, Penelope (Penny), Piper (Pippa), Ruby, Eloise

Boys: Charlie, Oscar, Henry, Jack

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hooray for everyday!

I had the chance to spend a little time with the new IKEA catalogue and I am in love with their theme for 2011. Hooray for everyday!

Friday: I didn't take a single picture yesterday, but it was awesome nonetheless. Today was a great day with my students. They were attentive and are still on best behavior. Can we all say a prayer that this lasts for the WHOLE year? By the time I was home, Mr. R was done for the day as well. We had a couple of hours of downtime... Yay! for mellow afternoons. And then we celebrated the first week of school being over! I drank a ridiculous number of calories in my margarita and ate enough chips and salsa for a small village. I came home, tired, tipsy, happy and grateful. I have awesome friends!

Saturday: Today I dressed like in stripes and my favorite shorts to run errands and spend too much time in Target. I should have been doing laundry, cleaning, mailing packages, and doing wife stuff... but the siren call of Target is too strong. And I needed to check out the fall clothing finds and fun shoes. My Costco shopping extravaganza on Saturday yielded stuffed portobello mushrooms and couscous. Lunch was amazing! I also had a hair appointment today. I am now a brunette with bangs. Tonight is also date night. I declared it as such after I heard that Redbox is now located at our corner gas station. Can red vines, diet coke, and popcorn be counted as dinner?And if movie food is dinner than chocolate lava cake is my dessert! I made it in the crockpot using this recipe. The recipe is crazy simple you mix up chocolate cake batter and then layer it with mixed chocolate pudding. I topped mine with chocolate and peanut butter chips.
Hooray for friends!
Hooray for highlights!
Hooray for date night!
Hooray for every day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I am ready for the weekend!

I had a massively productive Thursday and I feel crazy busy... but also really accomplished. My to-do list is currently empty! EMPTY I TELL YOU! This never happens so please take a moment and join me in my happy dance.

Here is a quick rundown of today:

Teaching! I consider today my first real day of school. Today I actually taught a real lesson, not just beginning of the year procedural stuff. I covered class expectations and then we SAVED FRED! This is one of my most favorite labs and it practices teamwork and responsibility. Plus my students love it!

Then it was home to shower, walk the dogs, and throw in some laundry.
A stop at Starbucks for a sugar and caffeine rush. Mr. R is in lust with the new passion fruit tea lemonade.

Massive grocery shopping at Costco. (At least we have a full and happy fridge now)And finally dinner catered by Chipotle. (This may or may not have been the reason for my impromptu need to grocery shop!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)

I had 4 miles on the training calendar for today and I was not feeling motivated. I even asked Mr. R to give me a pep talk on the way to the gym. Let me tell you, he needs to work on his pep talk skills. I think he mumbled something about goal setting and hydration and then told me to "get at it".
I did run my 4 miles today and I am proud to say I ran them in honor of MCM Mama who is turning 40 today! Happy Birthday! She posted a virtual race on her blog with the option to run 4 miles, 8.25 miles (in honor of the actual date) or a 40K (if you are crazy enough!).
Dinner tonight was rockin'! I wanted something fastfood-ish, but without the millions of calories. My favorite bar food is buffalo wings. In fact after almost every exam in grad school you would find me at Carpool (a bar in Arlington) drinking snakebite and chowing down on fried food covered in hot sauce. We had a weight watchers friendly version tonight. I used this recipe and served it with a side of mashed potatoes, carrots, and celery.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Notes from the lunch room...

TI had an awesome lunch today. I am back to packing my lunch daily and I have been testing out new combos, but this by far was my favorite!
A few years ago I discovered the wonderful-ness of Campbell's tomato basil soup. Then just as I fell in love with it, they stopped making the liquid goodness and pulled it out of every grocery store in a 100 mile radius. (or at least every Publix from here to Orlando)

I was sad for a very long time and then I found this recipe (its by Rachael Ray!). And it tastes almost exactly like the Campbell's version only with less sodium and no metal can aftertaste.
I had my soup with cheez-its and a green salad with ranch dressing.

Republicans, leopard print, and stickers...

I voted today.
Did you?
Today is the Florida primary election in our parts. And I needed to vote for who my party is planning to endorse in the general elections on November 5th. I think this is the first time ever in our marriage where Mr. R and I have not agreed on a single candidate. We are choosing to follow in the wise steps of Arnold and Maria (Schwarzenagger-Shriver) and not discuss politics at our dinner table tonight.

