Making Goals That Last: Keep Your New Year's Resolutions This Year!

Happy New Year! Hope you have had a wonderful holiday season! I'm here again to share a post about making life goals and sticking to them this New Years. 

As I write this, I update this post this year, I am, yet again, sick. Only this time, instead of being snuggled at home with my pup, I am holed up in my home office, getting work done, coughing, and drinking hot lemon water with honey. So long are the days of Christmas break, I am now an office-bound clinician.


Stash Hash: Delicious Post-Holiday Leftover Breakfast!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday week last week! We cooked the majority of the meal at our house, then transported it down to the MIL's. Because that's practical. While I'm all about someone else cooking and hosting, I do love having the chance to cook such a memorable, large meal. The best part? Having leftovers! When I'm a guest at someone's house, I don't get graced with leftovers, which is honestly, the best part. This year, I brought Tupperware down to the MIL's and divvied it up amongst my household, household. The MIL doesn't eat leftovers. Really!

Now, many people lover making new creations with their leftovers, but I've always felt, if I loved the meal the first time, I want to keep savoring it. Well, I had the chance to keep eating my Christmas meal throughout the weekend AND was able to try something new (I had a lot of leftovers). The creation? A delicious Stash Hash for breakfast (Stash - what you have on hand; Hash - hash).

Tips for the Holiday Season: Smart Tips for Holiday Meals

It’s Game Time. It’s the day everyone’s been waiting for. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, most of us have a big meal planned to share with loved ones. While it’s a fun, heart-warming time, it can also be stressful to say the least. Between menu planning, seating arrangements, awkward or uncomfortable dinner conversations, there’s always something to stress about. I’m here to help alleviate some of that stress. At least with the healthy eating part.

Here are my top tips for maintaining healthy eating for the big event:

Tips for the Holiday Season: Healthy Eating on the Go Part 2

Okay, so you’ve read the tips on healthy eating on the go. You know you should pack some jerky in your bag, along with your water bottle. You know to avoid Wetzel’s Pretzels and that gourmet cupcake stand. And yet, here you are: You forgot your snacks, you haven’t eaten in 7 hours, your stomach is growling, and you’re staring at the Burger King menu. You need a new set of tips; tips on what to eat when you can’t avoid the food court, food truck, food-some-other-establishment. Well don’t fret. I’m here to help.

Here are my top tips for eating healthy at the food court:

Tips for the Holiday Season: Healthy Eating on the Go Part 1

If you’re anything like me, you’ve barely made a dent in your holiday shopping list. Now, it’s crunch-time! I’ve been heading to the mall or downtown shopping hubs several times in the past few weeks. Sometimes, I’m “shopping” for hours at a time (I use the term shopping loosely. I tend to wander around overwhelmed and bewildered longer than I actually shop). As you can imagine, I get pretty hungry by day’s end. However, with all the fattening, delectable food choices tempting us throughout the food court, it’s hard to find the healthy choices we know we should be reaching for. 

So what’s a shopper to do?

Here are my top tips for maintaining healthy eating while you are on the go this holiday season:

Cyber Smile Sale!

Happy Cyber Monday Eve! Hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic (US peeps) and your Black Friday was inexpensive and injury-free (US peeps still). In preparation for the mother of all online shopping days, TPT has decided to throw a sale - The Cyber Smile Sale!

From Monday 11/30 through Tuesday 12/1, my entire store will be on sale! And if you plug in the promo code SMILE at checkout, you will receive an additional discount which totals 28% savings on all items! 

#ThankfulThursday: What Are You Thankful For?

As we get closer to The Big Day, we are constantly being reminded to give thanks. Maybe you've created a list with your kids of all the things you're thankful for. Maybe you've considered volunteering at a homeless shelter the morning of Thanksgiving, to give back to people who don't have as much as you. Maybe you are running a race sometime this week to celebrate and be thankful for your health. All of these are great ways to show how thankful you are. I am here today, to offer you another story for which to be thankful.

