Thursday, August 16, 2012

I wrote another guest post!!

Hello everyone!!  I just wanted to let you all know that I had the opportunity of guest posting at Presley's RunPretty blog today.  I wrote all about my love for (surprised?) MUSIC.

Please go check it out!!!  Here is the link:  Guest Post: Music Feeds My Soul

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday “Not-So-Fun” Day

Today was definitely NOT a “Sunday Funday”.  You see, what had happened was this…

Yesterday I started the day by eating a nice, healthy breakfast while watching the México vs. Brazil Olympics finals soccer game with the hubby.  I had my new favorite meal, the same one that I had had for three out of the last four meals: whole wheat mini pita pocket, eggs with diced steak, freshly diced tomatoes, drizzled with Chimichurri sauce.

*** In case you are wondering, Chimichurri is an Argentinean parsley/garlic/red pepper flakes/red onion/lemon juice/olive oil/throw in a blender sauce…almost like a pesto only more flavorful and with parsley instead of basil.  If you’ve ever had a dipping sauce for your bread (or a green sauce atop your steak) at a South American steakhouse or Spanish Tappas or Italian restaurants, then you know what I’m talking about this because this is pretty similar.***

 Anyway, I made a big batch the other day; we can’t get enough of it in this house!  The hubs is from South America, where this stuff is a staple because they are such big meat eaters and the little one, well she just loves it!  Honestly, I eat the least amount of it usually or get tired of it within a day or two but I have been obsessed with it too this time around!  It had been a while since I made it, so maybe that’s it.   Anyway, I drizzled this stuff onto the steak, eggs, tomato mixture and it was soooooooo good!  Well after that meal I was really full, and by the time I got hungry again it was close to my run time and I didn’t want to eat and get full before the run so I just waited.  Well I went for my run and then got cleaned up and dressed and well, long story short, we ended up at a Mexican restaurant at 10:30pm.  Big mistake.  Huge.

Let me preface this by saying that I really don’t like eating at Mexican restaurants.  No offense, but most Mexican restaurants (around here anyway) are actually “TexMex” and well, when you grow up eating real Mexican food everyday, three meals a day, home-cooked by your straight-from-México grandmother and aunt (that never even learned to speak English when they came to the states) until the age of 18 when you went off to college, well, suffice to say, the other stuff just doesn’t measure up.  If I do eat it, I prefer to eat at a good old Taquería or Carnicería (meat market); the smaller, the greasier, the least-likely-to-hear-English being spoken, the better!!  

So we went to this Mexican restaurant, and by now it’s been about 12 hours since I last ate anything and I am HANGRY!!  Translation = hungry + angry.  I’m so hungry I’m grumpy and my head was hurting big time.  I wanted food, and lots of it, and chose a platter that included two ground beef (which I never even eat anymore, we only buy ground turkey) enchiladas, rice, charro beans and a small salad.  Oh, and I told the waiter to please keep the chips and salsa and guacamole/green salsa dip coming.  Oh, it pains me even just thinking about it now!!  I never eat like this, it's not good for my system, and I know this...and  I did it anyway!! #momentofweakness

I ate everything on my plate.  Ever.y.thing, and made a nice dent in the chips basket and salsa bowls too.  On the ride home I was already starting to feel sick, and by the time I made it to bed (passed out, actually) the food felt like a giant rock in my stomach.  I slept fretfully and tossed and turned and sweated all night, and my hubs finally woke me up at like 3:30 am and gave me some Picot in water, which is the Mexican version of Alka-Seltzer only in powder form.  This is the best stuff ever and usually does the trick anytime something has my tummy hurtin’!  Not this time, however, because I awoke early this morning to watch the Olympic Men’s marathon and I still felt sick!  I watched the last half-hour or so of the marathon, climbed back in bed and that is where I stayed the rest of the day. 

