Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12 Days of Self Care

Christmas break is coming up...YAY!! I've always looked forward to Christmas break!! Christmas break is full of board games, movies, hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, Christmas lights, and Christmas music!! What's not to love?!?!

Growing up I always thought that's what Christmas break was like for everyone, but since I've started working in schools I've learned that Christmas break can mean a lot of different things to kids. For some kids it means babysitting younger siblings for two weeks. For some it means two weeks of hearing your parents fighting. For some it can be a reminder of those they've lost over the years. Christmas break isn't always something kids look forward to, which is heart breaking!!

So I've been thinking about how I can help cheer up some of my kids over the Christmas break, and that's when I came up with the "12 Days of Self Care". Self care is any activity that helps take care of your mental, emotional, or physical well being. It sounds like a simple concept, but it's not always that easy. As adults we tend to say things like "I don't have time for that" or "I need to help take care of the children first" or "I just need to finish this project". Adults are full of excuses for not taking care of themselves. It's hard to find time, but really it's hard to justify spending time on ourselves. We're looking at self care in the wrong way, the truth is we deserve a little time to ourselves and taking a break can make us more productive in the long run.

Self care with students is a little different from adults. Most students have plenty of time for self care, but they don't know what to do. When I ask a student what cheers them up when they're sad, sometimes they really don't know. Luckily I have a massive list of ideas in my office and we create a self care plan together.

So back to Christmas break...I believe one of the best ways for me to help students over the holidays is to encourage them to take care of themselves each and every day!! If you're looking for ways to encourage students or maybe you need some encouragement this holiday season, feel free to download the 12 Days of Self Care here.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Half Marathon Training

Well I finished my second half marathon!! It's a miracle!! And I'm not just saying that...I seriously didn't think I was going to finish this one!!

In 2013 I signed up for my first half marathon in New Braunfels.  It was a gorgeous course, but really hard!! I did a decent job training for it but I didn't follow my training as well as I should have.  I was so sore the next day/week/month that I decided I was done with half marathons!!

Well back in August/September I decided I wanted to run another half marathon. I'm not sure what I was thinking but it seemed like a decent idea at the time. So I read through a bunch of training programs and kind of merged them all into this one (download here):
I'm not a professional trainer or professional runner...but I did read from a bunch of professionals. haha...kind of like when you're sick and you google what's wrong with you...hahaha.

Even after all the work I did to put a training schedule together, I still didn't do a good job of sticking to it. In fact I did worse this time!! I did super good for the first 6 weeks and after that I did terrible!! I stopped weight training, stopped yoga, stopped running during the week...I mean I did a terrible job of training!!

Even without following my training schedule I somehow finished the whole 13.1 miles!! I really don't know how I managed to finish!! What's crazier is I'm actually considering doing another half marathon....hahaha

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Bites

I made these like 4 years ago and then I completely forgot about them!! I was looking over some of my old blog posts when I noticed this recipe had over 600 views!! 600!! That's a lot for my little blog!! So I decided I should make these again and I'm glad I did. They are so easy to make and pretty yummy--perfect snack food for football season!!

1 cup shredded chicken
4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 tbsp Frank's hot sauce
2 tbsp ranch dressing
2 cans of crescent roll dough

1) In a small bowl combine the following: chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and ranch dressing.
2) Separate the dough into triangles. Place a spoonful of the chicken mixture on a triangle. Wrap the dough around the chicken mixture. Repeat for the remaining triangles and place on a cookie sheet.
3) Bake at 400 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato Casserole

It's that time of the year again...Friendsgiving!! Friendsgiving is really just an excuse to hang out with friends and eat Thanksgiving food all over again. 


This year I decided to make Sweet Potato Casserole, which is super easy to make and it's one of my favorites!!  My family has made this recipe for years, but every year we cut down on the sugar. I guess you could say we've made it a tiny bit healthier...hahaha  


Mix the following ingredients:
2 (29 oz) cans of sweet potatoes (drained)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 stick butter (softened)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pour the mixture into a 9x13 dish and top with the following mixture: 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick of butter (melted)

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


On March 14th, 2017 Neil popped the question!! We went hiking in Big Bend and at the top of one of the mountains he got down on his knee and proposed!! 

It's hard to believe we've been engaged for 8 months!! The time has gone by so fast!! I LOVE being engaged!! It's such an exciting time in life!! Yes wedding planning can be stressful but I try to stay focused on the big picture and enjoy the moment.  I'm only going to be engaged once so I want to enjoy it!! I want to wear cheesy engagement shirts, drink out of cheesy engagement mugs, and call Neil "my fiance" as much as possible. 

