Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites

Hello, Friday! If you had to go back to work this week like me, then you may be feeling like me all weekend:

Last Friday, I shared my five favorite bloggers that I've been following for years and who helped inspire me to start blogging. Today, I wanted to follow up with that same topic and introduce you to 5 new to me bloggers that I'm really digging lately! I found most of these ladies around Christmas/New Year's, and I've been checking in each weekday since.

1) Cardio Cab & A Keyboard

Amanda is a mom, DIYer, health & fitness fan, and is funny to boot! She shares her Healthy Girl Challenge ideas to motivate readers to make better choices and has great advice about cleaning, organizing, and building. Oh, and she loves anything pineapple, so I feel like I've met a long lost sister! Check out Amanda's blog, Cardio Cab & A Keyboard HERE.

2) Coast to Coast

Lisa is an east coast gal living out in Cali, and she gives me so many goals in life! I love the relationship she has with her kids- it's so inspiring! But, I also love all of the recipes and fashion that she shares. I need her to make some cookie decorating tutorials- she's got a gift! Check out Lisa's blog, Coast to Coast HERE

3) Living On Cloud Nine

Andrea does it all! She's a mom, a fashionista, a great cook, and such a positive blogger! I adore her style, and I appreciate that she's willing to take risks. I even picked up a pair of fun printed pants the other day and almost talked myself out of them but then thought, "Andrea would totally tell me I could rock these!" Andrea also hosts great link-ups, so make sure to check out her blog, Living On Cloud Nine HERE

4) Mommy In A Nutshell

Tara is a mom to two young boys, and I really appreciate the variety of her posts. I'm so type A that I have to put myself on a specific topic schedule, but I love that Tara shares everything from recipes, favorite finds, parenting experiences, and trip reviews. Check out her blog, Mommy In A Nutshell HERE

5) Stang & Co.

Like Tara, Mackensey is also a mom to two little guys! She shares lots of great fashion finds, weekend recaps, and her Instagram stories crack me up (and make me ever so grateful that I live in much warmer Texas than Minnesota!) Check out Mackensey's blog, Stang & Co. HERE.

I love reading these ladies' blogs, and if you want to see even MORE of my favorite bloggers, head on over to my right sidebar and go say hello to some awesome bloggers! I also have a Pinterest page with links to my favorite bloggers that you can visit HERE.

In case you missed any of this week's posts:

Follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Bloglovin'!

Linking up with Erika, Narci, Andrea, Tif, Della, & Katie

Have a wonderful weekend! We're hosting a brunch with lots of neighbors, and I can't wait to catch up and get to know some better. (I'm also planning on savoring a free weekend before swim team and baseball start!) I'll see you back here on Monday for a weekend recap! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Try It Thursday: Chocolate Chip Cookies & Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies

Hello baking friends! Thanks so much for stopping by today for a super basic but super delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe! And, you're in luck- Robert doesn't eat chocolate anymore, so when his sweet tooth is calling, I just change up the chocolate chips to make him peanut butter toffee cookies. 

I don't know about you, but there is no need for me to make a batch of cookies that results in over 4 dozen cookies! So, the recipe I'm sharing with you today is actually a half batch, but it still results in approximately 2 dozen cookies. 

Scroll on down for the ingredients and directions...

* 1 and 1/8 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 softened stick of butter
* ~1/3 cup sugar (or 1/4 + 1/8 cup)
* ~1/3 cup packed brown sugar (or 1/4 + 1/8 cup)
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 egg
* A little over 3/4 cup of chocolate chips (This is IF you are just making chocolate chip cookies)

***If you plan to divide your dough to make 2 varieties, then I'd suggest about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and then 1/3 cup of peanut butter chips and 1/3 cup of Heath Bits o Brickle toffee bits.

* Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
* Beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg until mixed.
* Add in flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
* Add in your chocolate chips and mix OR divide your dough into separate bowls and add in your chips.
* Create about tablespoon size dough balls and bake for approximately 9 - 11 minutes.
* Enjoy! 