I only got up for bathroom trips, napped on-and-off, read a book, and finally ate a tiny bowl of cereal that my daughter brought me around 2pm.  My hubby and daughter kept coming in to check on me – it’s just not like me to stay in bed all day – and they knew I was feeling awful!  Honestly, I had not felt this bad in forever, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that my daughter – who had virtually the same meal – felt perfectly fine, I would have been convinced I had food poisoning.  I’m still not totally convinced that I don’t.  L

I finally made it out of bed and got showered and dressed and we went to Souper Salad for dinner where I had some Chicken Noodle Soup and cornbread with my salad.  The food didn’t make me feel any better but at least it didn’t make me sick!

The highlight of my day, aside from the fact that I almost got an entire book read, was that I ended the evening having Tapioca at my favorite place, with one of my favorite people ever, my friend Amanda.  We got caught up since we hadn’t seen each other for most of the summer.  We jumped from topic to topic in the crazy way that we always do, and it was great to get to spend some time with her.  I can’t wait until we see each other again!

Now I’m home and heading to bed because I actually have to go to work tomorrow...and I'm still not feeling very well.  We have an all day staff development and it starts at 8:00 am.  Guess it’s that time of the year when I have to start getting back into routine.  Darn!!  No more Olympics, no more late night runs, no more staying in my PJ’s till gym time, and no more staying up all night and sleeping late the next day!

Summer is (almost) over; the new year has (almost) begun! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I am a teacher

I know I’ve casually mentioned it a time or two, so you may already know this, but I am a teacher. 


Technically I’m supposed to be doing International Public Relations because that’s what I studied in college.  During my senior year at Texas A&M (WHOOP!!!), and with graduation fast approaching, my friend Rosie and I went to an International Job Fair at Texas State University.  While walking around, we were immediately pounced upon by a lady who overheard us speaking to each other in Spanish.  I say “pounced” because literally that’s how it happened! LOL!! 

The “pouncer” turned out to be the (at that time) Director of Bilingual Education for my district.  Ooops!  She had a principal interview me on the spot and then literally called me every other day for a week until I finally agreed to come to Houston to tour/interview at a school that she had in mind for me.  She insisted I had the perfect personality to be a teacher at the intermediate level (5th/6th grades) and that she had the perfect principal/school for me.  I finally caved and came; I figured if all else failed, I could teach for a year and make some decent money while I looked for my “real job” at an International PR firm.

I still laugh EVERY TIME I remember having said this!  A “real job?”  How pompous of me!!  There is no job that is more REAL than teaching!!


I ended up ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT that first year and went back and did an Alternative Certification Program to get certified.  I started teaching, right out of college at age 22…and here I am, about to start my 12th year and I enjoy it more and more every year.  I have no desire to be a counselor, no desire to be an administrator.  No offense to those that have climbed that ladder; I rejoice in their ambition and success!  It’s just that I finally, really, really know my place.  My place is in the classroom.  Teaching and scaring and molding the children that will one day be the adults that control our future.   

My mother insists that she always knew I would teach.  I don’t know how; I guess it’s a case of “mother-knows-best” because pretty much my entire life I said I was going to be one of three things:

1)   a Respiratory Therapist – I decided this came when I was diagnosed with Asthma as a child

2)   an author - I’ve always been a book nerd and used to want to write one too!

3)   a lawyer – this one lasted the longest, even through college, where I majored in Communications and International Studies because I thought I might eventually do International Law.  Matter of fact, I occasionally still entertain thoughts of going back to law school…shhh…don’t tell anyone! #itsaBIGsecret

I guess the BIG man upstairs, my momma, and the "pouncer" Ed knew what they were talking about after all!

I am a 5th grade Reading/Language Arts/ Social Studies teacher, and have had the privilege of teaching in the same school district, under the same principal for eleven years.  Yep, that’s right, that would the fabulous lady that I talked about here.  And while I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed my summer break, I must admit I am kind of ready to go back!

This week was the first time we could get into our classrooms so I took advantage of it and went up on Wednesday and Thursday to get some work done.  This year I’ll have a new classroom, a new partner (well kind of, we taught together as part of a three way seven years ago), and will be going fully Bilingual after five years as being part of a Monolingual/Bilingual split.  Plus…and this is the saddest part of the whole thing…I will no longer be partners with Linda, my wonderful partner of four years!!!!  *moment of silence as I mourn* #veklempt

The good thing is that Linda’s classroom will still be diagonal from mine and that we are all still in the same “pod” and on the same team so I’ll still get to work closely with her.  Here’s what our pod will look like:

my new partner
her new partner
(and my old room)

Luckily, I was only moving next door, so it wasn’t too bad!  It was waaaaay better than last year, when I had to move across the entire school and out of the classroom that I had been in for seven years.

