Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday Training: Week 5

Hi! Thanks for lacing up your sneakers and joining me for another round of Tuesday Training! We've been doing a lot of 10 minute videos lately, and I want you to take the jump to a 20 minute video. Hear me out before you say no- let's start with a dance video. It is fun, high energy, and it doesn't seem like a lot, but you'll be dripping sweat by the end: 25 Minute Cardio Dance Workout

Try it out, and tell me how it goes in the comments below! See you back here on Thursday for this week's recipe- see you soon!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Life With the Lees: Weekend Recap 1.30.17

This weekend went by way too fast! We rushed home on Friday afternoon to start the billion projects that Ari has going on for school. The first task was to have every person in your family help decorate a giant heart.

A few years ago, Ari made Trip sit at a patio set in Target and announced, "We're on our date night!" This moment on Friday night totally reminded me of that day, and her face kind of reminds us of Buzz's girlfriend in Home Alone!

Someone's excited for her upcoming birthday!

We came home from our Target adventure and got to work on another project- this time for the 100th day of school. My glue gun is out of commission, so we opted for lip gloss and did a whole lot of kissing!

On Saturday, I spent the day at a workshop for social studies teachers. You have to read this primary source document!

When I got home, Trip and I baked up an apple cake. I don't like fruity desserts, but apparently it was a big hit!

We hosted some of our favorite friends over for game night! We had SO much fun! Since I had been gone all day, I opted to serve lots of bad for you appetizers and cake!

Betsy brought Watch Your Mouth. It was hilarious to play but also reminded me of my days working for my orthodontist in high school.

Some of the cards were hilarious! We also played Uno Attack which was new to us and so fun! The adults played Pass the Popcorn. It took us a few minutes to get a hang of the rules, but we went through half the stack of cards since we couldn't stop playing! 

My little rainbow and I did lots of chores and errands on Sunday while the boys shoe shopped and mowed. 

We went for a bike ride and then played at the park in the afternoon. I also started Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. So far, so good! Hope you're giddying up into the rest of the week! I'll be back here tomorrow for another installment of Tuesday Training. See you soon!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favorites

Hi! Happy Friday! I am so ready for this weekend to begin! Thanks for joining me today as I share some of my favorites from this week!

1) Valentine's Day decorations

We put up some kitchen decorations a few weeks ago and have been very lazy about hanging up the rest of the decorations! The kids and I finally got to it earlier this week and are loving all of the love! What's your favorite candy or gift to receive on Valentine's Day? Tell me in the comments below!

2) Eleventh Gorgeous videos

Leslie over at With Love From Georgia recently shared her love for her Birchbox subscription. I started to do some investigating to find out if I was interested in a makeup subscription too and started watching countless videos on YouTube of unboxing videos. I LOVE the girls from Eleventh Gorgeous! They're funny and pretty darn good at doing makeup- you can easily spend a hour watching some of their challenges! Check out their YouTube channel HERE.

3) Dad fail

Speaking of makeup, THIS story was too cute about a dad's gift for his daughter. My personal favorite is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

4) Yasso desserts

I can't eat ice cream anymore, but I bought the Yasso Sea Salt Caramel desserts a few summers ago and really enjoyed them. At 100 calories a bar, they're a great post-dinner snack that will help you stay within your calorie count for the day. My favorite is the mint chocolate chip, but I love the cookie dough one, too! I also just tried the cookies and cream bar this week and have to say, it's pretty close to Blue Bell on a stick! Check your Target Cartwheel app because these often go on sale!

5) My other kids

This blog is mostly about my personal kids, but I do in fact have approximately 160 other kids in my care each year. I teach middle school, and I wouldn't change it for any other level! When we go to conferences, people always tell middle school teachers that there's a special place in heaven for us. We deal with the early teen/tween awkward stage on a daily basis. They're just learning sarcasm, and they're figuring out how to fit in or stand out. Some days, they're super moody, and some days, they're the sweetest little kids who still need you to be their school mom. They make you laugh, they make you cry, and some days, they make you laugh until you cry! I love what I do, but more importantly, I love my kids like they're my own.

In case you missed any of this week's posts:
Life With the Lees: Weekend Recap
Show & Tell Tuesday: Saving & Splurging
What's Up Wednesday
Try It Thursday: Crock-pot Pot Roast

Follow along with me on Bloglovin', Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram! Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday!