#ThankfulThursday is about how we should honor all the things for which we are thankful. During the holidays, this may be especially challenging. It's easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of holiday planning, cooking, traveling, and of course, shopping. But instead, let's reflect today on a story of true courage. A true story of what it means to be thankful.

Saftey Tips for Trick or Treating

Can you believe it's already mid-October?! Crazy, right?! I'm so unprepared for autumn, it's ridiculous. We still have out ACs in and our summer clothes on. I'm so not ready for the prequel to winter to begin, but alas. 

I'm sure many of you have already started think about Halloween: what your children will be dressed as, what you will be dressed as, how you will (or already have) decorate for the holiday, how to up your pumpkin-carving game, etc. Here's yet another thing to think about: Safety Tips for Trick or Treating.

White Trash Tuna Noodle Cassarole

This post is not meant to be offensive, but rather, humorous. My mom used to make this for me as a kid and lovingly called it the same thing. All jokes aside, this is one of my guilty pleasures. I LOVE this meal for dinner after a long day at work. It's quick, it's easy, and it's delicious. What more could you possibly want?

The Basics

You'll also need the ingredients used for the macaroni, according to the box.

Seriously, the easiest dinner ever. Talk about a one pot meal!

The Plan

Start process according to package directions. After the water starts to boil, add the macaroni AND the frozen broccoli. Once the macaroni is cooked, again, according to package directions, complete the box's instructions. After you add and mix the cheesy goodness to the pot, add your canned tuna (completely drained) directly to the pot. "Chop" up the tuna, using your wooden spoon or whatever you're using to mix it, to disperse it evenly. Make sure everything in the pot is mixed thoroughly and serve warm.

I usually eat this as the main dish, sometimes with an additional side of veggies. You could omit the tuna (but why would you?) and serve this along side another dish, such as meatloaf or hot dogs. You can also use other veggies instead of frozen broccoli like peas, or edamame. Depending on the veggies, you may need to cook them beforehand, to ensure they are cooked through. I've found, with most frozen veggies, 7-10 minutes in boiling water with the macaroni is more than enough time to cook.

What's so great about this meal is that I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. So when I run out of dinner options, am too lazy too cook anything elaborate, or need something unfussy, this is my go-to. If you try this recipe, I'd love to know your thoughts!

What are you last minute dinner recipes? Any "white trash" favorites of your own? Share below!


Rist Roller: The Little Foam Roller with a BIG Impact

When Jessika from RistRoller reached out to me, I hadn't yet heard of them. I'm a HUGE fan of foam rollers of any kind, though, so I was super excited to learn more about their company and product.

According to their website, this mini foam roller is designed for targeted in the muscles in your forearm. This is a genius idea, especially for people who type on the computer all day. Aside from your wrist, you can utilize this little tool for other difficult areas of the body. Keep reading for a list of ways I like to use the RistRoller.


Lunchtime Inspiration: How to Wrap a Wrap

I love me a good wrap. From the soft, pillowy bread to the delicious contents within, a wrap just makes my lunch. I don't, however, love when my wrap falls apart; read: when I make it. I could never understand what I was doing wrong. Why were mine just unwrapping, cracking apart, or the contents slipping out of the ends? I decided to test out a few different ways to wrap a wrap, and found the best way to keep the mess off your plate, and save it for your tummy.


Celebrating Our Pups with Pooch-a-Palooza!

Our Labor Day weekend was filled with lots of dog-centered fun. On Saturday, my MIL and I went to the annual Pooch-A-Palooza with her new pup, Maggie, and my favorite companion, Lucy. Pooch-A-Palooza is a festival dedicated to celebrating all breeds of dogs while promoting healthy, happy relationships (I'm paraphrasing from their mission statement). 

The entire festival is centered around the health and wellbeing of our favorite fluffs, so I wasn't surprised to find tents devoted to "doggy massages", a "Pooch Spa", and a plethora of grain-free/organic/holistic treats. 