I was able to get my library, small group and desk area set up and did a whole lot of organizing, arranging, and cleaning.  What I am most proud of, though, is the fact that I purged.  “Purged” as in I went through and cleaned out every single file in my file cabinet, threw away stuff that I hadn’t touched in years away, and REALLY, for the first time in a long time EVER, made myself get rid of stuff that I knew I was not going to use and no longer needed.  It felt so good doing that; actually “good” does not even begin to describe it!  I’m glad I went up early and did this because I was able to take my time without any distractions (I love to stop and talk to my friends), which is exactly what I needed to be able to do the job properly.

Here are a few pics of what my new classroom looks like now.

Small Group area.

Library area.

Back cabinets, and some of the student's desks, already in groups.

My desk/computer/projector area, up in the front of the room by the board.


The hardest part is done, thankfully, and I’ll focus on the actual decorating when we officially go back on the 20th.   I’ll have it all nice and purty by the time the children come back on the 27th. 

I’ve been perusing several teacher boards and blogs that I found through Pinterest, and pinning lots of stuff to my “Getting’ My TEACH On” board in preparation for going back to school. 


There are some seriously talented teachers out there with some BEAUTIFUL classroom themes!!  I’ve never been one to have an actual theme; well, except for two years ago when everything was – are you ready for this??? – food related.  I made posters that said things like:

“Reading – it’s food for thought” (for my reading anchor chart wall)

“Digital Bytes” (for my computer area), and

“Dig in to a good book” (for my library area)

How funny (but not at all surprising) that my food obsession spills over into my classroom too! 

Anyway, this year I’ll still use those posters but I won’t have an actual theme, I don’t think.  I usually just try to make my classroom warm and inviting, colorful, and pretty.  Pretty, of course, because I refuse to live/teach/be mean (mean? me??? never!!) in a classroom that is not PRETTY! ;-)  Sometimes you just #gottadowhatyougottado! LOL

I promise the AFTER pictures will be more exciting than the before pictures are.  J

PS – I think I’ve pretty much decided that when school starts again, Tuesday’s will be dedicated to “Teacher Tuesday’s.”  I’ll talk about teacher stuff and/or random tangents where I’ll tell you funny stuff going on at school.  For my fellow teachers that already know and can attest to this, and for those of you who don’t quite know it yet, you’ll see that:

1)     there is NEVER a dull moment in the classroom, which makes for really great dinner-table conversations, and

2)     kids say the darndest things, especially 5th and 6th graders because they are at that age!


Hope you’ll stay tuned! J

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Favorites, 8.10 - I'm baaaack!!!

I’m baaaaaack! 

So much has been going on this week and I have so much to fill you in on!  I do have to say, I MISS my daily blogging therapy and promise to never take such a long break again!  Today is Friday, and I normally do Friday Favorites, but honestly, these are going to be more like tangents since I have so many random things to fill you in on!  Umm, yeah, this is gonna be a bit of a long one! J

Here are my Friday Favorites (a.k.a. tangents).  Let’s start from the beginning!


 On Tuesday I had a couple of people who deserved TROPHIES in my book: 

1.     Rachel, the bestie!  She received a HUGE promotion at work, and is going to be a big boss at her school now.  Wooohooo!  So proud of her and I know she is going to do a fantastic job!!!  We went to the school board meeting to watch her get officially announced in her new position and then went out to dinner at PF Chang’s afterward to celebrate.

2.     Javier, the hubby.  He receives a huge trophy for being so thoughtful!  He met us at the restaurant because he was coming straight from an appointment that he had been at all day.  And when he walked in, guess what he had in his hand?  Flowers.  For the bestie on her special day.  That’s one of the things that I love about him, his attention to detail.

