January 31, 2011

winter salad

Last week, the boyfriend and I decided to get creative while making dinner. We made a delicious winter salad. We used the following ingredients:
  • organic baby spinach and red cabbage
  • chicken
  • turkey bacon
  • smokehouse maple seasoning (for the meat)
  • corn
  • chickpeas
  • extra virgin olive oil (to cook the meat in & for a light dressing)
Simply cook the chicken and turkey bacon as normal, seasoned with McCormick's smokehouse maple, and mix it along with the other ingredients. Use whatever dressing you'd like. We just used a little bit of olive oil.

What new recipes have you had lately?

January 28, 2011

weekly gems

the view outside my window

How was everyone's week this week? Mine has been full of ups and downs. I'm looking forward to a weekend of chilling at home, getting a lot of planning done, baking, and catching up on sleep. How about you?

  • Adore everything about what it means to be a Matchbook girl. Can't wait to devour the first issue of the magazine this weekend!
  • Have you seen Up? Check out this "premake" trailer of it. Awesome!
  • A fascinating article on dogs' understanding of language.
  • Love this photo & quotes post.
  • While I do occasionally see movies in 3D, I totally prefer 2D & thus cheered at this article.
  • This tumblr makes me want to travel Europe for years.
  • Have you heard of or played the app/game Angry Birds? I'm addicted to it, & thus adore this cake.
  • I smiled so big when Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld talked about a supportive teacher : )
  • Interested in fashion and fashion journalism? Check out The Coveted.
  • The photos and accompanying stories to all three of these weddings made my heart swell: one, two, three.
  • This week brought big up-and-coming movie news...Willow Smith as Annie, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, and Beyonce in a remake of A Star is Born

January 27, 2011


Hey, everyone! I hope your Thursday is treating you well so far. This week has been crazy busy and today will be my busiest day of all - but that's okay, because tomorrow is Friday! : )

I think it's really easy to get discouraged when you're tired and have been busy for days on end, especially when you still have things that you want to do or need to work on. I think it's also really easy to give up on any big goals you have if (a) you haven't made substantial progress on them for awhile and (b) that lack of progress is all you can focus on.

So, today I am inspired by a couple of things: (1) my busy week, (2) Erin's post about her "non-goals" for 2011 and (3) Kendi's confession that she puts things she's already accomplished on her to-do list in order to feel less overwhelmed about the things she has ahead of her. All this inspiration has lead me to make my own list of non-goals, or the things I'm proud of and want to keep doing:
  • Staying organized & thus less stressed
  • Eating more fruits and veggies
  • Keeping my room semi-tidy/clean
  • Thinking more intentionally about how I spend my money
  • Making quality sleep a priority
  • Blogging regularly and making connections
  • Putting family first
  • Dreaming big

The boyfriend & I after an awards ceremony this
past spring - to remind myself of what I have
done & I'm capable of doing

What are your non-goals? What do you do when you get discouraged during busy times or when struggling with goals?

January 26, 2011

LOL: kids say the darnest things

Hello everyone! I hope your week is off to a good start. Mine is busy but going well!

A dear friend of mine teaches elementary school and recently asked her students about keeping cheetahs as pets. Here was the exact question and some of the students' responses:

Do you think that is a good law that now prevents cheetahs from being kept as pets? Tell why or why not.
  • "Yes, I think it is a good law that cheetahs are not pets because they might kill you."
  • ‎"Yes, I think it's a good law because if you have a baby it might wake it up when it is sleeping."
  • ‎"Yes, I think it is a good law because some cheetahs may eat people."
  • ‎"Yes, I think it is a good law because they will need to be outside for so long that they will run away and it is going to be hard to catch them because cheetahs are very fast cats. They can run faster than you."
  • "Yes, I think it is a good law that prevents cheetahs from being kept as pets because the cheetahs could eat all the meat in you house."
  • "Yes, I think it is a good law because you might forget to feed it."
  • "No, I don't think it is a good law because cheetahs are good protectors."
  • "I think they should not have that law because cheetahs can ride kids to school quickly."

January 25, 2011

read it: everyone worth knowing

I love to read. Do you? My favorite books to read are chick lit, YA, mysteries, memoirs, and fantasies, but I will give almost anything a try. Over the past few years, I haven't been able to read as much as I used to due to the lovely demands of college. I've mostly worked on my ridiculously long to-read list on breaks, and this past winter break was no exception. I read Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger (borrowed from my fellow book-loving friend, Elizabeth!).