#TBT: Proud Teacher Moment

Today's throwback post is a shoutout to one of my proudest teacher moments (and not just because it has to do with cats, my fave). Check it out below and let me know your favorite teacher moment!
Original Post: July 16, 2013

Being out of the teaching scene has really kept me out of the loop. Each time I sign into blogger and read my fellow bloggies posts, I can't help but feel almost left out. Not your fault by any means...but as an unemployed educator who is trying to find her niche in the world, it's near depressing. I find myself instead, finding activities to help me improve as a person, and find out who I really am.


#TBT: Teachers Love Technology

Happy Throwback Thursday! Today's throwback is from March 25, 2013, and is all about using technology in the classroom! As with anything "tech-related" this post can seem a little dated - which is why I chose it!

How much have we changed in the techy classroom department? Check out the post and comment below to let me know your thoughts!


The Busy Bee's Guide: Fitting in Exercise

You are swamped at work. You've been eating a Cracker Jack's for lunch every day this week because you haven't had time to go grocery shopping. The kids are hungry/grumpy/cold/needy in some other way. You haven't peed in 17 hours. How the hell are you going to find time to work out?!

I get it. Life is hectic. Always. You know how important your health is, but how can you justify a 30 minute run when you haven't had time to cook anything other than TV dinners. I'm here to give you a few ways to fit exercise in to your busy life, no matter how busy you are! Some of the tips help you to find the motivation to commit, while other little tips to sprinkle in throughout the day to increase overall health. Pick and choose which tips work for you, or do them all!


Nuts About Snacks! My 3 Fave Post-Workout Eats

So you've just had a killer workout. What do you reach for when you get home? A candy bar? A bottle of water? The remote? I'm here today to give you some ideas for some great post-workout snacks to help keep your health in check.

It may seem counterintuitive; after all, you just worked out to get rid of calories! Why would you want to put more in your body? Well, because, science.

According to researchers and nutritionists, it's important to eat after a workout in order to help repair muscle tissues and restore glycogen, or energy levels (source). The calories you eat post-workout are used to restore energy and protein that were lost during your workout. In fact, the longer you wait to eat post-workout, the more your energy stores deplete. Waiting even 2 hours post-workout to refuel results in a 50% decrease in your body's ability to refill muscle energy stores, compared to grabbing a snack immediately (source)

TBT: Beauty DIY

Hi All,

I wanted to spice things up a little bit for this week's Throwback Thursday's post. This week has been about B2S so I thought I'd remind you of an easy Lush Hack. Check out the original post from September 30, 2014:

Behavior Chart: Tips & Tricks

Greetings Friends!

Back to School is right around the corner for many (or has come and gone for others). As you settle back into your classroom routine, I wanted to write a post, prompted by a few questions from readers, for how I used my behavior clip chart in my classroom in the past. Read on for some suggestions on types of consequences, timeline for rewards and types of class-wide rewards!


Staying Refreshed for B2S!

Morning friends,

This week, I've linked up with Mrs. D's Corner (again!) to bring you more tips for Back to School. This week (the last week) is all about how to stay refreshed and energized during this hectic time! Keep reading for my top 5 tips for staying refreshed during Back to School!

Top 5 Tips on How to Stay Refreshed for B2S


The Building Blocks of BTS: Week 1!

It's that time of year again...Back to School! You can tell by my blog feed - it's all about Back-to-School shopping and first week lesson plans. So as not to be left out, even though I am no longer in the classroom, I'm linking up with Mrs. D's Corner all month long to share some things I've learned from my years in the classroom for all of you heading back to school!

This week's theme? 

When I was a classroom teacher, we never had a "meet and greet" prior to the start of school. Sometimes, our teaching assignments were not finalized until the week before! So, during that first week (and beyond) it was especially important to build rapport, as this is the first time many of the students were meeting you.



Easy Like Sunday Morning #25

Hey Friends!

This song is intoxicating and lovely. Another home-run for The Head and the Heart.



