Grilled Pizza

We tried grilling pizzas for the first time ever this past weekend.  They were tasty, except that we charred the bottom of them.  Oops!  We'll definitely be grilling pizzas again soon!

Grilled Pizzas
Boboli pre-made pizza crusts, mini size
Pizza sauce of your choice

1) Preheat grill.
2) Grill crusts, covered with grill lid, for 2 minutes or until toasted.
3) Layer desired toppings on toasted side of pizza crust.
4) Grill pizzas for 2 to 5 minutes, or until all ingredients are heated through and cheese melts.

Pizza on the left: sliced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, black olives, basil, feta cheese, and tomato-pesto sauce

Pizza on the right: pepperoni, green peppers, pineapple, cheddar cheese, and regular pizza sauce

Unofficial Kickoff to Summer

We had a fantastic Memorial weekend.  To keep the tradition going, we went boating and "camped out" with our friends Josh and Rachel.  Only this year, "camping out" meant staying overnight at their place on an air mattress since they have 4-month old Brayden!  It was still a great time, as we enjoyed friends, fun, and good food--that's what the kickoff to summer is all about, right?!

Here are some pics of our weekend--most taken from my cell phone so they're not the best!
The tomato mozzarella combo, mojitos, and baked potato salad ready to go!  The baked potato salad was a huge hit!

Lake Jacomo

Putting in the boat

Craig and Brayden

Rachel, her dad, and Erica

Cute little Brayden

Chatting with Brayden

Since I've Been Gone

It's been awhile since I've blogged! Definitely not because there's nothing to blog about!  In fact, just the opposite!  I've been super busy and life just kind of got in the way!

Grad School
First off, I began my Master's classes.  Like I mentioned before, I'm taking one on-campus class (Today's Learner) and one online class (Understanding Celebrity).  My on-campus class is every Wednesday from 6-10pm...tonight is night #2.  I was as nervous last week as a freshman entering high school!  I hate new situations where you know no made me remember what the first day of school must feel like for my kiddos.  Both classes seem like they will be fine, but it's a lot of reading and writing.  Every time I feel like blogging, I think of all the assignments I have to do, and decide to do that instead.  So be it, I guess.

End of the School Year
I have one half-day of school left before the end of the 2010-11 school year.  Wow!  It's gone so incredibly fast!  Such mixed emotions.  I will truly miss two of my six classes.  The others...let's just say I'm ready for a new batch!  But first, I'm ready for summer, the pool, and our trip to Hawaii!  Speaking of, we leave 5 weeks from today...!!

Crawl for Cancer
We had a wonderful time at C4C this year!  It was a cloudy, colder day (of course), but that didn't stop us from having fun!  I'll save the pics for another post.  Here's a sneak peak (and the picture that made!

Saturday Night BBQ
We had a BBQ at our place the weekend before C4C.  It was perfect weather to chill outside, drink mojitos, and sit around our fire pit.  Unfortunately, I was too busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off to take any photos.  The only one I got was a picture of my friend Lauren's dessert creation.  Aren't they cute??

The Bachelorette
Yes, I'm writing about the Bachelorette!  I'm so excited it's back on t.v.!  I hope this season proves to be a good one!  (So far, I'm a little annoying by the amount of scripted-ness.  Oh well, still pure entertainment!)

American Idol
While we're on the subject of t.v., I should mention American Idol!  Such a good season it's been!  Other than Jacob and the first few girls to be voted off, I've loved them all!  Haley was my fave from the get-go, and I'm happy she made it to the top 3!  It doesn't surprise me she got voted off.  She began to cop an attitude.  Tonight's the big finale!  I can honestly say I don't care who wins!  I love both Scotty and Lauren, but think Lauren will take home the title after that last performance last night!  AMAZING!!  Here's an idea--how 'bout they just tie and form a country duet?