Thanks for stopping by today! I've been busy organizing, so you can view ALL of my Try It Thursday recipes on THIS Pinterest page! Link up to share your favorite recipe of the week, and make sure to stop by and visit the other bloggers. See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What I Wore Wednesday: Maxi Skirt + Chambray

Happy Wednesday! Thanks for joining me today as I link up with The Pleated Poppy and Andrea Nine to share a recent outfit! I had pinned THIS a while back for ideas on how to style a maxi skirt, and then recently, I found THIS pin about how to style a chambray shirt. So on a chilly spring day, I put together this outfit for work:

Maxi skirt: Target Mossimo (similar)
Tee: Target Mossimo (similar)
Chambray shirt: Target Mossimo (similar)
Sandals: Target Merona (same)
Necklace: JewelMint (similar)

Thanks for stopping by today! Tell me your favorite way to style a chambray shirt or a maxi skirt in the comments! Meet me back here tomorrow to link up and share your favorite recipe of the week for my Try It Thursday post!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post contain Target affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday Training: Week 12

Hello! Thanks for joining me for our 12th week of workouts! Today, it's all about the legs. Remember Teddy Bass aka Cameron Diaz's trainer? He gave us an awesome arms workout in week 6! You don't need any equipment for this workout, so go ahead and push play on this great video to tone up your legs: Popsugar Fitness 10 Minute Legs & Glutes Workout With Teddy Bass

Don't forget that I've collected ALL of the Tuesday Training videos onto one Pinterest page. Check it out HERE!

Have a great day, and I'll see you back here for What I Wore Wednesday! See you soon!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Workin' It Wednesday: Balancing Work & Home Life

Hi! Thanks for joining me today for a belated link-up with Shay and Erika and their Workin' It Wednesday link-up! Today it's all about managing home and work life.

A little bit of background info on me: I'm in my 9th year of teaching. I work as a middle school social studies teacher in the same district where I went to school as a teenager. Robert and I bought our first house in the district, and for several years, I enjoyed a 3-5 minute commute. Robert changed careers a few years ago to go into teaching, and 3 years ago, we moved to a community further west so we could have a nicer home and guarantee that our kids would be in great schools. The only downside to this is that my commute is now one hour each way. 

Ari is in preschool in my district, and Trip goes to elementary school in our home district. Our weekdays require us to be out the door around 6:30 so we don't spend more than an hour in traffic. Trip has a daycare program on his campus that he goes to before and after school until either Robert or I can get him. This program has been so beneficial to us because I have a ridiculous fear about my kids getting on school buses! 

In the fall, the kids play soccer with practice one night a week and games on Saturdays. Ari has also taken dance one night a week this year. In the spring, Roo has asked to play baseball which will require another evening for practice and games on Saturday. And then swim team starts up in April which takes up every weeknight and makes for long Saturdays. 

So, all that being said, I try to plan ahead as much as possible! See my dining room? That poor table is only clean when I have company coming for lunch or dinner. It's my headquarters for parties and projects, and it gets cleaned up after parties (sometimes!).

I do all of my meal planning on Saturdays so that I can check all of my coupons and ads.

On Sundays, I go to the grocery store for the whole week, and I usually hit up Target to pick up anything else we need. 

Sunday afternoons have me meal prepping. I pack up the majority of our lunches to have them ready to go for the week. I add the fruit, sandwich, and beef jerky to Trip's lunch each morning when I wake up so they don't get gross during the week, and then I grab and go with my salad and meal bar each morning. I grew up eating the same lunch pretty much every day, and apparently my kid is okay with it, too. It works for us! 

Some weeks I try to cook up a meal either on the stove or in the Crock-pot on Sunday so that I have it prepped and ready for Monday or Tuesday. Follow along with me on Pinterest to see some of my meal boards, and always stop by on Thursdays when I do my Try It Thursday recipe link-up party. You can see ALL of my Try It Thursday recipes on THIS Pinterest board!

I'm a big list person, so I always have a list going of my to-dos for the day or week on a paper on the kitchen island. (I am guilty of adding things to a list just so I can experience the joy of crossing it off!)

I also keep sticky notes of things that I need to add to the big Target or grocery store lists so I don't forget to add them on Saturday or Sunday.

To maximize my free time, I truly depend on my planner. It's a mix of school and home stuff, but I keep daily to-do lists and reminders in it so that I can stick to my plan while I am at school and not bring any work home. If you are new to teaching, the one thing I wish someone had told me was to always try my best to get it done at school. Nobody likes to bring home 120+ papers, grade them, and put them in the gradebook at home! Also, I try to get my lesson plans, flip charts, and copies done for a couple of weeks at a time. This way, if something comes up at home (like a sick kid!), I'm not rushing around trying to get things prepped for my students or a sub. 

The kids have a routine and chores to do when they get home from school each day. Since they have to be in bed so early (7:30 p.m. because we wake them up at 5:45 a.m.), I really like this system because again, it maximizes their free time so that we can watch a show together, play a game, or read extra books. 