I also wore a new dress and red lipstick today.
On a laugh I bought red lipstick for my Ms. Pacman costume that I made/wore for Danielle's 80's party. I never wear lipstick, let alone red lipstick, but something about this $1.99, NYC brand, fire engine red color just calls to me. I find myself wearing it all the time. Maybe I am a lipstick wearer after all.

And lastly, these are my new shoes.
I think I am in love, if it is possible to be in love with a pair of kitten heels. They are super comfortable. Stacy London would be proud, I am increasing my leg line with minimal heeled effort :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Slow Cooker Sunday

I love the slow cooker (crock-pot). It cooks food slowly (hence the name) all day long, leaving my home smelling delicious and requiring minimal cooking effort on my part.
Today I had a slow cooker Sunday, a relaxing day of reading, eating, a little food prep, and sometime spent reorganizing my closet and the main parts of our house. Besides church, we had no real agenda and it was wonderful.

Here is my newly organized closet, seperated by shirts, pants, dresses, and skirts.

And the results of a trip to Target. I now have an organized tupperware cabinet And the pups have new bones!

I did manage to make an awesome dinner so I thought I would share :)

Sunday Summer Salad
Chopped lemon pepper rotisserie chicken (from Publix), sliced strawberries, one diced apple, blue cheese crumbles, red onion slices, and candied pecans served on a bed of baby lettuce (from the bag). I used Ken's raspberry vinaigrette for the dressing. We also had whole wheat bread on the side.

I cannot stop singing the praises of caramelized pecans. They have changed the way I feel about salad. Super easy, so good, and they only required two ingredients.
To be honest, the real reason we are eating salad tonight for dinner is that I don't want to feel guilty for eating Gooey Butter Cake. Cjane (over at Cjane enjoy it!) sang it's praises during her trip to STL and I was super excited to try it. I wish I could say I loved it, but it was a bit too sweet for me. It was easy to make and fun to try, but I think this will be our first and last tastes of buttercake.


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Saturday, August 21, 2010

It flies by...

A girlfriend of mine from high school is an amazing photographer in Maryland. I had the chance to peruse her website this week and I was struck by her philosophy: capture and enjoy the moment because time flies by.

This week has flown by so quickly! I can't believe its Saturday. And for a good chunk of this past week I have been worrying and fretting about a new school year, my students, new expectations, and a crazy workload. In all of that worry I forgot to take pictures, spend time with my husband, and enjoy the little moments that make everyday worth living.

A few years ago another girl I went to high school with became pregnant and needed an emergency C-section. Upon opening her up the doctors discovered she had stage 4 cancer. She died only a few months later. Time flies by, life is way too short and too precious to worry about the small stuff.

So today I am going shopping for flowers. And I am making a toga. I am going to take lots of pictures and sing loudly to the radio with the windows down. Life is too short not to enjoy every little moment.

Photos by Amanda Arnold

Friday, August 20, 2010

More reasons to love Audrey

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls." -AH

I think I may have a bit of a crush on Audrey Hepburn. She is my ideal version of what a woman should be like. Full of class, flawless beauty, and a little bit cooky. I saw this quote posted on another lovely blog today and I couldn't help but steal it.

Today I went to work in my favorite dress and 4 inch heels. I wore my hair down and even some mascara for the occasion. I felt like a different person. After an entire summer in white polos, bathing suits, and Birkenstocks it felt amazing to be dressed again. I don't know if this is scientifically true, but I think it is impossible not to feel amazing in a dress, heels, and pearls. Today was a good day, I generally had fun meeting the parents, setting up my schedule, and planning for the next few weeks. My feet are a little sore, but that is to be expected.

I am happy to be spending my weekend with Mr. R. We have events to keep us busy through Sunday and that makes me happy. If Ms. Hepburn's logic about happiness and prettiness being tied together, then I just might be the prettiest girl in the room!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bring the rain:

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Today I need to make a few decisions. I need to say a few things that will make me uncomfortable. I know the outcome of these decisions will not be easy. I know the path I am choosing will not be smooth. I know that I may be choosing to climb a mountain alone when I could have just as easily choose to stay on the flat ground with a friend. I am praying that I am following God's plan. And that even though I will experience the rain for sometime, the rain will bless me and my family.