Everyone Worth Knowing was actually the first book of Weisberger's that I have read, and it definitely has encouraged me to bump her other books to the top of my to-read list. A brief summary: the heroine of the book is Bette Robinson, a twenty-something living in NYC. One day she becomes frustrated with her banking job and quits. After a couple of weeks of enjoying unemployment, she agrees to take on a public relations job her uncle put her up for. She struggles to fit in with the ultra-hip crowd at her new job, which essentially consists of planning huge parties, going to parties, making celebrities happy, and getting the PR firm press in any way possible. The book tells the story of Bette attempting to succeed at her new job while also not sacrificing her friends, her family, her love life, and what will make her truly happy. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would, and I definitely recommend it for a fun and charming read. Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Have you read Everyone Worth Knowing or another one of Lauren Weisberger's books? What did you think? What books have you been reading lately?

January 24, 2011

weekend wrap-up

Hi! How are you all on this fine Monday morning? How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty darn good. Friday night I worked, and then went to go see a movie with the boyfriend. We saw No Strings Attached, a new romantic comedy with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. It was very enjoyable! It was definitely funny and somewhat touching. I thought Portman and Kutcher had great chemistry, and I loved the supporting cast (especially Kevin Kline, Mindy Kaling, and Jake Johnson). If you plan on seeing it in theaters, make sure you are on time because the first 10-15 minutes of the movie reveal important background information about the dynamic of Emma (Portman) and Adam (Kutcher)'s friendship. Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★

Saturday I worked, and I spent the afternoon with my wonderful friend Elizabeth! We decided to go on a mini-road trip to a coffee shop called Red Rambler, but it turned out we got the hours wrong and it was closed when we got there (meaning another mini-road trip will have to occur in the future). We had fun chatting anyway and ended up getting coffee at Panera instead.

On Sunday, the boyfriend and I went to church and treated ourselves to Starbucks and catching up on episodes of our favorite shows. I worked, and I had one of the most productive afternoons/evenings that I've had in a long time.

This week should be pretty busy for me - teaching every day and something going on every evening - but 'm feeling pretty optimistic about it. What's going on with you this week?

Photo 1, Photos 2 - 4 author original

January 21, 2011

weekly gems

Tree at the Ohio State Fair, August 2009 (edited)

Well, this has been an interesting week! Monday off due to a national holiday, Tuesday the first day of student teaching, Wednesday an amazing snow day, Thursday a terrible horrible no good very bad day, and today T.G.I.F. How has your week been? What do you have going on this weekend? I'll be working, planning various things, spending time with my boyfriend and friends, and hopefully cooking or baking a new recipe. In the meantime, weekly gems!

January 20, 2011

thursday tip

Hello everyone! How are you? I'm doing well! Yesterday the school I am placed at for student teaching had a snow day, and I greatly enjoyed having a surprise day at home with my super cute dog. I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening tonight before wrapping up the week tomorrow!

Today I have a New Year's, All Year Challenge tip for you all! I found out about this awesome website, habitforge, a couple months ago.

Here's what the site has to say about its mission: "You provide a Goal and Desire, and we'll send you a customized daily email asking how you did. Simply click 'yes' or 'no' daily. Succeed for 21 days, and the new action will be easier than ever. Skip a day and the clock starts over at day one."

It's a free and super easy to use service. I highly suggest checking it out! What kind of habits are you interested in forging?

January 18, 2011

2011 golden globes red carpet

How are you all on this fine Tuesday morning? Today is my first day officially teaching all of my assigned classes for student teaching. I'm nervous, but excited! My classroom mentor teacher said my unit outlines looked good and to just trust myself, so that's what I'm trying to do!

I love movies and TV, and I really enjoy award shows. I briefly mentioned in yesterday's post the winners I was most excited about, and today I'm looking over the fashion of the Golden Globes.

Angelina Jolie's Versace gown might have been my favorite.

Natalie Portman's Viktor & Rolf gown was perfect choice for her baby bump.

Loved Anne Hathaway's glitzy look in Armani Prive.

Love Scarlett Johansson's old Hollywood look!

I greatly enjoyed Julia Stiles in a dramatic black gown.

Oliva Wilde's Marchesa gown was simply fantastic.

Sofia Vergara rocked her curves in Vera Wang. Loved it!

What Golden Globe gowns were your favorite?

Photos found here and here

January 17, 2011

dr. martin luther king, jr.