We're really lucky that Trip's teacher sends home the whole week's worth of homework over the weekend, so he takes care of a lot of worksheets on Sundays so we only have to worry about our reading time and spelling on school nights. Ari also reads as part of her daily homework, and we keep track of her books on a chart on the fridge. 

To deal with my steroids, I'm also currently planning out my afternoon snacks and trying my best to stick with the schedule. 

With my colitis not currently in remission, I've been too exhausted to get up and do my workouts in the morning, so I try my best to keep up with my workouts in the afternoon either before or after dinner when the kids have free time. I have scheduled my workouts in my planner for the rest of the school year so I don't have to worry about remembering when or what workout I needed to do. Stop by here on Tuesdays for my Tuesday Training sessions if you want some quick but powerful workouts! You can view ALL of the Tuesday Training videos on THIS Pinterest page.

We try to sit down and eat together as a family every night and then spend some time watching a family show before bed or add in some extra book time. 

My Sundays aren't usually "Sunday Funday," but putting in the work to make the week go smoothly and allow us to have fun on the weekend is worth it. 

I talked about how I get organized and do chores more in THIS post. You should link-up with me and the ladies at Moms' Coffee Date for our monthly link-up party! Our next link-up is coming up on April 20th, and we're sharing our favorite Target finds! 

I also did a Day in the Life post that you can read HERE

In case you missed my previous Workin' It Wednesday posts:

If you are a teacher or work out of the home with a long commute, please share some tips with me! I can always learn and improve, and you guys have great ideas! Thanks for stopping by today! I posted our weekend recap earlier today- you can view that post HERE. I'll see you back here tomorrow for our 12th Tuesday Training of the year! 

Life With the Lees: Weekend Recap 3.20.17

Happy Monday, friends! It's back to reality here in the Lee household, but with spring break being over, it also means we're just weeks away from school letting out for the summer! :)

I'm not as big into traveling down south to our ranch as I used to be, so Robert and the kids go without me a few times a year. They have a blast, and I get to recharge solo!

This is Trip's horse, Bella.

Ari with her baby, Starr (She came with the name/spelling).

Happy boy (and how old does he look!?)

Horsing around with her Papa!

The kids have a love/hate relationship with the goat, Lucy. She loves that the kids are more her size than the horses and desperately wants their attention!

Lucy acts like a dog, and I'm determined to find a way to bring her home to Houston!

Poor baby is BEGGING to be played with!

Apparently the Roo took some shooting lessons this trip, and Robert is ecstatic to have a rightie in the house for once! Trip is a lefty, and since I'm left eye dominant, I shoot left-handed, and it irritates the life out of Robert!

This kid is a serious marksman. Here's hoping he can make a team and get some college money!

Anything her brother does, she wants to do, too!

Pretty sure she wins the award for craziest kid! 

During my staycation, I baked cookies for one- yum!

I read a TON of magazines and cookbooks. TIP 1: When you want to buy cookbooks but hate the cost, check your local libraries. I got GREAT books this last time! TIP 2: Flip through the books to see what you like and then search the recipes up online and pin them to your Pinterest boards! I did this with both my cookbooks and magazines last week and didn't have to tear any pages out.

I shopped til I dropped and picked up some new frames, bedding, and organization supplies for the kids' rooms. And, they're back.... my cousin was obsessed with Teletubbies when he was a baby, and they scared the bejeezus out of the rest of us!

My babies came back into town, and we got lots of errands run- like the oh so exciting car dealership. Blah!

My Sephora Play! subscription shipped early, and I received it within 36 hours of departure! I will do a review soon!

I was pretty proud of myself for re-purposing our nachos from Friday night into taco salad bowls for Saturday's lunch. Chipotle's got nothing on me!

And I FINALLY got my girl into quasi-French braid pigtails! (If you know me, you know that hair is NOT my strong suit!)

We tried to take some pictures together before dinner, and we ended up with this...

We waited not so patiently for a sub-par meal. I'm almost excited to not go out to dinner for a while- we've been making tastier food at home than what we've been getting out lately. Other than next week's planned adventure to a steakhouse, I have lots of pinned meals to try out at home.

And to top off the weekend, I made my first carrot cake.

Sunday had us cooking, cleaning, and prepping for our week ahead. Ari has her first baseball practice tonight, and she is so excited! Later today I'll be linking up with Shay and Erika for a delayed Workin' It Wednesday post all about balancing home and work life. You can read that post HERE. I'll see you back here tomorrow for our 12th Tuesday Training of the year! See you soon!