Slice of Life Challenge #13

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I have an addictive personality- my vices are many.  Not the average vices of a 324-yr old, though.  I am obsessed with office and school supplies.  Post-its, pens, notebooks, markers, pencils, the list goes on and on.  One of my favorite store is OfficeDepot because of their phenomenal clearance section.  In the past I have purchased Post-it notes for $0.25.  And Post-it notes are my worst vice.  Well, Post-its and Moleskines.

For the past week I have been planning a trip to OfficeDepot because I hadn’t been there in a while.  This morning I discovered that this week’s circular has a coupon for $10 off $25 which also made me excited.  Thankfully, I discovered the coupon before heading to the store and not after it, like I usually do.

Upon entering the store I made a beeline to the left-hand corner in the front, the bright red signs and exclamation points drawing me in like a moth to the flame.  This was a particularly good day for clearance!  There were Crayola art tools for $2, 5-packs of bubble mailers for $1, Expo marker holders for $2, calendars for $2, and much more!  I began pulling items off the shelves, balancing them in my arms.  Soon enough, I realized I would need a hand cart- I couldn’t keep carrying all of the items I was grabbing!

Bubble mailers, check.  Post-its, check.  Crayola Explosions for my little sister, check.  Expo case, check.  My hand cart was quickly filling up.  I was attempting to reach a total of $25 so that I could use my coupon, but it wasn’t happening.   I just kept adding to my order and I still wasn’t close enough!

Shopping for office supplies relaxes me.  And I love new supplies for school.  It reminds me of the first day of school, back when I was a student.  Walking out of the store with my two ginormous bags, I smiled.  This was a great start to my week!

Slice of Life Challenge #12

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All week, we have been planning our Friday night dinner.  We normally eat out or get take-out on Friday nights because I tutor from 6-7pm.  It’s just easier when I know I don’t have to do the cooking and the clean-up.

Earlier this week we found a local coupon book that had somehow slipped our minds.  The coupons expire on April 5th, and we do hate to waste them.  ;)  We flipped through the booklet and determined which ones we could reasonably get through before the expiration date.  One of my favorite restaurants was included- La Rosa’s Chicken.  It’s like a hometown Boston Market with delicious comfort food.

This evening I finished tutoring and was very excited. After driving up the street and ordering the meal, we brought it home and set the table.  The warm smell of chicken drifted out of the bag and filled the kitchen.  I scooped a large spoonful of rich, creamy, decadent macaroni & cheese and sighed contentedly.

Is there anything better than a meal full of comfort food……..that you didn’t have to cook yourself?

Slice of Life Challenge #11

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One of my favorite parts of my day is my drive to work .  It’s only about 15 minutes from my house to school, but I try to make good use of the time I have.  Until recently, I listened to my iPod and just relaxed.  However, I recently began listening to my first audiobook.  As a highly visual learner, I shied away from listening to books because I assumed I would just tune out.  Plus, I love to sing along with my radio (at the top of my lungs), so losing that time made me a little sad.

A few days ago I had to drive to a wedding that was over an hour away.  I downloaded an audiobook onto my iPod and figured I would give it a shot.  As I drove up the parkway and into the mountains, that hour flew by!  I was enjoying the story and realized that listening to a reader would also help me with my read-alouds.  It’s interesting hearing another person’s interpretation of  character’s voices, mannerisms, and speech.

Every morning when I get into my car, I place my iPod into it’s stand and set up the FM transmitter.  Even though I only have 15 minutes (at the most), listening to someone tell me story has now become my favorite part of my morning routine.  Even when I pull into my parking spot at school I sometimes spend a few more minutes in the car, finishing a chapter.  For someone who has regretted the loss of her pleasure reading time, audiobooks are filling a great void in my life.

Slice of Life Challenge #10

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no toner in the copier

paper jam

no staples

copy-less for another day

missing homework

library books misplaced

“i know i did the homework….can’t i just get credit?”

head meet wall

read-aloud, relax, enjoy

quiet

“this is the best part of our day!”

pride. satisfaction. smiles.

*i rarely write poetry.  be kind. :)

Slice of Life Challenge #9

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Walking back to my room after prep, I realize something is wrong.

It’s quiet.  Too quiet.  My class is usually rambunctious and chatty in the room after health.  I can always hear them coming down the hall.  Randoms words, whispers, bangs, booms, and the scrapes of chairs against the floor lead me like a leashed dog back to my classroom.  But today is different.  No voices.  No metal chairs scraping against the hard floor.  No bangs.  No booms.  No laughter.