Above Lyrics by MercyMe

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I had one of those rapid fire information days... a day where my pen could not write fast enough and where my brain was running a mile a minute. Welcome back to school! Summer is officially over.

I am not so sure how I feel about this school year. More than anything I just want to be back teaching and not in meetings. I want to meet my students and get excited as to why I choose to send my day with pre-teens. I want less paperwork and more meaningful interaction. Right now I feel like I am just spinning my wheels waiting for the checkered flag to finally fall.

Mr. R is out tonight and while I am also supposed to be out being productive, I have opted for a night in to decompress, drink hot tea, and go through our vacation pictures. I also get to do all of this in my yoga pants and tank top while he is forced to put on a suit. I think I totally got the better end of the deal.

I did want to share that my 30 day challenge is off to an amazing start.
Monday: Tae-bo (fat blasting cardio)
Tuesday: 2 miles and arm strengthening exercises
Wednesday: 4 miles and arms (using the weight machines at the gym)

I am trying to think of this as less of a challenge and more of new balancing act. Today we went over our school's new mission statement and I kept thinking I need my own personal mission statement, a motivational statement of sorts. So here is my 1st try at a mission statement for the 2010-2011 school year, I will no longer let work take over my life. I will not choose work over the gym. I will not become stressed over work or our social calendar. And I will not make unhealthy eating excuses because I am busy or get home later than expected. I will put myself first. And I will be successful.

Monday, August 16, 2010

30 day workout challenge!

Can you tell I love a challenge?

The first day of school is really my New Year's Day. It signifies a new beginning for me as a teacher, a chance to make new goals, try new things, and stretch myself a little... you know, out of my comfort zone.

Since people make new year's resolutions I am making a few new school year resolutions!
  • Workout daily! My running challenge was successful and I had great results (73 miles!) so I want to continue the workouts. I may not run everyday, but I will be incorporating Tae-bo and more swimming.
  • 6 home-cooked veggie centered meals a week. Once the school year starts, my schedule gets a bit crazy and I end up not cooking and relying on fast food and Publix. This year or at least for the next 30 days I will be cooking or crockpoting and each meal will have two or more veggies in it.
  • Finally, naps. I am reinstating afternoon naps. Instead of powering through with coffee and diet coke I am going to sleep if I am tired. A new concept in casa de Republican, but I am kinda digging it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How do you sum up a fantastic vacation?

This vacation is one we had been savings for and planning for almost two years. Each month as the paychecks would roll in we would put money aside to ensure we could go. We had to scrimp on groceries, entertainment, clothes, and other fun stuff... and at times I wasn't quite sure it would be worth it in the end. But of course I WAS WRONG and this trip was worth every penny, every coupon, and every hour we spent in Barnes and Noble researching and planning.
For the past week Mr. R and I were in the UK taking in the major sites of Britain and eating as much pub food as we possibly could. We learned the underground like the back of our hand. We saw almost everything London had to offer, walking almost everywhere, and never putting in less than a 13 hour day. It was a true Fisler family vacation.
(My planner of a mom would be proud!)
I love vacations because I get to experience something brand new with my husband. I think after being married you begin to run out of firsts: first kiss, first time, first home, first car... and then you take a trip to a new place and you have firsts all over again. First trip to the UK, first time in parliament, first meal in a British pub.
I am still organizing photos and gathering up scraps of paper that log our daily travels, but I will be back soon with picture posts and stories from our adventure.

In answer to my own question, I can sum up this vacation as wonderful, refreshing, romantic, and worth every penny.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


We are leaving on a jet plane today.
The pups are staying here. They are in the awesome hands of Alex house-sitter extraordinaire! See you in a week peeps!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our bags are packed and adventure awaits!

Things learned:
  • Mr. R is a much neater packer than me! He rolls all of his clothes.
  • I like to put things in piles and than move the piles from place to place until I finally give in & put the pile in the suitcase hoping I didn't lose anything along the way.
  • Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations is an awesome packing companion. He was on TV the entire time I was folding, ironing, and rolling.
  • Traveling with a hubs means you need to pack snacks in you carry-on. This means my purse is not big enough. This means I am now lugging around two carry-ons. Actually he will carry the red one.
  • I just remembered I didn't pack my bathing suit top! Gotta go!