Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Advice from 2nd Graders

A couple of weeks ago, I finished up a student teaching internship. I spent 3 weeks in a second grade classroom. After my first day, I was overwhelmed to say the least! Second grade is loud and busy - there is so much going on! So after day 1, I was just discouraged. I didn't think I could ever get the hang of working with 22 seven year olds at once.

But I just powered through, continuously reminding myself that this is a learning experience and I need to be gentle with myself. And guess what!? I fell in love with those loud and busy seven year olds. They are challenging but they are so wonderful! These little beings are so full of love and so full of wisdom. I was so sad to leave but I am so excited to go back and see how these kids flourish over the next few years! On my last day, the kids made a card full of advice for me as I grow towards becoming a teacher!

I was impressed by how wise and thoughtful the advice was. The notes they wrote to me are such important reminders as I become a teacher, but I also think they are important to remember on a daily basis! Here are some of the highlights from the advice I received from the sweetest group of seven year olds:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Figure Skate Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I'm talking about Royal Icing again today! I made figure skates and I was so happy with the end result! Before I get into how I made these, I should mention my current thoughts towards royal icing... It's a lot of work! I spent about 3 hours on the skates and a similar amount of time on the pineapples that I shared last week! I'm guessing this time will go down when I become more familiar with the whole royal icing process (at least, I hope it does!).

So, it was so much fun to experiment with and the end result is really beautiful. I just cannot imagine myself doing this on a regular basis. I will definitely use royal icing when I am decorating cookies for themed parties or theme specific events. But otherwise I will likely just be sticking cookies that are easier to put together and just as delicious!

I used the same royal icing recipe that I used last time (for the Pineapples) and it worked just as well!! The recipe is from Follow the Ruels and I love how simple it is!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Music for Monday: The Bean's Dance Rehearsal

The Bean had a dress rehearsal last night for her end of year dance show! I always love hearing the music that was chosen for the show and this year did not disappoint! Today, I thought I would share the fun songs that the Bean shook her groove thing to on stage! 
See Me Now - Little Mix
This is the song that she did her jazz dance to!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites

This week was a good one! After several busy weeks it was so good to have a bit of down time! I got to spend some glorious time in the kitchen & I got to experiment with royal icing - so fun! Here's a little look into the best parts of my week...
1. Last weekend, my crew went to New Jersey to spend time with family and I got to do something I've been wanting to do for a long time - go to the Cheesecake Factory!! I've heard so much hype about this place and it lived up to all of my expectations! I had the Four Cheese Pasta for dinner (because I'm a pasta girl through & through!) and I had the Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake for dessert! I've added The Cheesecake Factory to the long list of places that I love to hit up when I'm in the States! 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Top 5: Nail Polish Colors

It's about time that I dedicate an entire post to nail polish because it is one of my all time favorite things! It is one of the very few things in life that I just can't resist! If I am in a store that carries ESSIE, it's practically a guarantee that I leave with a bottle. I just can't help myself!

Today, I'm doing a round-up of my five favorite ESSIE colors - ESSIE is my go to and I typically don't stray from it. Although I just bought an OPI color and it is pretty darn cute! I'll talk about it in my favorites tomorrow!

If I could only wear one nail polish color for the rest of my life, this would be the one! It is by far my favorite. I love that it grabs attention while also being subtle and a sort of neutral. I also love that it goes with everything!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pineapple Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I have been wanting to try decorating cookies with royal icing for a while, but I was so intimidated by the whole process! After doing a fair bit of research, I finally built up the courage to use royal icing! I will share more as I discover more, but I definitely recommend reading as much as you can find before using royal icing!! I used the recipe that Lindsey from Follow the Ruels shares HERE.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spritz Cookies

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a cookie press from a local kitchen supply store only to come home and find one hidden away in my cupboard - Boo! I was initially super disappointed about this, but it ended up being a big win! The Bean worked by my side and was thrilled to have her own cookie press! It is so quick to whip these up and the end result is beautiful!! The cookie press I use is from Wilton, and I use the recipe right off the box!
Start by creaming 1 1/2 cups of softened butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar together in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Music for Monday: Stay Stay Stay

Happy Monday! Today, is a Canadian holiday, so I'll be spending the day doing some cooking and a little shopping with my family! I have some fun recipes that I am working on this week! I'll be sure to keep you in the loop! The song I'm talking about today is an old one but such a good one! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Favorites: bloggaversary edition

This week was a week in blogging that I have been looking forward to for a long time! My blog turned one!! I have officially been blogging every week day for one whole year and I cannot believe it! I still feel very new to the blogging world and I wonder when this new-ness will start to wear off! This week was full of so much fun, here is a little wrap up...
1. I enlisted help from one of my very best friends and most loyal blog readers, Erica to take some pictures of me for my bloggaversary! We picked up a gold number 1 balloon then gallivanted around the park to get some pictures. My one year 'bloggaversary' was actually on Wednesday, and I shared a more formal introduction (which I neglected to do a year ago)! You can find that post HERE.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Key Lime Pie Walked into a Bar :)

I think my title of this post explains it all - I took my favorite key lime pie recipe and turned it into bars! When I carried these out to the table on mother's day, I said 'A key lime walked into a bar and now we have dessert.' I thought I was just being goofy and punny, but everyone at the table got a good kick out of my not so funny joke! And so, a post was born!