Holy Tornadoes
It's been nearly 3 years since I've heard the tornado sirens go off here!  Until Saturday, that is.  Our tornado sirens went off at 11 that night.  Luckily nothing happened other than a little rain and wind.  I hate severe weather.  Can you blame me after seeing the devastation in Joplin??  Today the sirens went off once again.......AT SCHOOL!!  This was a first for me!  (Surprising it doesn't happen more often!)  Our poor kids had to sit in the hallway for nearly an hour and wait it out!  Thank goodness we had already taken the final that block and it was just study hall.  I'm really hoping the severe weather is done for awhile.  I'm ready for some sun!

Wine Class 
Remember that wine class I bought my hubs for Christmas?  Well, we finally went!  We went to the $10 vs. $100 Cabernet Sauvingnon class last Friday.  It was fun and we got to try 7 kinds of wine.  I'm honestly more of a beer drinker, but put 7 glasses in front of me, and I have no problem drinking it!  Here's the only picture I took.  I didn't want the other people thinking I was weird.

I'm sure there's more to post, but that's all I can think of right now. Besides, I need to head to class soon.  I promise to update more frequently and I'll post our C4C pics soon!

Only From a Math Teacher

We had a party for my student teacher's last day yesterday and here's what one of the girls brought.

Soooo cute!  Nerdy, yes, but cute!  The kids laughed when both my student teacher and myself wanted a picture of it!

I also snapped pictures of my algebra 2 classes.  They are THE best I've ever had!  I will truly miss them all!

And, one last side note.  This week was Teacher Appreciation Week.  Here's the gift I got from one of my students!  How sweet!

More Cupper Cakes

Here are my most recent cupcake creations! Like I said last week, they were for my student teacher's last day today and my goal was to make them teacher-y. I'd say I was pretty successful!

Summer Reading Material

Good-bye Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult. Hello grad school reading material.  Well, not yet officially.  I still have 14 days of freedom.  But soon, very soon will be life consist of reading books on education and how to better myself as a teacher.

Here's my $230 stack of summer reading material!  Yippee!

Just Call Me Betty

Last week, I got on this cupcake kick.  I was inspired by some homemade cupcake pictures my friend Julie posted on facebook and wanted to try and make some of my own!  Coincidentally, it was my turn to take treats to school on Friday = perfect timing!

The first batch I made were yellow cake cookie dough cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting.  Here's my secret (passed along from Julie): use a box mix to save time and jazz it up a little.  Use store-bought frosting.  The fanciness is all in the way you decorate!

Anyway, here's what I did!

Yellow Cake Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Center
1 box yellow cake mix
1 pkg vanilla pudding
1/2 cup water (warm)
1/2 cup oil
4 large eggs
1 cup Sour Cream

Frosting: Milk Chocolate 

Pour the batter into cupcake liner about 1/4 full, top with a good teaspoonful of cookie dough, then fill liner with more batter.  Bake according to box instructions.

When cool, frost and/or decorate the cupcakes.  I used milk chocolate Pillsbury frosting.  I bought a Wilton cupcake decorating kit at Target, and also a coupler (which helps hold the tip and bag in place) from Michael's.  Here's how they turned out!

The following night, I made two more batches of cupcakes.  The first were Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and second were Cream-Filled Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

Here are my recipes!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups strawberry pop
Vegetable oil and eggs, as called for on box
4 oz. block of cream cheese, cut into 24 pieces
3 Tablespoons strawberry jam or preserves

Frosting: Cream Cheese with red food coloring

Pour batter into cupcake liners.  Place small piece of cream cheese on top and lightly press into batter.  Top with a drop of strawberry jam or preserves.  Bake according to package instructions.

For frosting, I used store-bought cream cheese frosting and added red food coloring to make pink.

Cream-Filled Devil's Food Cupcakes
{I actually used the same recipe as the yellow cupcakes above but omitted the pudding.}
1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1/2 cup water (warm)
1/2 cup oil
4 large eggs
1 cup Sour Cream

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar 
3/4 cup marshmallow fluff (I used cream because I couldn't find fluff at the store)
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream

Frosting: Vanilla

After baking cupcakes, I used my small decorating tip to fill inside of cupcakes.  It was super easy, and kind of fun!  Then I frosted with vanilla (again store-bought) frosting.

