Wednesday, July 31, 2013

by faith

2 Corinthians 5:7 - "for we walk by faith..."
Hebrews 11 - "by faith" is used over ten times
Romans 3:28 - "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith..." 
Romans 5:2 - "through whom also we have access by faith..."
Galatians 3:11 - "But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
Galatians 5:5 - "For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."

I found this sign at Walmart and have it hanging in my room. Last week I started thinking about two of those three words, "by faith." "By faith" is a phrase that appears in the Bible quite a few times. To me, "by faith" means walking down a path that may not make sense to the world. It means making decisions that - from the natural - are bigger than yourself. It's saying yes to God. It's thinking from a spiritual perspective instead of an earthly one. And there's a surreal confidence that comes when you walk "by faith." You can know - despite circumstances - that God's working things out. You don't have to worry. You don't have to doubt. You have a peace that's unshakable. By faith."

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Monday, July 29, 2013

barefoot in grade school

I've finally decided to start a blog about teaching! I'm wanting to do more teacher-y blogging this school year but didn't see that fitting into snidbits. I've read before that you should have separate blogs for different subjects and it finally made sense to me. This blog will be about my randomness - recipes, diy, and whatever else but barefoot in grade school will be my new blog! I'm excited about this new direction and about officially joining the online teacher blog world!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

recipe: oreo white chocolate rice krispie treats

I'm making these tomorrow and am pretty pumped about it :) I've made original Rice Krispie Treats but wanted to add a little pizzazz and I think this recipe will do just that! The only additional ingredients you need are Oreos and white chocolate. The recipe is from Grey Luster Girl and she has tons of other great stuff going on at her blog!
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
1 (10.5 oz) bag plus 1/4 of another (10.5 oz) bag Mini Marshmallows
6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
26 Oreo Cookies Crushed up in rough chunks (Divided into 16 for filling and 10 for topping)
1 Bag Guittard White Chocolate Chips
"Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Crush 16 Oreos and set aside. Melt butter in a large non-stick pan and add marshmallows. Mix until marshmallows are melted and combined with the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the Rice Krispies cereal. Add the 16 crushed Oreos and mix. Pour and press the mixture into the prepared 9×13 pan. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals. Pour the chocolate on top of the Rice Krispie mixture, reserving some to drizzle on the top afterwards. Smooth the white chocolate with a knife. Crush the remaining 10 Oreos and sprinkle on top of the white chocolate. Drizzle the last of the white chocolate on top of the Oreo layer. Allow chocolate to cool and harden before cutting the Rice Krispies Treats."
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

influenster: mary kay review

Besides reviewing books, I also review products through Influenster. This time I was sent a box of great Mary Kay products. I've never used anything from Mary Kay before but I may have to change that! What did I get?

Lash Love Lengthening mascara, Lash Primer, Eye Color (Violet Storm), Eye Color/Concealer Brush and True Dimensions Lip Stick (Pink Cherie).

My favorite thing would be the eye color! I've tried other eyeshadow creams and they've been hard to apply - I'm not sure if it was the brand or the brush I used - so I normally use a powder. So I was pleasantly surprised with this. I love the color - it's not too bright of a purple - and goes on smooth. The lash primer can be used alone or with the mascara. I like to use them together. And the lipstick. The color is pretty but the case is so cool! You can't really tell from the picture but you push the center of the top of the lid and the lipstick slides out - very spy-ish :) I was very pleased with the products and may be a new Mary Kay fan!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

book review: "happy this year" by will bowen

"In Happy This Year!, Bowen proclaims that happiness is our destiny and birthright, and - even better - we actually are already happy to some extent. We just have to recognize happiness, claim it and expand on it. The philosophy is simple - you must create an awareness of your happiness level and this awareness will lead to even greater happiness. And, just as he guided readers into creating a habit of not complaining, he lays out a way for us to create a habit of measuring and increasing your happiness levels" (press release). 

My thoughts: I thought this an ok book. Will makes some good points but I kept tripping on all of his Buddhist references and the complete focus on making yourself happy. He talks about the reason to live ethically: "You don't do this to appease others or even God. You do this simply because the reward for treating others well is your own happiness." As a Christian, this bothers me because as we strive to live a life that pleases God, everything else falls into place. Matthew 22:37 says, "Jesus said to him, '"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" This was probably the biggest problem I had with the book. Will has great ideas for increasing your happiness level - things like choosing to focus on the positive, rating your happiness intentionally throughout the day and not listening or being around negative things. I like his point of doing things for others because it really is amazing how much we benefit from those acts. "You are a drop in the ocean that is your society. As you act with greater integrity, you raise the overall purity of the waters. Other people will follow suit and you will get to enjoy living in the safety of a more trustworthy society, which research has found to be a key contributor to happiness." Overall, I highlighted a few things I liked but not a book I'll read again.

