Well….dang.

Guys, I’m so, so bad at this. I don’t even want to look back at the last time I posted. Instead, let’s have a life update via bullet points.

  • K and I bought a house and moved an hour and a half north back to my hometown (buying a house quick-fast-and-in-a-hurry is NOT recommended for first time home buyers, FYI)
  • I’m teaching Kindergarten in the same elementary school that I attended as a child *insert Circle of Life song*circleoflife.jpg
  • I’m co-coaching the high school dance team I used to be on
    *continue singing*
  • K is still a mechanic, but he’s chosen to go back to school for Gunsmithing (shouts out to SDI!)

A bit more about living in town: I was positive K was going to hate it after about 2.5 days, but he’s really surprised me by loving it! I think the ease of NOT having to drive 30 minutes to work/the store/major civilization combined with the fact he can now mow our yard in 20 minutes rather than 90 reeeeeally won him over.

The dogs are adjusting well…ish. Poor Jessie misses getting to meander where-ever she pleases. I miss our old yard for the ease of being able to let Remi run off all her energy with minimal supervision. However, living in town has proven beneficial in the way that I actually have places to walk the dogs!

I’m looking forward to the start of summer vacation (15 days, but who’s counting??) so I can really buckle down in finishing getting the house in order (when you move in during late fall and after the start of the school year, there’s minimal time to get everything unpacked. I’m looking at you, office.)

That’s surely enough babbling for now. I’ll leave you with my favorite part of our new house.

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2% life update, 98% puppy woes

Remember that time that I said I should be able to post somewhat-regularly now that school has started?

Ha. ha. ha.

My bad, y’all.

I’ll give you the Spark Note version of my life since I posted last:

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Sarah got to come home right around New Year’s! It was amazing to see her and hear about all of the amazing things she was learning about at the time. Just recently, the Navy selected her to fly helicopters, which is exactly what she wanted. I’m so proud and amazed of what she’s doing! My bestie is more badass than yours. End of.

Side note: I almost didn’t allow myself to post this picture because part of my necklace is turned around and it makes me twitch. OCD, you are a cruel beast. 

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Remember that teeny, tiny puppy we got? She’s 8 months old, and a pure hellion now. I’m talking pure evil here, people. Don’t let that sweet face fool you. She know’s the precise moment that I sit down and put my feet up and chooses that time to do one (or sometimes multiple) of the following activities:

  • maul the poor (clawless) cat
  • chew on the entertainment center
  • chew on a dining room chair
  • chew on the leg of the ottoman
  • root through the litter box and prance into the living room with a fresh turd in her mouth
  • try to gnaw off Jessie’s leg
  • body check Jessie’s repeatedly until she plays with her
  • tries to steal whatever Jessie is playing with/chewing on so she’ll play with her instead
  • climb on a dining room chair and unpack my teacher bag
  • flip over the water dish and proceed to drag it across the house
  • bring me my shoe (always the same one- my left tennis shoe)
  • chew on the windowsill while she stares at the birds outside

All of these activities take place usually within about 5.8 seconds. It’s infuriating. Now, I’ve had dogs my whole life, and we’ve had multiple puppies over the course of my childhood. I know that when a puppy is a straight-up asshole, it means they’re bored. But wearing her out is literally in EVERY sense of the word, impossible.

That picture I posted of her? That was after approximately 3, 942 throws of the stick. AND SHE’S STILL SMILING. I can’t. Cannot. I’m going to get carpal tunnel in my shoulder from the amount of times that I throw a stick in a day. We have a Chuck-It, but she’s uninterested in chasing balls, just sticks. Or should I say branches. She enjoys finding the branch closest to her body size and brings it to me to throw until my arm falls off. Then she comes inside and repeats the above activities until she crashes for about 11 minutes. Let me tell you, they are the most glorious minutes of my life.

When the fields are dry, we’ll take a nice 2-3 mile hike and she can run to her heart’s content. However, even then she’ll come back and still be ready to play. Poor Jessie is damn near wheezing at that point and just wants to collapse. I’m not looking forward to when the famers get their crops in and we can’t take our hikes anymore. Since our house is surrounded by fields on 3 sides and a highway on the 4th, there’s really no other walking option for us.