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was okay, busy with family visiting and planning for student teaching. I was super excited to hear all the results of the Golden Globes - totally pumped about Glee's wins and The Social Network getting Best Drama!

I'm a huge fan of three-day weekends. I'm also a huge fan of history, and as a future social studies teacher, I would be remiss if I didn't take some time today to reflect on the life of the man this day is honoring - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Today is the 25th anniversary of this federal holiday!)

I've always thought MLK was an amazing man. In History Club in high school (yes, I was in History Club...or may have co-founded it...), I nominated him for the most influential American who was never president. I would still argue that claim today. He was an extraordinary man who did extraordinary things. Yes, there are some allegations regarding MLK's personal life that are disappointing/negative in nature, but I don't feel they should deter people from recognizing and honoring MLK for his astounding and important legacy.

At my college, the office of service learning organizes the MLK Day of Service every year. The motto is usually something like, "Make it a day on instead of a day off." I think it's a wonderful example of how MLK inspires people to take initiative and make a difference in their communities.

I'm going to wrap up with a favorite MLK quote: "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I hope you have a great day today : )

January 14, 2011

weekly gems

my family's dog Sasha & my dog Madison with me

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week. Mine started off pretty rough, but it ended really nicely. My boyfriend and I (and my dog!) are now at my house for the three-day weekend. I'm looking forward to getting my haircut, spending time with family and friends, planning for taking over teaching next week (!), and possibly seeing a movie. What plans do you have for the weekend?

Here are this week's weekly gems!

January 13, 2011

live colorfully

If you've been following this blog for a bit, you probably have read about my love for all things Kate Spade. I of course follow Kate Spade on Twitter, and today found out about their Live Colorfully campaign for 2011! I'm pretty excited about it.

Every month has a color and Kate Spade will highlight products they offer in that color. My favorites from the red collection are the Karolina heels, the Cobble Hill Leslie, and the laptop sleeve.

They are also starting "A Colorful Collaboration," in which they will release limited edition prints and short films created by some of their favorite artists every month that relate to that month's color. January 's artist is Caitlin McGauley - love her work!

I can't wait until they do green and blue! Yellow should be fun, too. What do you guys think of this new campaign? What color(s) are you looking forward to?

January 12, 2011

things that are making me happy

Two-hour weather delay this morning (AKA an extra 1 1/2 hours of sleep!)
A good hair day
Comfy & colorful sweaters
Listening to the Beatles on snowy afternoons
Best friends who send you encouraging texts and Picnik photos of you two
Two for $5 special on Double Stuff Golden Oreos
Getting organized and planning units for student teaching (I take over classes on Tuesday!)
Treating myself to this month's Shape
Buying other people cards and treats, just because
The sweetest boyfriend ever
My horoscope being weirdly accurate as of late
Looking forward to a three-and-a-half day weekend : )

What things are making you happy this week?

January 11, 2011

a discouraging day calls for an encouraging quote

"The future belongs to those who believe in the
beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Photo at Huntington Beach, Bay Village, OH, summer 2010

January 10, 2011

LOL: monday pick-me-up

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. I did : ) What all did you do? I hung out with my friends, saw my godchildren open their Christmas presents, watched a movie with my family, went back to school, unpacked, got coffee at a fun new place, and worked.

Is your week off to a good start? Mine is off to a bit of a rough one. This morning was student teaching orientation, which was somewhat overwhelming. I found this today, and it made me laugh out loud. So if anyone else needs a bit of a pick-me-up or just wants to laugh, check this video out:

See you all tomorrow! : )

January 7, 2011

weekly gems

my family's dog Sasha & I a couple summers ago

Hello everyone! Sorry for the late posting of weekly gems this week. I hope you all had a wonderful week. I sure did! It was my last week of winter break and I took full advantage of it. Tomorrow I return to college for my last semester of undergraduate education! I am both pumped and terrified. I'm definitely looking forward to some fun, creative times. What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

And without further ado, weekly gems!
I hope you all have a great weekend! : )

