My Favorite Blogs

3.30.2012

Friday Favorites

What I am loving this week ....

My new Lilly Croakies.  I was in desperate need of some croakies for my Wayfarers.  I hated the hassle of putting them in the case.  I'm always in a rush and these croakies simplify everything. I got mine in Scarlet Begonia.  The inside says "Wear pink, make the boys wink." For 10$ these are a heck of a deal.



Chevron stripes.  I am obsessed.




A Big Thanks to Belle! and Follow Friday!

I hope you all noticed my new header! As we all know, I love monograms, so I am super excited to have it on my blog :)  I stumbled across Belle In The City's blog and noticed that she had hers at the bottom of her page and also shares my same love for putting her monogram on anything that is not nailed down.  I was bound and determined to get my monogram on my blog so I did what I do best- googled it!  Well, I couldn't find anywhere to do a pretty monogram that I could use.  After lots of research and no luck I decided just to email Sarah Elizabeth whose blog I drool over on a daily basis...

Photobucket
Let me just say, SHE WAS FANTASTIC! Now, I don't normally go around emailing strangers on a daily basis but she had a post about how she would make an iPad or iPhone monogram background for her followers of they just commented and left their info...super nice, right!?  So I thought okay she seems pretty friendly and approachable.  Well I emailed her and asked her about it and within no time she had sent me an email back of how she does it.  Not only did she tell me what program she uses she offered to make me my monogram in any color! I died! So I sent her my info and later that night she had sent me my monogram done.  When I opened the email and saw it I gasped! It turned out beautiful.  She did it for me in yellow and I made it black to make it a part of my header.

Lovely yellow. I'm in love with it!



This taught me a very good lesson.  There are people out there that are genuine, nice, and helpful.  I absolutely love connecting to people that share my same passions and interests via blogs.  It is like you have the chance to get to know them personally.

So, if you haven't yet, check out Sarah Elizabeth at Belle in the City.  She is also on my "Blogs I Love" page.  Her blog is beautiful and has tons of interesting projects, OOTDs, and other stuff.  And she helped me get this beautiful monogram on my page!

Thank you, Belle!



3.29.2012

Pocket Full of Sunshine

The wonderful Emily Ruth has passed the Sunshine Award along to me! This is my first blog award and I am oh so excited!



What are your favorite colors?
Purple, Pink, Green 

 Favorite number?
Seven

 Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink
Diet Coke
Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter
follow me :) @ashleykayfarmer


My Passion
Teaching


Favorite Flower
Peonies and Tulips ( because my dad said they were all blooming on the day I was born <3 )




Thanks again to Emily Ruth for giving me such a wonderful blog award!  Hope yall learned some new things about me!



Read, Read, Read

3.28.2012

Growly.

So, it's lunch time and I have given my class silent lunch.  I had no idea that a bunch of 5 year old could be such terrors.  Don't get me wrong, I love these kids to death, but today they have been out of control.  We have 24 individual tubs of manipulatives and while I was doing small group math, the half allowed to play with them decided to dump each and every container into a huge pile onto the carpet.  They didn't stop there.  They mixed them up, threw them across the classroom, and walked all over them (breaking a lot of them).  It took them 35 minutes to clean and sort them all back into the right tubs.  I love my job but today has been awful.  It doesn't help that I am PMS-ing, and dieting.  I'm drinking a slim fast milkshake when all  really want is some chili cheese fries and chicken tenders from sonic. LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH!!!!

 I googled "growly bear" and this is what I found.  I call people who are in bad moods growly bears....if you didn't know.

Wordless Wednesday

Degas. The Green Dancers. 1877.

3.27.2012

My Guilty Pleasure Meal: Skinny Version

Like everyone, I have a go-to guilty pleasure meal.  It is usually chicken tenders and fries.  If I've had a bad day, that's what I want.  Now thinks to Pinterest, I have been able to find the "skinny" version of my favorite meal.  I made it last night and was quite proud of it!


Salad Course:  Salad with Low-Fat Buttermilk Ranch

I started with a basic salad (NO cheese or crutons, bummer, I know) with a low-fat buttermilk ranch dressing.  I stumbled across this recipe at SkinnyTaste.com  which is my new favorite website for healthy recipies.  She lists everything about her recipes- fat, cals, protein, fiber, carbs, WW points and  serving size.  That is so helpful for us trying to stay on track.

I used the salad from a bag that you can buy in any store.  I usually like to make my own with romain, lettuce, and veggies, but I didn't just for time sake.

Here is the recipe for Gina at Skinny Taste's Low-Fat Buttermilk Ranch.

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/09/low-fat-buttermilk-ranch-dressing.html

Low-fat Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 13 • Size: 1/4 cup • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 1 pts
Calories: 52.3 • Fat: 2.0 g • Carbs: 5.5 g • Fiber: 0.0 g • Protein: 3.4 g • Sugar: 3.7 g
Sodium: 288.8 mg

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 3/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Hellman's light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups 1% low fat buttermilk

Directions:

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine the sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, powder, onion powder, parsley, chives, salt, and cracked pepper. Mix well.