Linking up with


Disclosure: One 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!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Try It Thursday: Crock-pot Pot Roast

Hi there! Hope you are doing well, and thanks for joining me today for this week's recipe. Make sure to link-up with me below and share your favorite recipe of the week, and stop by other bloggers' sites to say hello!

For Christmas Eve dinner, I wanted to try to make a comfort food - pot roast. Robert's Grannie always made a roast and mashed potatoes when we came to town, but I never actually got her recipe. If you know me, then you know patience is not a trait that I'm often associated with, so I went on the hunt for a Crock-pot version of a roast and found THIS one from Taste of Home. I followed some of the suggestions from the comments section of the original recipe, and I hope you and your family enjoy it!

* ~2.5 pounds beef chuck roast
* 1/2 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
* 1/2 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
* 1/2 envelope brown gravy mix
* 1/2 cup beef broth
* ~ 1 tablespoon of cornstarch + water

* I like to line my Crock-pot with the Reynolds liners to make clean-up so much quicker. I purchased a little over 3 pounds of meat for our roast. Place the roast in your Crock-pot.

* In a bowl, combine the ranch, Italian, and brown gravy mix. 
* Add the beef broth and stir to combine.

* Spread the mixture all over the roast and close the Crock-pot. Set to low and cook for 4-6 hours. *** My old Crock-pot was from the early 2000s and seemed to cook according to most recipes. My new Crock-pot that I bought this year cooks at a much higher temperature. I would check in on your roast if you have a newer model cooker to make sure you don't dry it out.

* In a small bowl, add about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and a little water. Stir into a paste and add to the juices to make a gravy for the meat. You may need to add more of this mixture if you like a thicker gravy. If your Crock-pot overcooked the meat, soak the meat with some of the juices/gravy- it'll be good as new!

* Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today! Make sure to link-up below to share your favorite recipe of the week, and I'll see you tomorrow for Friday Favorites!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Thanks for joining me for a monthly recap as I link up with Mel, Sheaffer, and Shay!

What we're eating this week...
I've been cooking up a few recipes this week to add to the blog in the future including bacon ranch chicken packets and Italian sloppy joes. Make sure to stop by tomorrow when I share a Crock-pot pot roast for my Try It Thursday recipe! 

What I'm reminiscing about...
Facebook memories shared this picture with me this week- they were so little! They definitely have their good days and bad, but most of the time I'm lucky to have two kiddos who love each other very much!

What I'm loving...
Trip and I have been baking something new every weekend, and we're having lots of fun in the kitchen together! Look for lots of sweet recipes coming to the blog soon!

What we've been up to...
We had a fun time at the horse track this past weekend! It's fun to try your luck and go with your gut after observing the horses before each race. (And no, I'm not worried about my kids developing a gambling addiction! We just go for fun and bet $2 on a couple of races!)

What I'm dreading...
Not really anything right now other than monitoring standardized testing in the spring. You don't do much but walk around a lot, but you are completely wiped by the end of the day! 

What I'm working on...
Did you read my post about my New Year's resolutions? I have flossed every night before bed, kept up with my blogging, and done a much better job with going out in public looking more polished. The end of the month is nearing, and I haven't scheduled a specific date day/night for one of the kids. Going to try to find time for that this weekend! 

What I'm excited about...
We are hosting game night with some of our great friends this weekend! Betsy texted me this picture, and I'm super excited! We'll play some games with the kids and then battle it out as just the adults. Robert is hoping to kick some major booty in Clue this weekend! 

What I'm watching/reading...
I didn't finish my book (Andy Cohen's Superficial) for Christmas break and am trying to finish now. I'm considering setting aside 20 minutes each day to read so I can maybe add a few extra books to my year. 

What I'm listening to...
Ari and I have been listening to the Disney station on Pandora when we drive to school in the mornings. When we first started listening to it at the beginning of the school year, we quickly thumbs-downed all of the Broadway versions of the songs, so we have all of our favorites playing each day. Roo and I belt our hearts out to "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan!

What I'm wearing...
Less than 4 weeks until our 5K run, so I've been wearing my New Balance running shoes that I bought on sale thanks to Jessica over at Wear It For Less

What I'm doing this weekend...
A teacher never stops learning! I'm headed to a social studies conference to learn new strategies from some amazing teachers here in Houston. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
I love celebrating Valentine's Day with the kids and can't wait to surprise them with a few little treats! I'm also excited for Theresa to come back with the new season of Long Island Medium!