You can learn more about the book from the website as well as getting the HappyStat app to track your happiness!

I received a copy of this book from The B & B Media Group for my honest review.
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Sunday, July 21, 2013


I first switched to Feedly when moving my feeds from Google Reader but I'm really liking Bloglovin. I like the look of it and being able to organize all of the blogs I follow - this might also be possible with Feedly but Bloglovin just seems more user friendly. If you're still looking for a reader, try Bloglovin! 

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

loving wisdom

I decided to join up with Deb's linky party on her blog, Fabulously First. She's sharing her advice to new teachers and allowing others to do the same. I taught my first year last year and learned a lot! I'm right now in the process of reflecting on my routines/procedures and behavior system so I can make adjustments and have a smoother just a few weeks! I feel like the first year is a starting place and from there, you can figure out what to keep for the next year and what to change. Teaching is a constant process. I never want to stop growing as a professional and right now there's a lot of changing going on with the implementation of Common Core and a new reading series. I'm excited about this upcoming school year and getting to know a new group of kiddos!

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book review: "anomaly" by krista mcgee

"Decades before Thalli's birth, the world was decimated by a nuclear war. But life continued deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. There they created genetically engineered human beings who are free of emotions in the hope that war won't threaten the world again. 

Thalli is an anomaly, born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far by hiding her differences. But then her secret is discovered when she's overwhelmed by the emotion of an ancient piece of music. 

The Ten quickly schedule her annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk - a scientist being groomed by The Ten - convinces them to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the Scientist's Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance.

As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer - someone even more powerful than The Ten. What's more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answers she's been looking for all along."

My thoughts: I loved this book but am bummed about waiting a year to see what happens in the sequel! It reminded me of the Matched series by Allie Condie or a little like the Divergent series by Veronica Roth - I guess the whole dystopian thing. I was surprised at how quickly I was pulled into the story, needing to keep reading to find out what happened next! Krista did a fabulous job of keeping me engaged and guessing until the very end. And oh my! She kept the twists going - literally - until the last page! I loved the theme of the Designer - how Thalli didn't understand why the music moved her until John explained it to her. This was a great book!

You can buy a copy of Anomaly by clicking here.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review.

Enter Today - 7/12 - 7/31! Anomaly Krista McGee

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

recipe: peanut butter cookie dough brownie bites

I'm not a huge peanut butter fan but when it's paired with chocolate, I have a hard time refusing. And this recipe combines both things beautifully. This is another recipe on my "to do" list but oh my, it's pretty close to the top :) You can also read Hayley's full recipe.

1 box fudge brownie mix, baked and cooled
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp smooth peanut butter, divided
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 2 cups flour
1 pkg white chocolate bark (like Candiquik)
Peanut butter chips, optional


1. "Beat together the butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter and sugars until creamy. Add the milk and vanilla; beat to combine. Lastly, beat in the flour until a soft dough forms.
2. On a foil-lined baking sheet, drop rounded, tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Freeze the cookie dough balls for about an hour to firm up.
3. Cut the brownies into small squares, about 1″ in size. Pick up a square and gently flatten it with your palm. Fudgy brownies will flatten easily and retain their moisture which is why it’s important to make sure you use a fudgy brownie mix rather than a cake-y one.
4. Place a cookie dough ball in the middle of the flattened brownie and very gently, wrap the brownie around the cookie dough ball. If the brownie cracks, that’s okay; just kind of roll it in your fingers until the brownie completely surrounds the cookie dough. Repeat until all cookie dough balls are covered, then return to the freezer for 30 minutes or so.
5. Prepare white chocolate bark according to package directions; once melted, stir in the remaining Tablespoon of peanut butter to combine.  Using a fork, dip each brownie truffle into the white chocolate mixture, coat completely, and allow excess to drip off. Return to the foil-line sheet and sprinkle the tops with the peanut butter chips, for garnish. 
*Note: this works best when using brownies from the middle of the pan.  I don’t like using brownies from the edges because the edges are far crispier and don’t mold around the cookie dough as well.*"

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