Summer Reading List for Teachers

Hi all,

I've linked up with Lucky to Be in First for her new linky: Summer Reading List for Teachers. My list is for anyone who may have a bit more time during the summer (like a teacher!). I don't have summer's off, but summer just tends to be more laid-back. If you are anything like me, then you spend your days off outside on your patio or at the beach, AKA perfect reading time! Check out my two lists below for ideas of what I want to read this summer, and what I think you should read this summer. Enjoy :)

I can't wait to read...
Room by Emma Donoghue
Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son (the rest of The Giver Quartet) by Lois Lowry
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
The Psychopath Inside by James Fallon

You should totally read...
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Seders
The Giver by Lois Lowry

There you have it! I hope I gave you some ideas for books to add to your summer reading list. Click the image below to head over to Lucky to Be in First to join this fun linky!

Lucky to Be in First

What's on your summer reading list? Comment below and make sure to link up to share!


10 Things Tuesday: Songs That Have Changed My Life

Hi Loves,

Okay, so the blog title may be a bit dramatic, but essentially this list is the top 10 songs that immediately made me stop what I was doing, seep into the beauty of the music and lyrics, and continue to send me in trance when they are played. They are not all "happy" songs, nor are they all "inspirational" songs. There may appear to be no rhyme or reason to this list, except that they all make me stfu and listen. That's a big accomplishment!

Without further ado, here are the top 10 songs that have changed my life (in no particular order)...


Easy Like Sunday Morning #24

This song is heartbreaking and beautiful. I love Dolly's voice and the pain that resonates through these lyrics. The White Stripes cover of this song is wonderful too!



Mother's Day Gifts for the New Mom

Good morning loves,

Mother's Day is coming up this Sunday, and for those of us who are of a certain age, we have friends who are starting to make babies. A close friend of mine recently gave birth and this will be her first Mother's Day as the guest of honor! So this post is devoted to all the (simple and inexpensive) things you can give the new mommies in your life

1. Food
Who doesn't love getting food? Especially if you are a woman who just gave birth! Bake some homemade cookies or cook an easy, but thoughtful freezer meal for those nights when she and her S.O. are too tired to cook. I've made a few of the recipes found on my Freezer Meals Pinterest board.

Follow Rachael Wallace's board freezer meals! on Pinterest.

2. Jewelry
You can make or buy her some simple jewelry to celebrate her being a mother. Etsy has some great jewelry to get some ideas! I'm completely obsessed with the Mama Bear necklace!

source: Rebekah Gough

source: Etsy
source: Etsy

3. Home Decor
With all the hustle and bustle of having a new baby, there is little to no time to spruce up the house. Consider purchasing or making decorations for the home, particular as it is now Spring! Perhaps you can pick up a springtime wreath to don her front door, buy beautiful picture frames for all those pictures of the new baby, or create funky and personalized wall art. 

4. Flowers
Duh. Buy (or pick if you have your own flower garden) a colorful bouquet of flowers and arrange in vase. Consider things like favorite flowers, color-scheme, and vase style to match her home for future use. 

source: Homey Oh My!

I however will not buy my friend flowers, as she's allergic to everything. Instead, I will invest in some...

5. Plants.
Now I don't mean buying her a high-maintenance plant (I'm looking at you Zebra Plant). Resist the urge to buy her a beautiful plant that requires strict a water schedule and specific temperature and sunlight requirements. This will only overwhelm the new mom (unless she is an experienced or passionate gardener) and the plant will likely die much too soon. Instead, consider buying her low-maintenance house plants such as aloe, snake plant, jade, succulents, or air plants. You could also purchase or grow an herb garden for her! I'd love this as a gift (hint hint).

source: LollyJane

source: eighteen25

6. Spa-Items.
source: Lil' Luna

7. Spa Day!
If you can swing it, and mom has the time, splurge on a spa day for your favorite new mom. It can be as elaborate as a day full of massages, facials, and mani/pedi, or as simple as getting time to get a hair cut and nails done. Make sure you offer to watch the new bundle of joy too!

8. Gift Cards
Think about what mom wants - is it gift cards to things she wouldn't normally want to spend the money on, such as her favorite clothing store or a fancy dinner out, or something more practical, such as a gift card to the grocery store or CVS. It's not super fancy, but can be equally as thoughtful (and useful!) as other gifts. Consider giving a gift card with a more personal gift from this list!

