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Thursday, November 1, 2012

eleventh month

 Last signs of fall clinging on after the storm.

Kind of blowing my mind right now that we're already in the second to last month of 2012. I feel like I'm shocked with each month change this year.. I just don't remember time ever passing this quickly. Oh yea, why am I so chatty this week when I was just sweating the notion of posting only twice a week? This is day four of having off for Sandy. Not that I'm complaining about the impromptu break, I just hope everything is okay with our school and the kiddos up there. I live about a half hour away from the school and that area was apparently hit a lot harder than mine. You wouldn't even know anything happened around here, but one neighborhood right across from my school had all of it's massive trees uprooted. Weird, the way storms hit and miss like that.

Anyhoo.. I want to bring back an old tradition I had before I fell off the planet. The one where I make a tiny list of goals and things I'm looking forward to for the new month, to sort of remind me and also make me hold myself accountable for my goals.

This month I'm looking forward to..
+  Ringing in my 25th birthday (this weekend!) with friends, family, and fun (Oh God, I'm feeling old.)
+  Taking on the final leg of my student teaching so I can enjoy December as I ease out of the lead teacher position
+  Cold weather finally arriving. Layers, here I come!

Mini goals of the month..
+  I know I sound like a broken record with this one, but I need to get back into yoga. The only reason I haven't been doing it lately is because of a ridiculous finger injury that has been taking it's sweet time getting gone. It involved a car door, a plastic surgeon, and lots of pain meds. Stupid. There's just way too many "on your hands" poses that I didn't want to drag out the healing any longer than it was taking on its own.
+  Cook more. I repinned a list of 20 crockpot recipes for some hearty cold weather meals and I'm dying to try them.
+  Ace my next three observations.
+  Try to blog at least twice a week like I said two posts ago.

I think that's all the ambition my schedule can handle right now. What are your goals and excitements for the month?

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

pumpkin spice donuts

Ever since I was little, whenever a big storm was supposed to hit, be it rain or snow, my mom would run to the market to make sure we had enough sugar, flour, and butter while everyone else was stocking up on bread and milk. Baking was our thing during times when the weather was too bad to go outside. To keep the tradition alive, I decided to break in my new donut pans as we waited out Sandy. 

Getting back into blogging has been a little challenging. I had to track down all of my photo gear - none of which I immediately knew the location of. After I located my camera, my tripod, the little attachment piece for the tripod (which I didn't realize was still on the bottom of the camera for about ten minutes), and the battery charger, I got everything all set up to start baking and shooting. And then I turned the camera on only to have it inform me that there was no card. Still have no idea where that ended up. It's nowhere near my card reader so I'm out. So I had to shoot with my little point and shoot. Which is totally good 'nuff, I just got used to all the lovely raw editing options that make night kitchen photos look less crappola. *shrug* I tried. 

This recipe came together really quickly. Even the glazing and sprinkling took no time. I used both regular sized and mini donut pans. I got ten regular sized donuts and twelve minis out of it. A certain boyfriend kept sampling the minis before I even melted the chocolate so I can safely say that these are delicious with or without topping. ;)

I think I'm going to make these for the lunchroom at work one day soon. I think they'd be really well received. :)

Now that I have off a third day for all of this Sandy havoc, maybe I'll try another fall flavor variety later today. Apple cider, perhaps. 

Since these are something you absolutely need in your life, like, now.. check out the recipe after the jump!

Happy happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

well hello there

Four months it's been? Jeez I almost feel like it's been longer than that. Basically finishing up my master's is consuming my life a little, but I guess that's to be expected. I'll be done in two short months so if I have to sacrifice some personal things I guess that's okay! I do miss this though. I miss reading blogs, writing blogs, twittering.. the computer just tends to be the last place I want to go at the end of the day after a full day of teaching, some lesson planning, and a reflection paper or two for my university supervisor. I've been writing so many papers lately. Holy crap. Where I have been however, is Pinterest. There are SO many amazing teaching resources on there and I've used tons of them already. It's been pretty awesome trying such amazing ideas out and watching them work beautifully.