Stir in the white balsamic vinegar; then buttermilk.



Main Course: Baked Chicken Nuggets and Twice Baked Potatoes

This sounds like a quite-unhealthy choice for my diet.  But to my surprise, it is not! And this was delicious!  The chicken was to die for!

The chicken nuggets were also one of Gina's recipes from Skinny Taste.  Seriously, if you have not tried this website, you must check it out!

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/04/healthy-baked-chicken-nuggets.html


Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th of nuggets • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 164.9 • Fat: 4.6 g • Protein: 22.1 g • Carb: 7.7 g • Fiber: 0.9 g Sugar: 0.1 g

  • 16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp panko
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.

Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 - 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked though.

The twice baked potatoes I made were found from the WW Recipe website.  These were also delicious.  This is another great website for those like me who are trying to eat healthy.


Skinny Twice Baked Potatoes
Makes 6 Servings
Per Serving: 88 Calories; 1g Fat; 2.5g Protein; 17.3g Carbs; 2.3g Fiber


  •  3 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup thin green onion slices
  • 1/4 cup Light Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
 Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pierce potatoes in several places with tip of sharp knife. Bake 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until tender. Immediately cut potatoes lengthwise in half; scoop out centers, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells.

Beat potato pulp, broth, 1/2 cup cheese, onions, sour cream and mustard with mixer until well blended. Spoon into shells; top with remaining cheese and paprika.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.



I highly suggest trying this awesome meal!  I was stuffed after it and had no desire to snack later that night!  Happy healthy eating!



3.22.2012

Thirsty Thursday

Cheers! It is almost Friday! As I was planning Chelsea's second bachelorette party that will take place next Saturday in Memphis, I was thinking about some Pinterest inspired drinks I would try to make for a little pre-gaming before dinner.. Here were a few ideas.

The Last Fling


Ingredients
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce gin
1 ounce light rum
1/2 ounce Bacardi 151 rum
1 ounce amaretto almond liqueur
1/4 ounce grenadine syrup
Grapefruit juice
Pineapple juice

Directions
Pour everything except for the grapefruit and pineapple juice into a hurricane glass that's filled three-quarters of the way with ice.

Something Blue
Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Blue Curaao liqueur
1 ounce lime juice
coarse salt
lime twist for garnish (optional)

Directions
Rub rim of cocktail glass with lime juice.
Dip rim in coarse salt.
Shake tequila, blue curacao, and lime juice with ice, strain into the salt-rimmed glass, then serve.  
Then, fill the glass remaining with equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice, then serve.


Tower 23 Strawberry Lemonade Sparkler

Ingredients
2 oz. strawberry infused Svedka vodka
2 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Top with sparkling wine
Garnish with strawberries and mint

3.21.2012

Spring Break: Grown-Up Style

So, I am lucky enough to have a career with a built in spring break. And for that, I am forever grateful.  My class (along with the entire school) was in desperate need of a break.  When 3:30 on Friday rolled around, I high-tailed it out of there and left the school in dust.  I was so excited for an entire week off!

My "Grown-Up Spring Break" was not a booze filled trip to the beach or cruise like my last 4 years, but it was still awesome.  It included buying my first car, sleeping, visiting with family, sleeping, lesson planning (even though it was my week off, I got one little productive hair), sleeping, St. Patrick's Day and my best friend's bachelorette party in Chattanooga.

Take a look! My new car!

 I bought my car at Carmax and it was a pretty good place to work with.  I sold my old car to them as well and was amazed at what they gave me for that P.O.S! And I was able to buy my car without my dad as a co-signer because my credit was so good. Pat on the back for me. I picked out this 2011 Nissan Sentra.  It has a CD player and an iPod player! What am I going to do with all of my cassette tapes!? (Just kidding.)


I also got to spend time with these little nuggets and my cool oldest cousin, Tanya.
Miss Madelyn, 3 months

Miss McKenzie, 1 year 9 months

It was nice to get to spend time with my family.  Nothing is better than getting to relax, stay in your pj's all day and play with sweet little cousins.

The end of my spring break came quick.  But, I still had an epic weekend ahead of me.  I was headed to Chattanooga for one of my best friend's bachelorette parties which happened to fall on my favorite day... St. Patrick's Day!  So I drove my new car halfway across the state for one of the best weekends I've had in a long time.  I pretty much think the pictures tell the story.  It was so good to see so many of my pledge sisters and for us all to go out.


Before dinner, Chelsea is in the middle in red!
Way to combine St. Patty's Day with a Bachelorette Party!

Strawberry Martini at Foodworks....Amazing!

My Sigma Kappa sisters after dinner.