These were the only kind I tried.  I'm a sucker for chocolate and couldn't resist!  According to a lady at work, they were excellent.  And I quote: "Whoever made those chocolate cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting in the center: w-o-w.  I don't know what there is to eat in heaven, but I'm guessing those would be on the menu.  Yum-o."

Yep, those were MY cupcakes!

I'm going to make some more this week for my student teacher's last day!  I'm going to be even more creative and {hopefully} make them teacher-y.  Maybe I'll add some sprinkles, as well!  I'll post pics of the results!

Another Great Weekend

I haven't blogged much lately because there's been so much going on, but don't think I haven't been composing posts in my head!  I'll start with a post about our weekend.  It was definitely another fun-filled one!

Friday: I took a personal day because this was the weekend of our neighborhood garage sale.  This is the 3rd year in a row we've organized/priced our junk and participated.  It payed off because we made over $300!  I question how we've accumulated so much garage-sale worthy material, but I guess moving in together two years ago and upgrading many household items last summer after getting married, definitely helps contribute.

The garage sale was actually enjoyable, too, as it was a summer-like 80 degrees and sunny.  Not only did I make some money, but also got a nice little tan burn, as well!

Who needs an UGLY bathroom sink??  Apparently someone, as they were both purchased!

If you look closely, you can see our ghetto clothes rack!

My "register"

Kinnick enjoying the sun

We had free tickets to the Royals game on Friday night.  No one was able to go with, so we ended up selling four of the six free tickets for $5 each!  Score!!  Erica won tickets to the same game, so we met up with her group that consisted of Brandi, Travis, and Alissa.  It was the perfect night for a game--good weather, Buck Night ($1 hotdogs?  Yes, please!), and Fireworks Friday (I love fireworks-they scream summer to me)!  AND the Royals broke their 6-game losing streak and beat the Twins after taking the lead in a very exciting 8th inning!

The gropu

The casual shot Craig so wanted to take

Girl pic

We were pretty high up, but like I said, we made $20 so it didn't matter!  (And we moved down later in the game anyway.)

Beautiful fountains at the K

I got some pretty stunning shots of the fireworks!

Look at those colors! 

Saturday: We continued our garage sale and got rid of a few more things.  The rest was delivered to Goodwill!

We also had our friends' daughter's 1st birthday party.  The best part?  Chillin' in their driveway in the again near-80 weather!  It was gorgeous!!
Me, Lauren, and Katie in our Target dresses!

Lauren and the birthday girl, Anna

The hubs and I

The rest of our day consisted of running errands, including me getting a new phone!  Finally!!!  I  had a 2 1/2 year old iPhone 3G that ran as slow as molasses!  Apple screwed me over last summer when I downloaded a new operating system that wasn't compatible with my particular model; unfortunately, there was no un-doing this.  Craig said I shouldn't reward Apple by purchasing a new iPhone (and I understand his point), but I loved it that much.  Anyway, on Saturday, I upgraded to a 4G...the new (as of last week) white one!  I had planned on waiting until summer to get the iPhone 5 until I heard the release date had been delayed until this fall.  I could not put up with the slowness and crappiness for that much longer, so I gave in.  After debating whether or not to switch to Verizon, we decided to stick with AT&T.  Basically, because they gave us a better deal.  Here's what my phone looks like!  It's so fast compared to my old one!  And has so many better features!  So far, I love it!

On Saturday evening, we headed to the new Buffalo Wild Wings near our house.  It was an early night, as we were both exhausted, but we got to enjoy some wings and mojitos!
Yummy wings!

Today was cold and crappy.  We hung out on the couch for most of the day.  Even so, it was a fantastic weekend!

Oh, and how 'bout them Royals!  The swept the Twins this weekend with scores Friday 4-3, Saturday 11-2, and today 10-3!  First home sweep of the Twins since something like 1996!  And speaking of sports, the Chiefs drafted Stanzi the Manzi this weekend!  For those of you that {sadly} aren't Iowa football fans, he was Iowa's quarterback for the previous three seasons.  He joins former Hawkeye and teammate Tony Moeaki.  Welcome to KC, Ricky!