Anyway, I write to you today because I have today and tomorrow off for good ol' Sandy. I'm pretty caught up on work and it's been bothering me as of late that this blog has gone to the wayside. Fall is my favorite time of year and all I can do is think about the Halloween crafts and baking I did last year, and wish that I had the time to do more this year. Student teaching has been amazing so far and I think I'm falling into a really good rhythm with it. I want to make a resolution to myself to try to start posting again.. maybe two times a week. Even though that's nothing, it sounds scary huge to me. I want to get back into the swing of bloglife though. I miss it! Also, to my sponsors over there, sorry I crapped out big time on that whole thing. I will most likely be getting rid of that section soon because I clearly don't have the time needed to get it all together. It's gotten stressful and I never wanted blogging to feel that way. So it goes. For now.

So here's to hoping I can wiggle my way back in here and find some time for Tenpenny Splendid once again. Till then..

And stay safe if you're on the east coast! Get some hot chocolate, crappy food, a good movie, and hunker down for a few days. :)
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Monday, June 25, 2012

june so far

Snapshots from June

Hey, remember that one time when I used to blog? Yea me too. Well I have officially entered my last week of this crazy crazy class and I don't have any presentations left so I am feeling a huge weight off my shoulders. The reason I've been so absent has a lot to do with last Thursday. When I had three presentations due at once. One was the most important part of my grade and was accompanied by what ended up being a 34 page lesson plan (don't ask). Then there was a project I had to do with a partner, and a silly current event thrown in for good measure. Oh and I was the only one who had three presentations due. Just the luck of the draw really. Another girl had two due. The rest only had one. So as much as that sucked, I'm basically done! And I can hardly believe it.

Some interesting things have been happening lately that I'd like to share, cause things, they are a-changin'. Well the first thing has a lot to due with the second thing. The first thing is that I finally (after waiting 5 months) found out where I'll be student teaching in the fall. I'm excited to report that I got into my second choice district (first choice wasn't taking anyone on in the fall) and it's an amazing district! I can't wait to see what the school is like. I'll be in a second grade classroom full time starting in September.

This has got me looking at a TON of teaching resources, and well, blogs. I get all my best info from blogs anyway, so why not? There are actually some really amazing teachers out there with blogs full of great ideas and resources. This brings me to the second thing.. I think once I actually start teaching, I want to make a teacher blog. It's a great place to share ideas and offer downloads of things you've created for your classroom. I'd also love to start talking to other teachers and see what they are doing! I'll hopefully run the two together and keep life-life stuff here, and work-life stuff there. Well, I'm excited about the idea and even though I may not use it soon, I'm dying to start designing it. :)

The third thing I've been looking into recently is Passion Fruit ads. I've considered suspending my ad swappage indefinitely, but I love being able to feature talented bloggers and friends each month. I've just gotten entirely too busy to keep up with it lately, as many bloggers who have joined Passion Fruit have. And with camp and student teaching coming up, I know the load isn't going to lighten anytime soon. So I'm hoping that by July, I will have my ads set up through Passion Fruit so that I can still keep offering free/affordable ad spaces without adding anything extra to my plate!

How has your life been this month? I really need to go catch up on my favorite reads. I'm sooo behind!
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Friday, June 8, 2012

yarn juice

This is not spaghetti.

Even though that's what everyone who walked into the kitchen thought. I have some free time before I have to start my next project for class so I thought I'd tick some things off my crafty to-do list. One being kool-aid yarn dying! You may remember this post.

I can't wait to try other colors. I just have to unravel a few more skeins first. For my first project, I'm creating a color palette of the general kitchen decor to make a woven yarn rug. This flavor color is mango. As you can see the water is pretty much clear and all the color is absorbed into the yarn. Fun!