I look at being engaged as one of life's adventures, as a phase in life that is full of new experiences and planning for the future. 

There have been so many exciting adventures in wedding planning.  I'll be posting about them over the next few months and sharing my experiences. I'll also be posting all of the wedding crafts I've been working on such as:

Bridesmaid Box
Groomsmen Box
Flower Girl Box
Ring Bearer Box
Guest Book
Table Numbers
Wooden Wedding Signs
Chair Signs
Wooden Hangers
Personalized Shirts
Personalized Starbucks Cups

There's so much I want to say about this phase of life but it's to much for one post. Next week I'll go more in depth on how I've tried to avoid stress throughout all of the Wedding Planning.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Welcome to my new blog!!

New Adventures in Life was a blog I started a few years ago. I was living in a small town outside of Austin, Texas and I was just miserable. It wasn't the town or the people or the lack of a Chick Fil-A that was making me miserable. It was my perspective and outlook that was making me miserable.

I had graduated college, moved across the state, gotten a "real job", and furnished my first apartment. So now what?? My whole life I had focused on school but what happens when you're done with school?? What do you do with this thing called "spare time"?? What goals do you have now that you've made it out of college and into the real world?? What ambitions will drive your life from this point forward?? Do we just get into a routine and stay on the same track for the next 60 years?? What happens now??

I had all these questions and this overwhelming feeling of boredom. Life was stagnant and I just couldn't figure out the next step.  I had been so focused on graduating college that I had never thought about my personal life after college.

I took a look at my life and decided the only way to find happiness was to make some changes. I believe that happiness doesn't always just walk up to us and introduce itself. Sometimes we have to go in search of happiness, sometimes we have to create happiness, and sometimes we just have to change our perspective to realize that happiness was already within our grasp. 

I made a number of small but significant changes in my life. One of the changes I made was on my perspective of the term "adventure". I was bored and was in need of an adventure!! But how do I find adventure in a small town? How do I find adventure when I'm a poor teacher and can't afford to go on these extravagant trips around the world? Easy...by changing my definition of adventure and realizing that adventure can be found in our every day life. We're surrounded by adventure, it's all just a matter of perspective. In our ability to look at the ordinary and see the extraordinary. Adventure can be found in any new experience. New experiences/adventures are as easy as trying a new recipe, going to a new restaurant, trying that DIY project you've been reading about on Pinterest, and exploring our surroundings. 

Adventure can be found in your own backyard!!

I started this blog a few years ago, but I wasn't truly dedicated to it. I wouldn't really share my entries with anyone because I was embarrassed. I didn't feel like I was a "blogger", I wasn't sure what people would think, and I wasn't 100% sure I even wanted to write a blog. I've put a lot of thought into it over the past few months and now I'm like "Let's Do This!" Let's find adventure, share adventures, and inspire others in the process!! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Beer / Wine Christmas Tree (Advent Calendar)

The Beer/Wine Christmas Tree!! It's large enough to hold either beer or wine bottles!! Definitely the best way to count down to Christmas!! So you might be wondering why only 10 days of Christmas...Well I couldn't make a sturdy tree with 12!! haha...so here are the steps to make your own:
1. Buy 10 feet of PVC pipe (4 inch in diameter).
2. Using a handsaw, cut the PVC pipe into 10 pieces (1 foot for each piece). If you're lucky maybe one of the Home Depot workers will cut it for you!! 
3. Using 80 grit sand paper, sand the edges of the PVC pipe. 
4. Spray paint the PVC pipe.
5. Glue the PVC pipe together one at a time using Gorilla Glue. Clamp the PVC pipes together while the glue dries. I glued the bottom row together first (7 to 8, then 8 to 9, then 9 to 10). Then I glued 4 to 5 and 5 to 6. Then I glued 2 to 3. Once I had all of the rows made, I stacked the rows and glued them together. 
6. Spray paint one last layer onto the PVC pipes. 
7. Print the numbers 1 through 10 onto scrapbook paper. 
8. Trace a circle around the numbers and cut them out.
9. Laminate the numbers. I put my numbers through the machine twice to get them super thick/sturdy. Cut the numbers out. 
10. Tape the numbers on the inside of the PVC pipes, so the tape doesn't show.

This years beer list:
Infamous IPA by Infamous Brewing
Imperial IPA by Epic Brewing
Enjoy By IPA by Stone Brewing
Cali-Belgique IPA by Stone Brewing
El Hopadillo Negro by Karbach Brewing
Maximus IPA by Lagunitas Brewing
Racer 5 IPA by Bear Republic Brewing
Space Cake Double IPA by Clown Shoes Beer 
7 Hop IPA by Rogue Farms
Green Room IPA by Uncle Billy's