January 6, 2011

never grow up

my sister, brother, & I in the early 90s

I'm a big Taylor Swift fan, and I can't stop listening to her newest album, Speak Now. One of the songs on that album, called Never Grow Up, is about how children and teenagers can't wait to grow up, but once they are actually young adults and moving out on their own, they realize they are going to miss their childhood. As a college senior graduating in May, I have been listening to this song over and over. The one line that is especially poignant to me at this time is "I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone." Here are the things I realized I will miss most about growing up in my childhood home with my family:
  • Reading books and taking naps on the screened-in front porch in the summertime
  • The way all the windows in the house fog up when my dad makes homemade chicken soup in the winter
  • Sitting on the wooden porch stairs eating ice cream from the local ice cream shop
  • My family's pretty, matching wooden dining room table and buffet set
  • Waving to my mom who was watching me from the side window while I walked to elementary school
  • Playing Beanie Babies and N64 with my siblings on days off from school
  • Trips to the public library and pool in the summertime
  • Running around the house trying to find our Easter baskets in one of the five different spots they were always possibly hidden
  • The old-timey fashion photos from Cedar Point that hang at the top of our stairs
  • The way my sister and I's room fills up with gorgeous, yellow amber-y light at sunset
  • Countless dinners in the kitchen and movie nights in the living room
And so many more memories! What kind of things do you miss from your childhood or are your favorite memories from growing up with your family?

January 5, 2011

live boldly

I'm a big magazine reader. One of my all-time favorites is Self. I was reading the January 2011 issue the other day when I came across this month's "A Moment for Yourself" feature. I liked it so much I wanted to share it with you all. This is what it says:

"Be fearless
If you make only one resolution this year, let it be to live boldly. You control this moment: Rather than cautiously test the water, dive straight into life with freeing abandon. Imagine the person you want to be and the life you want to live, then simply commit to them. Believe in yourself. Embrace your beauty. Discover a new passion. And whatever you do, wherever you go, don't be afraid to make a splash."

Let's have an awesome year, my friends.

January 4, 2011

you've got mail

I am a huge fan of snail mail. I adore getting cards and letters in the mail, and I love to mail my friends cards for any occasion. Also, as a history lover (and big nerd), I feel strongly about preserving methods of communication that will be used years from now to learn about what life was like during our time. All that being said, I am excited about the United States Postal Service's 2011 commemorative stamps! While I am interested in all of them for various reasons, I'm most excited about the following:

Stamps commemorating the U.S. Civil War
fuel the history buff in me

As a former saxophonist who wishes she could get
into playing again, I love this jazz stamp

PIXAR stamps! As a huge Disney & Pixar fan,
I am super excited for these

Thanks to simplesong for calling the 2011 stamps' debut to my attention!
Do you send family and friends snail mail often? What stamps might motivate you to send some fun mail this year?

January 3, 2011

tips for writing resolutions

As promised in today's earlier post, here are my tips for writing New Year's Resolutions:

1. Be specific.
I think part of the reason I used to avoid writing goals/resolutions in specific terms is because I was afraid of failure. I was afraid that if I set a certain standard for myself, that it would crush me if I met it (it should be said here that I struggle with anxiety and, to some degree, perfectionism). So instead of setting the standard and trying to see if I could reach it, I settled for writing a vague goal that I could always manipulate and claim that I had met. I have realized now that NOT setting specific goals is a set-up for failure. You need to give yourself a clear endpoint that you are working toward. If you don't meet it, you don't meet it. There's no question and no opportunity to lie to yourself - and that's not a bad thing. No matter what, you'll have gained something from your efforts, and you'll be able to improve them the next time around.

Give parameters.
Learning to knit has been a goal of mine for several years now. Whenever I make a list of goals, be it New Year's resolutions, semester goals, or summer goals, "learn to knit" has been on it. The whole time, my focus as been on mastering the process of knitting, and not on what I will be able to do once I have gained that skill. For 2011, one of my resolutions is "Learn how to knit and make at least one scarf." My goal is now focused on the mastering of the skill and putting the skill to use, making the meeting of the goal "learn to knit" more meaningful and providing me with more motivation.

3. Explain how you will fulfill the resolution.

I struggled with a few of my 2011 resolutions when I attempted to write them in specific terms that contained parameters. For example, two of my resolutions deal with creating a wardrobe and decorating my home (my future apartment after graduation). I was unsure how incorporate an endpoint into these resolutions. After, as creatively driven ones, they would never be fully complete, and I am unsure what my money situation that will fund these resolutions will be like in future. So instead of including specific language such as "complete" or number amounts, I explained how I would create my wardrobe and decorate my home. For example: "Create and wear a wardrobe with intention by purchasing and wearing items that match my identified style, can be dressed up and down, and can easily be mixed in with items I already own, as well as donating/selling items I no longer wear." Throughout 2011 and at the end of the year, I can measure my progress in fulfilling this resolution by evaluating whether or not I am taking the actions I said I would.