In the shot above you get a good idea of the original color vs. the kool-aid color. I need to pick up a few more packs now that I have a project in mind. I just grabbed these at random at the market one day so I'd have something to start with.

What projects are you tackling these days?

Have a great weekend!!
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

raspberry dark chocolate scones

I bought two containers of raspberries the other day for the raspberry syrup I made for iced coffee. I ate a bunch by themselves but wanted to use the rest up before they had a chance to go bad. And what better way to use them than to bake them into something! Scones, to be exact. I saw a recipe for these scones as I was browsing through foodgawker and knew I had to try them, especially since I had all the ingredients on hand.

They were pretty amazing. I've never baked with raspberries before and the flavor came through brilliantly. The bitter dark chocolate was the perfect addition to all the sweet. The only thing I noticed since I've made two different scone recipes before this one, was that the dough was extremely sticky compared to other ones. I'm not sure if it was just different ratios of wet to dry ingredients or because the berries add extra moisture, but it was a little harder to work with.

I still wanted to post the recipe though because they were absolutely delicious. So if patting the dough into a disc, cutting it into pieces, and moving those pieces onto a baking sheet isn't going smoothly, you may have to shape the pieces individually once they get there. That's what I did anyway, to make them look pretty.

I definitely recommend whipping these up for breakfast one day if you have extra raspberries and chocolate laying around. I might experiment with adding these two mix-ins into the other scone doughs I've tried to see if it's easier to work with but still tastes just as good. If not, sticky dough it is! :) I'll let you know what I come up with.

Have a great week! Is anyone else secretly enjoying this sudden cool weather? I know it's going to get crazy hot soon so I'm basking in the cool breeze while I can. :)

See link below for recipe!

Friday, June 1, 2012

summer flavor shots

Last summer I finally mastered a method of making delicious iced coffee at home. Which really helps the ol' change purse. The next thing to do was figure out a sweetener that would work best with a cold drink. I've been using raw sugar in my coffee lately because artificial sweeteners are always questionable. And the ones that are supposedly healthy taste awful in my opinion. (I'm lookin at you Stevia and Truvia.) And raw is always better than processed so raw sugar it is! Of course I use it in moderation and really only in my coffee so I'm not worried about it effecting my weight. And it hasn't, for the record. :)

So! The next logical step was to create simple syrup for my iced coffee. That way there's no grainy business at the bottom of the glass from undissolved sugar. Simple syrup is really, very simple. It goes like this..

Combine equal parts sugar and water in a small pot.
Boil until dissolved.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Bam. Liquid sugar.

And as I'm sure you've seen around the webs, people have found ways of making other syrups in different flavors, often to imitate popular delicious drinks from certain coffee shops. ;) Well I went and bought myself four of these olive oil bottles from target and decided I'd try four new flavors for each season. I made a list and decided to get to making the summer ones since it's absolutely iced coffee season. First up on the list - coconut, raspberry, vanilla, and a plain simple syrup for unflavored coffee.

This seriously took me about an hour one morning. I just kept cooking the sugar, adding the flavors, bottling, rinsing the pot, and repeat. Such a quick little project for so much tasty coffee. I can't wait until I get to the fall and winter flavors this year! This is gonna be good.

I'm sipping on some coconut iced coffee as I type this. I just need a little sand and some waves and I'll be all set. :)

What's your favorite summertime flavor? Hope you have a great weekend!

Check the recipes below!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Stopping in before I'm off to meet my partner to finish up our presentation for tonight. If all goes according to plan I'll have an interesting how-to for you tomorrow. Well I think it's interesting anyway. ;) So for now, I'm borrowing this meme I've seen on Lariats and Lavender and Sometimes Sweet just for funzies.

fruity fruity fish and glowing hair at a recent video shoot


Obsessing over..
Homemade iced coffee. It's that time of year again! It's oh so refreshing in the morning.

Working on..