What else is new...
I surpassed my weight goal a few weeks ago and am loving that I'm now working out to maintain instead of lose. Are you following along with my Tuesday Training series? 

Question of the month: Who is your favorite Bachelor? 
Sorry, I have zero response for you other than I've never watched this show in my life and don't have any intention to either. Sorry, not sorry!

Thanks for joining me today! I hope you will link up with me tomorrow for my Try It Thursday recipe link party! See you soon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday: Steal and Splurge

Hola! I'm linking up with Andrea over at Momfessionals for the first Show and Tell Tuesday of 2017!

Today's topic is all about how we save money as a family and where we like to splurge. I'll give you a little hint about me: I don't really believe in splurging on ANYTHING! We're all saved up for a trip to Disney World next year, and I think one of the ways we've been able to do that is by saving as much as we can when we shop. 

My aunt kept telling me that I had to download the Ibotta app on my phone, and I finally gave into peer pressure at the end of the summer. If you haven't heard of Ibotta before, basically you search the app for rebates available at the stores and then scan your receipt to match up rebates and earn money back. I've made over $60 since the summer. My aunt's friend likes to keep adding onto her rebates and then cash out for Black Friday shopping which I think is an awesome idea! I keep my receipts for about a week after shopping because new deals will usually be added after I've gone shopping, and I'm able to take advantage of those rebates, as long as my receipt is within the date range. If you're interested in joining Ibotta, you can join my team and earn $10 after your first rebate. My referral code is: glqasbc

You know my address needs to just be changed to my local Target! If you're not using the Cartwheel app, you're losing out on major savings and perks! You can always check Cartwheel before hitting the store to see if there are any deals, but I love the barcode scanner on the app that allows you to scan items in the store to see if there are any additional deals. Target is also awesome because they allow you to stack coupons and deals. I once got a $400+ Dyson vacuum cleaner for less than $200 thanks to the weekly deal, coupons I had, my Cartwheel coupon, and my Target Red Card! The other awesome thing about Cartwheel is that when you've used the app so many times, you win free rewards or perks. I've gotten a cookbook, pajamas, toys, and decorations all for free thanks to how often I use my app! 

Speaking of Target, if you're a brand snob, have you tried Target's store brand, Up & Up? We definitely save big by using Up & Up toilet paper, paper towels, pain reliever, makeup remover, cotton rounds, etc. I also love Threshold's performance sheets and towels

When it comes to clothing, I pretty much only wear clothes from Target, Old Navy, and Marshalls/T.J. Maxx. I discovered Jessica's blog, Wear It For Less, a few months ago and am hooked! She scours the internet for all the best deals and updates multiple times daily. You can also follow her on Facebook or Instagram to get in on all of the great deals! 

Finally, if you're wanting to get fit but don't want to splurge on a gym membership, check out my Tuesday Training posts! All you need is access to YouTube and some hand weights! 

Tell me how you save in the comments below! I'll be back tomorrow for Mel's monthly What's up Wednesday link-up. See you soon!

Disclosure: One 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 Training: Week 4

Hi there! Thanks for joining me for this week's training session! 

This week, I want you to try out a tabata workout. If you haven't done tabata before, it's basically 4 minute workouts. This workout will take you through two four minute sessions and will get you sweating: Popsugar Tabata 10 minute toning video

I don't know about you, but I feel so much better when I keep my core tight. I really like this quick video from Anna Renderer because it is all done without sit-ups or planks: Popsugar 5 minute flat belly ab video

How are you all doing with your goals? Tell me how it's going in the comments below!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Life With the Lees: Weekend Recap 1.23.17

Happy Monday! What a weekend- we did a lot, but I also caught up on a ton of sleep, so I don't have much for you in pictures!

Friday night, Trip and I cooked up some sugar cookie cake bars. Yum!

On Saturday, Ari, Robert's mom, and I headed to Robert's cousin's dance recital.

We wrapped up our Saturday with a night at the horse track. Trip won the most races, but Ari and I came out on top in earnings!

I hope you had a relaxing weekend and are rested up for the busy week ahead! I'm back tomorrow for 2 posts- Show & Tell Tuesday with Momfessionals, and of course, I'll be adding onto my Tuesday Training. See you soon!