If you’ve got ideas, please throw me a bone!

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I’m still absolutely LOVING Kindergarten! I always looked forward to the point in my life when I can securely say that I love my job, and I really do. After teaching third, the thought of going to K kind of made my stomach turn, but I am so pleasantly surprised! I get to sing and dance and act goofy all day, and the kids are right there with me. Sometimes the data collection can get a bit insane, but I’ll take that over 9 million papers to grade every week!

This update got a bit long. Oops. I’m not going to make any ridiculous promises as to when I’ll post again. However, I know I’ll be back blogging full force in the summer. I’ll see ya when I see ya!

Photo Dump– and a life update.

Sometimes, you start a blog with the best of intentions. Sometimes your really good friends send you AMAZING birthday presents and you love them, but keep forgetting to blog about it (SORRY BERT! I promise, it’s coming!!) Sometimes you start cooking and realize, “Umm, hey, I should be taking pictures of this for the blog,” but you’re already halfway through the recipe. Sometimes you promise yourself that you’re going to try to post twice a week. However, sometimes that promise happens to be at the end of the summer and those promises fall by the wayside. FAST.

So, since It took approximately THREE posts for me to fall behind, I’m going to skip over the Birchbox review this month. I feel like if I just post three of those in a row, that’s all I’ll ever end up posting here. Instead, I’m going to show you what my life has been in pictures the last few months.

Well, to start off with, I’m teaching kindergarten this year. It’s been a HUGE jump from third grade, but honestly, I.LOVE.IT! I love it way more than I even expected that I would. My kinderbabes are just SO eager and sweet!

K and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary! The bakery that we went through for our wedding cake gave us a free mini version of our wedding cake to compensate for a slight SNAFU at the wedding. (That SNAFU being that our cake got ruined on their way to the venue and they had to go back to the bakery and remake the entire cake as the reception was starting.) Stressful? Yes. However, the mini version of our cake was a wonderful consolation!

We took our Kindergarten field trip to our nearby pumpkin patch. It was a BEAUTIFUL day–albeit, a bit outrageously windy. We were able to participate in a bunch of neat pumpkin activities, and even go through their corn maze! Have you ever lead a group of 5 and 6-year-olds through a corn maze?? It’s not for the light of heart.

I’ve spent the last three Sundays peeling enough apples to feed approximately five armies. K’s friend discovered my apple crisp and has been straight.up.obsessed. He drove an hour and a half last Sunday JUST to come here and pick up an apple crisp. Granted, it’s my mother-in-law’s recipe and it’s twenty-three kinds of AMAZING. I’ve thrown the idea around of sharing the recipe on here. . . we’ll see.

We kind of got a new baby. By accident. You know the friend I just mentioned that is obsessed with apple crisp? Well, a few weeks ago, he came home with not one, but TWO puppies. This friend also has twin nine-month-old baby boys. So when he came home with TWO PUPPIES, his wife was less than thrilled. They brought their whole crew down to visit for the weekend, and he suckered K into keeping one.

Anyway. Her name is Remington, or Remi, for short. She’s a Shiba Inu, and she enjoys the taste of human toes, cat turds, and she has an extremely irritating uncanny ability to locate the TINIEST scrap of paper/plastic/godknowswhat on the floor and eat it before I can get to her. She’s eaten K’s tablet charger, half of a flip-flop, and got into a pretty nasty sparring match with the poor cat.

Jessie was NOT very keen about her the first few days, but they’ve grown to be close buddies. Remi has been giving Jessie some much, much needed exercise. And in turn, Jessie has been really good about playing with Remi and keeping her from eating shoes   terrorizing the cat   destroying the village  getting into too much trouble.

I’m forever putting their antics on Snapchat. My username is memishelly13 if you want to see a good show!

Thanks for putting up with my life update! (Even though approximately two people read this blog) I’ll do my best to posting somewhat regularly now that I’m settled into the school year and parent-teacher conferences are over. *insert praise hands emoji here*

Until next time!

September Birchbox Breakdown

My last Birchbox post had nine views, and I only told one person about it. YESSSS.