3.     Who doesn’t get a trophy?  Me!!  I hurt myself during my workout on Tuesday.  I know this may be a silly question, but do women have groin muscles like men do?  Well if we do, I hurt mine!  I went to an earlier class than I normally do on Tuesday’s because I needed to make it to the board meeting on time to see my friend.  The class that I go to on Wednesday’s with the instructor that totally kicks my butt…well, that same instructor gives the same class on Tuesday’s too, and that’s the one I went to.  When I walked in (about ten minutes late) they were already fully into the workout!  So of course, I did the smart thing and instead of taking a couple of minutes to warm-up off to the side, I jumped right into the workout!  This is the instructor that I told you recently got certified in CrossFit and has since changed the structure of his class to make it straight CF.  I definitely ain’t complaining!!!  We were standing on steps with 3 rizers under each side doing lunges, forward and backward, and I had a 10 pound weight plate in each hand.  On one of the lunges backward, off of the step, I felt a pop in my muscle at the top of my leg where the thigh meets the hip.  The pop was weird; it was so shocking and quick!  That’s when I did smart thing #2 and kept going full-force for the rest of the class instead of stopping.  Oh, and then I ran 2 miles on it later too.  Needless to say, that was noooooot the smartest thing I’ve ever done!  It took me back to my high school days when I continued to play basketball after I had torn my ACL and when it popped out I would just pop it back in and kept going like nothing was wrong.  Ouch!!  #craziness 


A quick Run streak update:

RUNstreak: as of tonight, 70 days and counting…

My “groin” or whatever it is that I hurt is feeling much better after taking it easy during my workouts for a couple of days.  I continued with my runs, though so as not to break my run streak.  I have to admit, though, that Tuesday night’s run and Wednesday morning’s run were ROUGH.  I was hurting sooo bad that I had to stop and walk some.  Way more often than I would have liked!  And while I was able to finish the two miles each time, I did end up having to walk quite a bit, and being that I don’t normally do this, my anal-retentive self is having a hard time calling those real “runs.”  My hubs tells me that I should give myself a break and give myself credit for even trying to run while injured.  I guess I’ll listen to him!  I may have  had to stop and walk some but I still did more running than walking so I’ll still count it!  I felt muuuuuch better during yesterday’s run and am feeling almost back to normal today!


The “Greatness is ours” Nike commercial.  The Pr and Marketing people at Nike are amazingly good at their jobs!!  They are right on the money. Every. Single. Time.  This latest commercial, in two words?  Inspiring and motivating!  I read a little bit of background about the young man who made the commercial and his story is great!!  You can read about his story here.  What I love most about this campaign is the fact that it lets us believe that there is already greatness within us all.  In a time where we are all inspired yet humbled watching the Olympic greats, Nike tells us that we may not all be Olympic athletes but we all have miracles within us.  It’s beautiful, really!


Friday favorites – OLYMPIC edition:

-         Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings win gold – love, love, love them and have been following them since High School!!!  I know I mostly talk about Basketball, which was undoubtedly my favorite, but I played (and loved) Volleyball too.  They were my favs then and they continue to be my favs now…and I WISH they would go for Gold in Rio in 2016 too!

-         Alison Felix – 200m gold FINALLY!!

-         Kenya’s David Rashida setting the World Record in the Men’s 200m race – love his story because he is such a nice, simple man from humble roots…and he runs to make his country and fellow tribesmen proud!

-         Women’s Soccer team wins the gold…and gains redemption from losing the World Cup to the same team last year

-         Ashton Eaton winning gold in the Decathlon – although no one really doubted he could do it, it was nice that he actually did do it.  I love that he’s so down-to-Earth, and in an interview I watched with him and the silver medallist, Trey Hardee, whom he considers a friend, Ashton credited him Hardee with helping him train to be more successful.  Talk about humble, which is an unknown concept for some athletes celebrating their Olympic success.  I don’t wish to take anything away from Usain bolt because his athletic accomplishments are impressive to say the least, but it’s nice when an athlete doesn’t’ feel the need to toot his own horn.