My presentation for class tonight. I finished the first one yesterday and now I'm trying to wrap up the second one but I have to meet with my partner to do that. Yea, two presentations in one night. That is exactly why blogging is sparse at the moment. :/ This is the toughest class I've had all of grad school. And it's really just because of a project overload honestly. Some nights I have three things due at once. But I knew it was coming because I heard about this somewhat infamous class from everyone who had it before me so I'm trying really hard to remain calm and just push through it.

Thinking about..
All the things I want to do this summer! I want to have picnics, go to the beach, see my brother, dust off the ol' beach cruiser and go for bike rides, make more ice cream, read for enjoyment again, try new juicing combinations with summer fruit, go for walks, plant more herbs and veggies..

The start of camp! I don't think I've mentioned this yet but I got a job this summer teaching classes at an art and design camp for girls! I couldn't be more excited. I've been planning projects like crazy and digging through my inspiration folders for ideas. I'll do a post sometime on the projects I'm planning on doing. They're pretty fun!

Listening to..

Supernatural on the telly. :)


Leftovers from dinner last night. Broccoli and ziti with garlic and olive oil. Yum!

My allergies would go away. Far, far away! They've had me miserable for a month!

What are your currently's? :) Hope your week is going well!

ps A big thanks to everyone who wished my piggy well and sent some good thoughts. It made me feel a lot better to hear that other people have been through similar things and they turned out okay. Also glad to hear about other piggy mamas out there! I don't think some people truly understand just how awesome those little guys are. :) Also, Walnut's eye is looking AMAZING. I keep up with the meds and it's gone down to almost normal size!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

six weeks

Check out my post over at Silly Grrl today! Sarah, who put together this whole shindig, asked me to give some tips on how I take food photos for recipe posts. I'm no photographer or anything, but through trial and error, and quite a bit of help from a certain photographer boyfriend, I've managed to find a few things that help improve my photos. Check it out if you're interested! Also click through the other posts! Some really talented ladies gave a lot of great advice over there!

Oh yea, by the way, remember me? The girl who used to blog here? Talk about life going from sitting in a rocker to fast paced in five seconds or less. I was enjoying my break from classes and planning on doing a ton of things for the blog that I could bank for later (aka now) when I got busier.

Then suddenly I'm a live-in vet for poor Walnut, I think because I put the meds on her eye the day we got them so it was like "well you're good at it, this is your job now". Not that I mind at all, I just think it's funny. A little update on that.. we're pretty sure she has glaucoma, which isn't the worst thing in the world for a guinea pig. She still has sight in one eye and her bad eye looks like it may be improving. She may not be able to see out of it again, but we just hope the swelling goes down and it's less.. well I don't want to be too graphic so let's just say less infected looking. She's still acting 100% normal though so we think she may be okay!

Besides all the piggy care, I was subbing at two different schools this week, had a quick emergency design project, and started the summer class from hell. Yea this semester is going to be interesting to say the least. It's six weeks long so I may be a little reclusive during it but I'll try to keep this ol' blog running. Just know that if posting is sparse, that's why. And six weeks isn't really that long. I mean look how fast these first five months flew by!

Well, I hope your Memorial Day weekend is great. Go barbecue, be outside, and have fun!
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Friday, May 18, 2012


I've been meaning to introduce you to some very important furry babies in my life, but being the perfectionist that I am, I was always going to take "better" photos. I took these just playing around once so they're occasionally out of focus or have a bit of motion blur. They get so curious when you bring something foreign into their world (like a camera) and never stop moving, smelling, running..

Anyway, the reason I finally organized these photos into a post is because one of our poor little babies, Walnut, is having some trouble. We ran around to a couple vets yesterday because, seemingly overnight, one of her eyes swelled up and got all infected. This could either be from a deeper problem or just be an infection. She got a few shots - which was terrible to witness :( - and some goopy stuff to put on her eye.