9. Gift in Jars/Baskets.
This is a fun, personal gift that goes a long way! Consider what the new mommy enjoys and curate a gift basket around that central theme. It could be a spa gift basket, an arts and crafts basket, a coffee and cookies jar, or whatever! Check out the images below for more ideas, or click here for a whole list of ideas from Lil' Luna!

source: A Night Owl

source: Evermine Blog

10. Dinner on You (Free Babysitting Included)
This one's a fave! Depending on how old the bundle of joy is, the mom may be eager to get out of the house! Offer a gift certificate to her and her significant other's favorite place (or a place you think they'd enjoy) and offer to watch your favorite new baby. 

As a new mom, would you like these gifts? What do you like to gift for Mother's Day? Share below!


10 Things Tuesday: Things Having a Moment Right Now

Happy Tuesday All!

Today, I've decided to try a new monthly post: Ten Things Tuesday! These posts will be devoted to a specific topic each week and ten things related to that topic. Confused? Read on for this week's Ten Things Tuesday.


Easy Like Sunday Morning #23

Happy First Sunday in May! Believe it or not, I first heard this gem during Kristen Wiig's final show on SNL in 2012. I may have missed out for quite a while, but trust me - I'm making up for it now!



Happy May Day (Rabbit Rabbit)

Rabbit, Rabbit!

I hope you remembered to say "rabbit rabbit" this morning to bring you good luck throughout the month of May! If not, at least you'll be dressed to bring in the new month :) Check out some May Day inspiration, including my personal styling picks to help celebrate May first! Get out that maypole and dance on!

Simmons College, May 1st, 1951:
Credit: Simmons College Alumnae/i Facebook

Who can resist a JT meme? Even if it is a day late:

Celebrate May Day in style:
May Day

Do you have a May Day tradition? Share below!


Easy Like Sunday Morning #22

Morning loves!

I first heard this song on an episode of Sons of Anarchy. I knew I had to find the original (as this one was Katey Sagal's version). Turns out, it's another song originally performed by Leonard Cohen (like last week's song), which I don't love. Luckily lots of people find this song to be as intoxicating as I do, so many artists have covered it. I chose k.d. lang's version, which I love. (obvi)



Easy Like Sunday Morning #21

Happy Sunday (and Happy Easter to my Easter-celebrating friends)

Today's song title is a coincidence. Regardless of if you celebrate this holy day, enjoy this amazing song.


So Close to Sending Tieks a Strongly Worded Letter...

I'm not sure if you are aware of the severity of my naiveté, or should I say, gullibleness… but it's bad. Like really bad. I believe everything anyone says always. My brother-in-law even memorialized some stories of my gullibleness in our wedding speech. So needless to say, April Fools is my least favorite holiday ever.

Nearly every email I received that day was a tricky nightmare. I thought each headline, no matter how bizarre or unbelievable, was real life, and they often confused me. 

Why would there ever be a Tough Mudder for babies?! That's stupid. Let me see how they would even do this…oh wait, god dammit!

Then, I went on trip for work, leaving that evening and leaving my traumatic memories of April Fool's Day behind. While I was away, I made checking only important, personal emails a priority and leaving all of the store mailing list or advertising emails for when I returned. This morning, I finished up those emails, usually just scrolling through to mark it as "read" until I saw an email from Tieks that caught my eye. I think it's best that you understand this story from my perspective….Check out the images below to imagine life in my shoes:


Easy Like Sunday Morning #20

Happy Sunday friends!

Today I'm sharing a song that is one of my all-time favorite songs. Ever. I love The Pixies always, but this one is one I am always in the mood for. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



Easy Like Sunday Morning #19

Morning Lovelies!

Today I'd like to share a song that I used to binge listen to back in like 2012. It's the perfect chill, Sunday morning song - so grab a cup of coffee, wrap yourself in a cozy robe and enjoy :)



Songs for Spring

Happy Vernal Equinox, lovers!