And my last favorite and something you GOTTA TRY – I made this crazy simple crockpot Bar-b-que chicken earlier this week and it was!!!!  I can’t take credit for this recipe; I didn’t make it up myself, I actually saw it somewhere, I just can’t remember where!!   Here’s my version of the recipe:


“Crazy good” Crockpot Bar-b-que Chicken


4 chicken breasts
1/2 c diced red onion
1 cup diced pineapple
1 bottle bar-b-que sauce
1.        Place the chicken breasts at the bottom of the crockpot and put the onion, pineapple, and sauce over the top of it.
2.      Put the lid on, turn it to LOW and cook it for 6-8 hours.  Enjoy!

That’s it.  So easy and delicious, my favorite two things!  I made drop biscuits, homemade coleslaw, baked beans, and corn to go along with it.  We had lots of leftovers of the chicken and I froze it for a quick meal sometime next week.  I’m thinking next time we’ll make pulled-chicken bar-b-que sandwiches.  I will definitely be putting this one on the menu rotation!

Five questions for you:
1.     What are some of your favorite things right now?
2.     What was your favorite workout this week?  When you get injured, do you take it easy like you should?
3.     Have you seen the Nike commercial?  What are some of your favorite inspiring commercials being played right now?
4.     What are some of your favorite Olympic moments so far?
5.     What was your favorite meal that you made this week?

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Make-It-Happen-Monday", 8.6

Here are the things that I am hoping to make happen this week.

What we’ll be grubbing on this week:

Grub Menu (8/6 – 8/12)
BOLIVIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY meal – to include the colors of the Bolivian flag (red, yellow, green) in honor of my Bolivian hubby!
Baked Basil Tilapia w/ Sriracha (red), Saffron Rice (yellow), steamed peas (green)

Crockpot bar-b-que chicken w/pineapple, coleslaw, corn on the cob, drop biscuits…and pickles
Stuffed Bell peppers (ground turkey, brown rice, veggies, etc)
Steak, chimichurri, roasted veggies
Burritos – made with ground turkey, whole wheat, high fiber tortillas, Mexican rice, avocado pico de gallo, black beans
- Lasagna (ground turkey, whole wheat lasagna noodles)

How I’ll be getting-my-sweat-on this week:


Work Out Schedule
(August 6 – August 12)


Cross Train
Zumba, CrossFit
Whole body (CF session)
Step, CrossFit
Whole body
(CF session)
Zumba, Spin
Arms: biceps, triceps, shoulders

What I’m ___________ this week:

Right Now I’m…

Legend, The Uglies, Charlotte’s Web (still reading it with my little one)
Listening to…
lots of shake-your-groove-thang music! I’ve been in a DANCING mood lately, ever since getting-my-dance-on this weekend.  So I’ve been listening to get-up-and-dance pop like Rihanna and Calvin Harris (on mu running playlist), SALSA (my favs include Marc Anthony, Victor Manuelle, Joe Arroyo, and Grupo Niche), and Samba!! 
…and lots of movies with my daughter.  Right now we are watching “Marmaduke” and watched “Dispicable Me” earlier.
a fat juicy dill pickle…so I added it onto the menu for Tuesday’s meal!  
all the family time I’ve had this summer! 
that my last two weeks of summer vacation turn out to be as fantastic and the other month and a half was!

One last little update:
Last night I did a Sunday evening long run and ran 6.5 miles, the longest I’ve run in a looooong time.  I swear it was just a COINCIDENCE but it just so happens that I ran 6.5 miles on Day #65 of my RUNstreak!!  I promise I didn’t do that on purpose; even I am not that nerdy!  Although I must admit, I wish I had thought about it ahead of time and had done it on purpose! J

This evening my daughter and our dog Bella came on my run with me.  I ran 2.5 miles while they did about 1.5.  I dropped them off at the neighborhood playground and then ran around it a couple of times to complete a mile.  I didn’t feel guilty about running such a little amount; the knees (especially the left one, which is the one that has two knee surgeries) are still a little sore from my long run last night.  I’m proud to announce:

RUNstreak: as of tonight, 66 days and counting…

I just may complete my Summer RUNstreak after all!!