Why can’t I hear anything?

I begin running scenarios through my head.  But I know what’s wrong.  Silence means trouble.  Silence in a room of school children practically screams, “WE GOT YELLED AT!”

Walking in the door, I survey the room.  Twenty some-odd preteens sitting at their desks like perfect angels.  That’s always the number one sign that they are anything but.

I glance at their health teacher only to see her sigh and motion me outside the door.  I can see it in her eyes- all teachers look the same when they have had it with “that”class.  And it was last period.  A double whammy for the poor health teacher.

“What did they do?!”

As she explained their overly-rambunctious behavior, resulting in my neighbor teacher coming in to scold them,  I nodded and began plotting how to deal with this sudden onset of spring fever, come 3 weeks early.

Slice of Life Challenge #8

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Pitas, leftover lemon-pepper chicken, mayo, lettuce….everything I need?  As I surveyed the counter, I mentally calculated what I would need for lunch and a snack that day at school.  Lunch would have to last me through til dinner, as I had OM until 6pm.  And I would definitely want a snack at OM.

Opening my wonderful, brand-new Fit & Fresh, I began packing my lunch.  Lemon-pepper chicken pita sandwich went in first, followed by the ice-pack.  Now, what to have for a snack?

Back over at the refrigerator, I reviewed my options.

I should probably have something healthy.  But there are cookies.  And I do need two snacks….but two sets of cookies would be delicious.  But I should have something substantial at OM….

As I argued back and forth with myself, I decided to compromise.  I reached into the crisper and pulled out the new bag of crispy, orange baby carrots.  I glanced at the side door and saw a small package of ranch dressing.  Perfect!  So the healthy aspect of the snack was taken care of.

I smiled as I pulled out my cookies, the delicious Surprise cookies I made over the weekend.  I decided three would be the perfect number.  As I placed them into the container, I was dismayed to figure out that only two cookies fit into the container!

As I came to terms with this, I looked over my lunch.  Would it be enough to sustain me through the day?

I am going to be starving when I get home….I better throw something into the crockpot.

Slice of Life Challenge #8

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Tonight I decided I wanted to make cookies.  I looked around online, hoping something would catch my interest.  And hoping I would have all the ingredients for whatever did catch my eye.

After a few minutes following links, I found these .  Chocolate and marshmallows?  Sign me up!   The recipe looked simple enough and I had all the ingredients in my pantry.  Perfect!

I began by creaming the butter and sugar in my gorgeous, silver Kitchenaid mixer (which I absolutely adore).  After beating the mixture for a minute, I realized I had no idea what creaming was.  A quick search online helped me out, but my mixture never quite got to the “airy and fluffy stage”.  Figuring it was no big deal I just continued with the recipe, whisking the cocoa powder, flour, and salt.  After creaming the butter and sugar I added in the cocoa powder mixture, which immediately sent up a cloud of chocolate dust into the air, causing me to sneeze and cough.  It was like a sudden chocolate allergy had overtaken me-  the horror!

Beating the mixture with the eggs and milk, I threw in a dash of vanilla and turned off the Kitchenaid.  As I began to form the cookies and place them on the cookie sheet, I realized that the batter was extremely sticky.  Half of the cookies-to-be ended up stuck to my fingers!

Ten to twelve minutes after being placed in the oven, I quickly pulled out the cookies and pressed half of a marshmallow in the middle of each cookie.  Uh-oh.  The marshmallows were as big as the entire cookie!  Hoping for the best, I placed the baking sheet back into the oven for two minutes.  In those two minutes I frantically whipped up the frosting that would be drizzled over the cookies.  I just made it as the timer on the oven beeped.  I rushed to the oven, pulled out the cookies, pressed the marshmallows down, and began drizzling the chocolate frosting over the marshmallow surprise.  Once I was finished, I moved the cookies from the baking sheet to the wire rack to cool.  I quickly put the next batch in the oven, repeating the steps over again.

As I collapsed into the nearest kitchen chair, letting the next batch bake, I surveyed the kitchen.  Cocoa powder residue coated my mixer.  There was flour on the floor.  Sugar granules crunched under my feet.  It looked like a baking explosion.  I glanced at the recipe on the computer screen and realized I had frosted the cookies too soon- I should have waited until the cooled.  Then the oven beeped again.  This was exhausting!

Thirty minutes later, all the cookies were done.  And I was exhausted.  How does Martha Stewart do it?!

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