(This is normally where I would put a picture of the box in all its beautiful glory, buuuut I forgot.)

100% Percent Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

As a person who wakes up at zero-dark-thirty every morning and relies on coffee as my lifeblood, I was pretty intrigued by this stuff. I don’t necessarily get bags under my eyes, but some mornings I do look a little more tired than others. I’ve tried this for 5 mornings in a for and have noticed no difference. It doesn’t have a smell, it doesn’t do anything for me really, soooo thanks, but no thanks.

Final Verdict: Would not buy. I don’t dislike it, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference on me.

POP Beauty Eyeshadow Palette

POP Beauty POP Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette

My name is Michelle and I have an unhealthy obsession with eyeshadow palettes. For.real. I own about a gazillion of them and I’m always looking at more. That being said, I was OVERLY pumped when I opened the box and saw what was in there. Also, let me note that I did not receive the glorious-looking palette that is up there ^^^. The one I got came with three shades, a very light silver, a very dark purple, and a daaark gray. Initially, I was okay with these colors. I wear a lot of muted purples and grays because it makes the green in my eyes pop (right, Ma?). However, within the first swipe of the light silver on my eye I regretted all decisions to try it that day. Once I had all the colors on, I looked like a straight-up foolThe colors are WAYYYYYY too metallic-looking for my taste. Had they been a matte finish, I may have considered looking into buying the palette. And, judging by the look of the palette on Birchbox’s website (as seen above), all of the colors are more metallic-looking than I would like. Bummer.

Final verdict: No bueno.

Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Gel

Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Gel Superfruit + CGF

Let’s just say I’m a liiiiitle picky about what I wash my face with. I have very sensitive skin. So sensitive, in fact, that changing up my regular skin care regimen often results in a breakout. I’ve used this stuff every night when I wash my face since it came, and so far my skin is breakout-free! I’ve also noticed that my pores appear to be a little smaller? Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking!

Final Verdict: I would definitely consider buying this again!

RUSK Hair Care Elixir Mist

RUSK® Hair Care Elixir Mist

Let’s say I was slightly more than a little skeptical of this stuff. More like highly skeptical. This basically just looked like clear water in an aerosol spray-type bottle. To be honest, I figured this would be like that one time Birchbox sent me fancy water in a bottle to spray on your skin. PASS. However, I was pleasantly surprised. This stuff goes on like a dream–it’s so light and quiet you can barely even tell stuff is coming out of the can. This works perfect on styled hair that looks a little flat without making it look too oily. I’ve also found that if you spray a little on mostly-dry hair, it holds frizz at bay nicely. Bonus: it smells great! It’s a very light and clean scent.

Final Verdict: Would not buy….because I’m a sour-puss and won’t buy anything that I’m not head-over-heels in love with.

Ojon Total Hair Therapy

Let’s get this out of the way. I hate when Birchbox sends me hair oil. hate.hate.hate.HATE. My hair is decently oily on it’s own. As in, I should take out stock in dry shampoo because I use a potentially unhealthy amount (is there such a thing??) between sucking up any oil and using it to add texture. Now, kindly forget that little rant I just had about how much I hate hair oil because this.stuff.is.AMAZING. First of all, THE SMELL. I can’t place what it smells like, but guys, it’s seriously fantastic. I literally only used a tiiiiiiny drop at a time and only used it on my ends and it zapped all possible frizz and made my hair SO dang silky smooth.

Then, tragedy struck.

The other night I was tidying up my bathroom. I have a little white shelf over the toilet where all my hair products go because my bathroom is this big ——>  <——–, no joke. Anyway. I was tidying up the shelf when this glorious hair oil fell to its death and shattered ALL OVER THE LID OF THE TOILET. I then spent the next 30 minutes cleaning up oil and glass pieces. Ugh.

I believe it’s a sign. Or karma. Kind of like, “Well Michelle, you’ve always whined and moaned whenever you get hair oil, so I’m going to take away the only one you love after you’ve only got to use it twice.”

Thanks, life.

Final Verdict: I would definitely buy this again. In fact, this will likely be what I purchase with my points when I’ve earned enough of them reviewing products on Birchbox’s website.