4. Use positive terminology.
The idea behind this tip is simple: stay positive! It's better to phrase your goals in positive terminology than bad terminology - in other words, it's better to focus on bettering your life than to focus on what you don't like about it. For example, one of my goals is to "Eat at least two servings of both fruits and veggies every day." This is one of my goals because: (a) I personally need to incorporate more of specific vitamins/minerals into my diet and (b) I eat a lot of junk food/food with added sugar and would like to reduce that habit. Notice I did not phrase my goal as "Eat less junk food." All that phrasing does is remind me of the habit I have that I feel disheartened by and does not provide me with a positive action I can take to change my bad habit.

5. Include just-for-fun goals.
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Include goals that have nothing to do with your health, your career, your relationships, your money, etc. Make goals with the idea of simply enriching your life and increasing the enjoyment you get out of every day. Example from my resolutions would include: reading 25 books, learning to knit, go camping, etc.

6. Be honest.

When goal-setting, you should always dream big. However, you should also be realistic with yourself. When I originally wrote my 2011 resolutions, I listed "Read 50 books." When I thought about it, though, I realized reading 50 books would take a lot of time, and if I was going to be honest with myself, I didn't think I could do it. That would be around four books a month, and I doubted I would have always time for that in the coming year. Instead, I pared it down to "Read 25 books" (or two books a month) and felt much more comfortable with my goal.

What tips do you have for goal-setting?
Want to join the challenge but are unsure of what type of goals you want to make? Check out these ideas from around the web:

Lox Papers
Naturally Nina
Design Darling
A Cup of Jo
All That Glitters
Design for Mankind
The Someday Blog
Oh, My Darling
Design Crush

new year's, all year

Hello, lovelies! I hope you all had a fantastic New Year's celebration. Mine was wonderful! : ) I had fun watching a movie and playing games with close friends.

Have you made any New Year's Resolutions? I usually start brainstorming mine a few weeks in advance, but I have always believed there's a week's leeway in making and starting them : ) The past few years I've made resolutions, but never totally kept them (as I'm sure many people can relate to). Well, I'm at a point in my life where I am satisfied with how things are going (at least, the things under my control) but would like to continue to challenge myself, grow as an individual, and make my life richer.

As a result, I have made some New Year's Resolutions and intend to keep them all for of 2011. As a college senior majoring in education, I have learned a lot about writing objectives for lessons and units - in other words, specific goals for learning that can be measured. I've realized most of my old New Year's Resolutions were too vague to motivate me or hold me accountable. As a result, I have tried to make my goals as specific as possible. I will record my journey of keeping my resolutions in a new beagle & bear series New Year's, All Year. On the first Monday of every month I will provide an overall update on my resolution keeping, as well as mini-updates throughout the year/when appropriate.

I would LOVE for the readers of beagle & bear to join in the 2011 New Year's, All Year Challenge, whether it be with one resolution or twenty. We may or may not achieve all of our goals, but we will strive to do so and gain much in the process! : ) If you are joining in the challenge, leave a comment saying so, and I'll add your name to the list of challenge participants.

Here are my 2011 New Year resolutions:
  • Complete a 5K race
  • Develop blog further through establishing fixed features, engaging series, and gaining followers/building a community
  • Get a full-time job teaching social studies grades 7-12 and/or apply to graduate school
  • Read 25 books of my choosing
  • Make a perfect omelet
  • Go camping
  • Bake one new recipe a month
  • Cook one new recipe a month
  • Create and wear wardrobe with intention by purchasing and wearing items that match my identified style, can be dressed up and down, and can easily be mixed in with items I already own, as well as donating/selling items I no longer wear
  • Reach a healthy BMI
  • Eat at least two servings of both fruits and veggies every day
  • Work out at least 3 times a week
  • Go to mass once a week
  • Teach Madison how to stay and give paw
  • Save substantial amount of money
  • Give loved ones thoughtful and fun gifts that have meaning to our relationship or that feed their loves/hobbies
  • Decorate/design home with intention by identifying a decorating style/theme and actively pursuing ways to execute said theme
  • Complete at least 40 service/volunteer hours
  • Learn to knit and make at least one scarf

Check back here later today for tips on writing measurable and reasonable New Year's Resolutions. I hope you decide to join the challenge! I am super excited to start it and share my journey with all of you!

Happy New Year!

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