In celebration of spring, renewal, and awakening from the bitter cold of winter, I present you with my Songs for Spring playlist!

Some of these titles/songs are obvious for springtime renewal. Others, not so obvious. A few notes on some of the choices for this playlist:

Sleeping Lessons, The Shins. The song starts out slow, like the long frigid winter. Then breaks into an upbeat springtime song to gear you up for warmer weather.

Cailin, Unwritten Law. Spring is all about rebirth and finding love. This adorably upbeat song hits the spot.

Just Like Heaven, The Cure. This song ALWAYS  reminds me of childhood. Specifically driving in Boston (usually over the BU Bridge for some reason) with the windows rolled down all the way while still wearing sweaters and pants. The first signs of spring.

She's Electric, Oasis. This fun, upbeat track from (What's The Story) Morning Glory, puts a smile on my face. It makes me think of crawling out from our dark cave of winter and entering the world of happiness and flowers that we call spring.

New Soul, Yael Naim. Back in 2007 I heard this song for the first time and I continued to binge-listen for the remained of the calendar year. When I'm in the mood for a happy, light song about transformation and rebirth, this is what I always come back to.

Let's Do It, Joan Jett and Paul. A Song about nature falling in love and singing the songs of it. I mean, c'mon. Perfect, right?

Amour du Sol, Yelle. This song is in French. If the upbeat, toe-tapping tune doesn't scream spring, the lyrics might. It's all about dancing, freedom, and having fun. Imagine listening to this song while walking your dog the first warm spring day. I guarantee you'll end up dancing down the street instead.

I chose the songs for this playlist because of either their lyrics and meaning, or the upbeat, springtime vibe I feel when I listen to them.

I'd love to know what you have on your springtime playlist! Comment below :)

image source: freeimages

Jet Setting Must Haves!

Happy Monday!

Yesterday I was scrambling around, making sure I had everything settled for the next week. Today I am headed to Reno visiting my family for a week. No, I am not from there, nor are they. My dad and step mom moved there 2 years ago for a job and now my sisters attend the university there. I have been to Reno before, but not to visit family, and this is a first for The Husband. Although it won't be the warmest place ever, it's certainly going to warmer than here in Boston. Pretty much anywhere else will be warmer than here. 

In preparation for my trip, I created an image below with all the things you may consider bringing in your carry on. Although the outfit may not scream "winter-time travel" it's probably what I will be wearing tomorrow (with layers of course).

Easy Like Sunday Morning #17

Can you tell how much I love alt-J yet?



Easy Like Sunday Morning #16

Love-sick? Sick of love? Drunk in love? Punch Drunk Love? How about this one…


Happy Valentine's Day!

Morning friends!

In the midst of this cold, snowy February, I'm trying to find peace and love. It's hard to love anything when I'm up to my knees in snow, (um, seriously. Have you seen the weather reports for New Englanders?) but love is in the air. You don't have to be a Valentine's Day supporter to appreciate the sentiment of celebrating love. That's why I leave you with a love-filled playlist to celebrate the love in your life, whoever or whatever that may be.



Valentine's Blog Hop: Sweet Treats for You!

Hey all! Welcome to Day 13 of the Special Education Valentine Blog Hop! This blog hop is all about supporting you Special Ed Bloggers and getting a sweet Valentine's treat. It doesn't get much better than that :)

I'm so excited that it is finally my day! AND Friday the 13th no less (which excites me too). Today I'm going to discuss a little bit about a classroom resource I am IN LOVE with and used frequently with my special needs kiddos. I will also be providing a specific freebie for this resource, as well as providing a ONE-DAY ONLY Freebie. Keep reading to get all the goodies!

Flash Sale!

Happy Hump Day friends!

Here in Boston, we've been out of work/school for what seems like months (read: at least 2 snow days per week for the last 3 weeks). For those of you still attending school (I joke…sorta) check out this FLASH SALE I'm having on my Valentine's-themed products! And for my Bostonians - if you can manage to get anything done this week, try some of these activities for your littles.

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