This month I was overall pretty happy with the box. Note to self: Lesson of the day month year, don’t put glass bottles on the shelf above the toilet because you’re clumsy AF.

August Birchbox Breakdown

I have a severe love-hate relationship for buying new products that are full-sized. I love, love, LOVE experimenting with new products but I absolutely hate when I don’t like it and the whole other 98% of what I bought goes to waste.

Enter: Birchbox.

Seriously. If you haven’t tried it and you’re like me, TRY.IT. Or even if you don’t like trying new products, give it a try! It’s fun to discover things you wouldn’t have tried anyway.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those cool bloggers who reviewed products and people listen to them and go buy that stuff. Now, Michelle, let’s be realistic. i.am.a.nobody in blog-world. So, I’m going to review them anyway for myself because it makes me feel cool. Here goes!

Juicy Couture– I Am Juicy Couture

I loved this perfume. I was SO excited when I saw it in the box this month! I’m usually not a fan of the perfumes that they send. It usually goes like this: Michelle opens the box and sees perfume. She sprays the perfume and smells excitedly, then makes a face and throws the perfume in a drawer with all the other perfumes she’s gotten. This was NOT one of those. I’ve used it every day since I got it. I even looked it up to see how much it would be to buy the full-sized bottle. Y’ALL. 94 dollars. Nope, nope, nope. I cannot justify spending that much on perfume when I’m around tiny humans all day, every day, and come home smelling like glue and feet. Nope.

Final verdict: I WISH.

IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer

I really had high hopes for this. As a teacher, I DO.FREAKING.NOT. have time to reapply or even check my makeup during the day. My foundation & powder are always, and I do mean ALWAYS completely gone be the end of the day because of myself (or other tiny hands) touching/wiping my face. My makeup remover cloth never even shows traces of foundation at night when I take it off. Anyway. Unfortunately, this product was a big let-down. I even paired it with the next product in hopes that they would work together to finally get my foundation and powder to stay put. No dice.

Final verdict: Would not buy full-size product.

Coola SPF 30 Organic Makeup-Setting Spray

This stuff was also a let down. As I mentioned before, I even paired it with the makeup primer above, but I did not notice that my makeup looked any better at the end of the day than it usually does. Also, this stuff SMELLED. It smelled like Icy-Hot. No.Thank.You.Ma’am. 78.385% of whether I like a product or not depends on if it smells good.

Final verdict: NOPE

PARLOR Smoothing Blow-Out Spray

Let’s get something straight first. Blow dryers and I are NOT friends. I don’t ever blow dry my hair because it takes SO dang long (curse you, thick hair!). It usually takes about FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. That being said, I finally bit the bullet and took the time to blow dry my hair so I could use this. Smell factor: amazing. I think this stuff even sped up my blow dry time by about 7 minutes. When your arms are cursing at you because you’re a wimp and have no upper body strength and you’ve been blow drying your hair for 38 minutes already, 7 minutes is a REAL big deal. It did make my hair very smooth and shiny as well, which was nice.

Final verdict: Would not buy, for the sole fact that I am entirely too lazy to spend 45 38 minutes blow drying my hair every day. Ain’t NOBODY got time for that.

LAQA & Co. Cheeky Lip

Birchbox read my mind on this one. Literally, the day it came I was thinking that morning about how I always pick a boring pink color to put on my lips, and that I should try something in a coral-y shade. I opened up the box, and, TA-DA! A coral shade, entitled Cray-Cray, was right there waiting for me. I excitedly put it on ASAP. I really didn’t like the texture right off the bat. Also, it went on in a way that it wasn’t very thick and the color was really streaky. I also found that it wore off super and I do mean SUPER fast. The color was spot on as to what I wanted, but I was disappointed. Sad day 😦 My quest for the perfect coral lipstick is still on!

Final verdict: Would not buy.

So overall, I would say this box is a flop. I really did like the perfume and the blow-out spray, but because I’m a practical gal, none of the products will be purchased again. At least I’m only out $20! Thanks, Birchbox! See you in September.

weekend with friends

Lately, we’ve gotten the opportunity to hang out nearly every weekend with some pretty awesome friends. K and him are basically the same people in different bodies. It makes for one intense bromance.