Green beer on the patio at Sing it or Wing It!
Sue and I!

video
 Singing "Going to the Chapel" at SIOWI... We are so talented as a group of singers, being sorority women and all, they turned our mics off.  Thanks a lot.
 The night went on from Sing it or Wing It to Big Chill where we basically took over.  I danced my but off for a solid 2 hours and was still sore the next day.  It was an awesome weekend to say the least.


So even though I was not sitting in the sand this spring break, I was still able to rest, spend time with family, spend some money, and celebrate with my friends.  I'll take it with no complaints!

Wordless Wednesday

3.20.2012

Tuesday Ramblings

What is on my mind today.........


Okay, everyone I know is seriously getting engaged! There is something in the water. I guess I need to be patient and trust in His timing that I too, one day, will find that special someone.  I told my best friend that I couldn't wait for the day I was able to call her and tell her "I am engaged!"  She said "Me neither! Hurry up!" Hahah I guess God is teaching me to be patient in MANY ways.

Also, this weather is BEAUTIFUL! Holy moly. I just want to go outside! The first day of spring and we have a high of 86!?!? Okay, I'll take it!

Tonight I have a Zumba class....But I really feel like going home and take a nap instead.  I am exhausted.  I haven't slept well in the last 3 nights.  My brain refuses to turn off. Grrrrr. So, to Zumba or not to Zumba? That is the question.

I am teaching a Safari unit to my class.  They are loving it.  This is why I teach.  To see them so excited to learn.

Maybe a little more blogging later about my spring break (which included a new car, St. Patty's Day, Chattanooga, and a Bachelorette party).


OH! My monogrammed otter box phone case is supposed to arrive on Thursday! Yay!

3.07.2012

My new life.

Blog Challenge # 2 
How has your life changed in the past year?

So much has changed in my life since last March.  It is overwhelming to even think about it.  I hope this gets you caught up on my life :)

Last March I was making my way through my last semester of college.  I student taught at two different schools in Chattanooga and loved both.  A highlight of my last semester was my senior spring break.  This was when 24 of my fellow pledge sisters sailed away on a cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico.  It was the best trip I have ever been on.  So much fun and I have memories to last a lifetime.





After spring break, I was in major senior slide mode.  I was ready to graduate...just not ready to leave my sorority and Chattanooga.  I knew as soon as May hit there would no longer be so many things I loved to do...

No more karaoke at Sing It or Wing It....
No more dressing up like crazy people for frat parties...
No more beer-lympics and just dance marathons at Treemont...
As my weekends full of friends, parties, and fun were getting fewer and fewer, so was my time in my sorority.  Sigma Kappa has been a part of my life since freshman year and it was drawing to a close.  Something I put so much time, effort, and energy into would soon have to be handed down to younger pledge classes to take care of.  I think this was the hardest part for me.  After all, college for me was way more that classes and a degree.  It was the bond I was fortunate enough to form with my sisters who will remain life long friends.

My last Sigma Kappa Chapter meeting as an active member...
Of course there were plenty of tears shed and we dressed up in everything purple and pink we could find to show our SK spirit...

On my 22nd birthday, I became a Sigma Kappa Alumna.  I have never been more proud to be a part of an organization.  Here is Order of the Triangle at the beloved Patten Chapel...
Although we were no longer active members of Sigma Kappa, we had to follow one last tradition.  Senior Pub Crawl...This picture sums up our night.


Now that I was finished with my duties in the sorority, I turned my attention to walking across that stage.  What four years lead up to..A piece of paper.  Graduation Day was a blur.  Family and friends came from far and wide to help celebrate my achievements.  This day was totally sweet without a hint of bitter.  Finally, I had made it.


A few weeks after graduation I moved home to Nashville.  Bye bye Chattanooga.  Now this was tough.  I went from living on my own for four years to living in my childhood house with my mom.  My summer was quite boring.  It was full of long days at my summer job, and hours spent at the computer searching and applying for jobs.  I was having no luck with the job hunt.  Metro was hiring from within the system and I thought I would never have my own classroom.  Until that fateful Saturday night in early August.  

As I was laying on the couch, my phone rang. An unknown number....I never answer those. Except this one time.  I answered the phone and it was the principal at St. Patrick's Catholic School in McEwen, TN.  Was this real life?  She asked if I would come in the next day (a Sunday) for an interview.  Holy cow. An interview!? At St. Patrick's!? This is the school generations of my family have attended.  My mom went here. My grandmother went here. Aunts, uncles, and cousins went here.  It was my dream school to teach at. So I packed up and headed to the country.  My mom and I went to mass and I met the principal afterwards.  Long story short, I was hired that Sunday and started the next day.  Whirlwind but okay with me.  I had a job.  I moved in with my grandmother and grandfather and began working as a pre-k teacher here in McEwen.  I love it. I am very happy here but man has my world changed in one year.  I went from living in Chattanooga to living on a farm in the middle of nowhere.  Seriously my new town doesn't even have a red light.  

My world has changed greatly.  I am now an official big girl with a salary and everything! Loving life so far :)

Stay tuned for lots of picture of my new town and classroom!