Now we just wait to see if the antibiotics work and what the next step will be. Sadly, if she needs surgery, we may not be able to afford it. And surgery for guinea pig is really risky to begin with because of how tiny they are. So we're really praying that she'll rally and any further care she'll need will be affordable.  For now though, she's totally happy, eating, and acting normal. Besides her eye, you wouldn't think anything was wrong.

So today I wanted to honor my favorite little furries and ask for some prayers and positive thoughts for our little Walnut.

That's Walnut! She was actually quite the surprise piggy. We didn't know when we got her that she was pregnant. So we added two more little piggies to our family a few months after bringing her home. :) If you've never seen a baby guinea pig, you're missing out. I mean like weeks old baby. I swear, they are just little heads with giant kangaroo feet. I die.

 Thirsty Walnut.

This is Suzi. She's the first pig we got, a little bit before Walnut. And she won't let anyone forget it. She's half old lady, half puppy. She hates being touched unless you pick her up and hold her. Then she'll practically roll over like a puppy and let you pet her. She can be a pretty big grump though and is definitely the alpha lady.

Suzi is trying to determine if the camera is something she can eat. After realizing it's not, she's over it.

Here's my little Pete! He is one of Walnut's babies, and since we couldn't have him staying with the girls and impregnating them all, I took him to college with me and we were best friends. It was my first time living alone and he was good company. Now he resides right next to the girls and purrs at them when they walk up to his cage.

Checking out what the girls are doing next door.

And finally, Peach, Walnut's other baby. This photo pretty much sums up Peach. Always looking over her shoulder, a little dodgey eyed. She hasn't gotten the idea yet that we don't want to eat her. However, she has the best butt-shake when you give her scratches. She loves her butt scratches.

Suzi photobomb.

I'm glad I finally got it together and showed you my babies. They all have such personalities and are big sweethearts. Even the grump. ;)

What furballs do you hold near and dear?
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

canvas + paint markers

Okay maybe a few words first and then it's wordless wednesday. :)

Did you ever take pictures of something and fully intend to use them in a post, only to completely forget and leave them sitting in a folder for months? That's what happened here. I went to this really cool art show back in December. A few friend's of mine and Charlie's that we haven't seen since college days were painting huge canvases at this sort of live art show thing. It was pretty interesting and was held in a bar on South Street with this really crazy 2nd floor that is covered in paint and stickers. Oh, and there were bumper cars for seats. Nuts! Sorry for the low quality phone pics but I still though they were fun. :)

I hope you're having a great Wednesday! I subbed pre-k today so I'll be looking for a drink soon. :)
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Monday, May 14, 2012

carrot apple ginger beet

Kicking off a new week with some fresh juice seems like the right thing to do. Especially with the state I'm in.. sun-burned and allergy ridden. I'm usually really good with the sunscreen, obsessive even. I get made fun of for using spf 100 and I've heard that nothing over spf 30 is any bit more effective. But if they make it, I'm gonna use it.

So before the Union game yesterday I slathered my face and arms in lotion and somehow thought my legs would be immune to the sun. It was early. Poor decisions are bound to be made. Anyway, the backs of my legs are toasted and it hurts to sit, walk, move, ya know. On top of that I woke up this morning with pink puffy eyes. It's been great. And I know juice isn't going to alleviate my allergies or cure my sunburn, but dammit it makes me feel good! ;) 

Back when I did my first juicing post, Caiti suggested trying this mix. I already had tried carrot apple ginger, but the beets were something totally new for me. I've had them once or twice in the past but I never really loved them. I thought this could be a good way to add them to my diet. Just like spinach! I swear, apples make everything better. I loved this juice! And look how pretty..

Oooooh I didn't even want to mix it up! But then I did and it made the brightest hot pink I've seen since my hair circa 2006. I love finding ways to get healthy things into my diet without having to really taste them the way they are on their own. I've always been pretty good with fruits and vegs but sometimes I find one I just don't get along with.

How was your weekend? Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!
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