Anyway, they have two A.DOR.A.BLE. twin boys. Like, make-me-wanna-have-babies type babies. Gah. They also have two little fluffy white dogs. Jessie adores ALL OF THESE THINGS. That being said, we took her with us while we stayed basically moved in for the weekend. She was in.heaven. For real, guys. She wasn’t sure whether to lick the babies every time one of them made a sound or play with the dogs until they all fell over from exhaustion.

We had an awesome weekend. We got a rare opportunity to have a nice dinner, sans babies. There was much alcohol and even more laughter. It was definitely the kind of weekend we needed.

K and I were pooped by the end. Jessie managed to eat dinner, find her favorite ball, then was dead to the world for a full 36 hours. As I took this picture, she was snoring so loud it was basically sucking the paint off the walls.

Thanks for enduring my little life update– it was definitely a weekend to be remembered!

pulled pork on the fly

… because there is literally nothing else edible in the house and I refused to go back to the grocery store for the third time in a week.

That seemed like entirely too long of a title for the post, so it got shortened.

There’s just something about pulled pork. I mean, yeah, it tastes good, but when it’s done right it’s just… pretty. It makes my heart go pitter-patter.

Start out with about a 5 pound pork butt. Why on EARTH are they called that when they’re actually from the shoulder? I tried Googling it, but then lost interest. So, if you find out, let me know.

Back to the butt. Heh.

I made a rub out of whatever I grabbed from the spice cabinet. You can be creative. That ended up being Nature’s Seasoning (I seriously, SERIOUSLY, love this stuff. It goes great on absolutely everything. Go getcha some. Seriously.), garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne, brown sugar, and some of McCormick’s Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple. (This stuff smells DIVINE. If they made it as a man’s cologne I would dunk K in it and would be in heaven. I know, that’s weird. Sorry.)

Rub that mixture all over the meat, then I quartered an onion and tossed it in the bottom of my 3-quart dutch oven.
(My dutch oven is a ShopKo brand–nothing fancy)

Place the meat on top of the onions, and pour a bottle/can of beer over it (K had Mic Ultra in the fridge) as well as a few teaspoons of liquid smoke, and a few dashes of hot sauce. If you don’t use Cholula hot sauce, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore. 

I also make sure to give the top one final dusting of brown sugar. This caramelizes beautifully in the oven and gives the pork a crust that is to.die.for. 

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After all that is done, put the lid on and put it in the oven at 300 degrees. When I’m making things like pulled pork, I really don’t see the point in preheating the oven. I mean, when it’s going to be in there for at least 6 hours, does it reeeeeally matter if the oven is up to temp when it goes in??

My brain says no. I also just forgot to preheat it beforehand.

Make sure to come back every two(ish) hours and CAREFULLY flip the meat over. I made a huge mess and got hot burning hot beer and pork juice all over my shirt and arms and top of my stove. So please, be careful. Don’t be like me.

On the last flip, the pork needs to end fat-side up and cook that way for at least an hour and a half(ish)… you can tell I’m very technical. The reason for this is so the top of the pork has a chance to get little crispy bits that will make your skirt fly up. YUM.

When you’ve got your skirt settled, grab some large spoons or spatulas and try to transfer the pork to a surface where you can shred it.
Disclaimer: there is an 84.59% chance that the pork will break apart and will made a large SPLAT on your counter. Say a few curse words and embrace it because this pork will be worth having to bleach your counters later. I promise. 

Use two forks to shred the pork and try to keep the drool undoubtedly falling from your mouth from getting into the pork. Before you transfer the pork back into the liquid, use a spoon and try to skim off as much of the fat floating at the top of the liquid as possible.

After this is done, transfer the meat back to the pot (during which time more will fall onto your counter and make a larger mess).

Now you’re ready to eat! I toasted up some Kaiser rolls and served the pork with some coleslaw on top (is there really any other way??)

Here’s a downloadable PDF file with the recipe! Pulled Pork on the Fly

Enjoy!