You can find my original key lime recipe HERE - everything stays the same, except the ingredients go into a 8x12'' dish instead of a pie plate.
Start by mixing 1 1/4 cups of graham crackers crumbs, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of melted butter in a small mixing bowl. Once the crust is combined press it into the bottom of a 8x12 inch baking dish. Set the crust aside while you mix up the filling...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Today, Connected in the Kitchen is one!

Last March, I was in Vermont with my family and my sweet friend, Hannah just could not believe that I didn't have a Google account. So, we sat down at the computer and made one for me. I slowly started using Google docs and Drive and now I wonder how I ever functioned without a Google account! As I was slowly becoming more comfortable with all things Google, I noticed the little 'blogger' icon in the options on my Google homepage. So I clicked on it and all of a sudden, I was starting a blog!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Make & Take: a teacher gift

I mentioned in a couple of recent blog posts that I just finished up a teaching internship! I was in a second grade classroom with the sweetest kids and a wonderful cooperating teacher! As my internship was coming to an end, I started looking through Pinterest for gift ideas for my students and for my cooperating teacher! I'll talk all about what I did for the kids next week, but for now, I'm talking about what I made for my cooperating teacher!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Music for Monday: Sarah Harmer

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a great song by Sarah Harmer called Dandelions and Bullet Holes. Well, since then, all I've done is listen to Sarah Harmer!! So, today I'm sharing some of that I have been loving lately!
Basement Apartment - Sarah Harmer
I have very clear memories of sitting in the back seat of my parents' car while singing this song at the top of my lungs. This song came out the year I was born, so I may have come out of the womb singing this!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This Friday marks the end of my teaching internship, so I'm actually a little sad to see this Friday come! I'm amazed by how attached I have become to the sweet kids in my class and how much they have grown in just 3 weeks! Incredible! So I'll be enjoying every little bit of today, but in the mean time, here are some of my favorites from this week:
1. I ordered an Erin Condren planner this week and I can hardly wait to receive it! This year, I used the Day Designer by Whitney English and I loved it but I have been wanting something a little more personal. I have been eyeing Erin Condren planners for years and I finally splurged and got myself one! I ordered the taffy striped one just like in the picture above, but it says my name on the cover :)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lemon Poppy Seed Slice & Bake Cookies

I was really hesitant about making these cookies - I love lemon poppy seed muffins (find the recipe I use HERE), but I didn't know if the lemon poppy seed combo would make a good cookie! Well, I was so wrong because these cookies are delicious! They make the most perfect tea cookie because they're not too sweet!

Another thing to note before we get started - I looove slice and bake cookies! These are so much fun to put together and the refrigeration/freezer time doesn't bother me as much because they're so quick to slice up afterwards! This recipe is from Oh My! Sugar High (how cute is that blog name!?), you can find it HERE.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad

This salad is sooo good! I mean I could eat it everyday and I don't think I would ever get sick of it! My family has made it three times in within the last couple of weeks and I still love just as much! I get excited for lunch everyday, just because it means that I get to eat this salad! The recipe is from The Alberta Pulse, you can find it HERE.
Cook 1/2 cup of quinoa following the instructions on the package of quinoa that you are using. [This is 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa btw :)]

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Top 5: Quotes Edition #5

Every few months, I share some of my favorite quotes from Pinterest! It's been awhile since I last did this, and I have so many I want to share! I hope these five quotes inspire you to find your happy today! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Music for Monday: Tracy Chapman

Today, I'm talking about one of my favorite singers of all time!! And I am so excited! Tracy Chapman can do no wrong in my eyes! I'm sharing a few of my favorites in an attempt to not overwhelm, but I really recommend shuffling all of Tracy Chapman's stuff - she's phenomenal! 
Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman

Fast Car - Tracy Chapman

Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Favorites: Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Friday & Happy Cinco de Mayo! I'm so excited to have some much needed down time this afternoon/evening! I'm so ready to put my feet up, eat pizza and watch Gilmore Girls. Yes, I'm still going on that show! But season 7 is rough! It might be August before I make it through the 7th season! In the meantime, here are some of my favorite things...
1. I have been able to stay on top of this chalkboard lately! Now I only wish I had the energy to actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo!! I've been student teaching for the past two weeks, because I'm studying to become a teacher. And being in an elementary school has been kicking my butt! I love it but it's exhausting! Pizza will have to do for Cinco de Mayo dinner tonight! Maybe I'll be able to pull something together tomorrow for Seis de Mayo ;)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

The Bean was really into looking up overnight oat recipes on Pinterest recently so I helped her put some Apple Cinnamon overnight oats together!
Add 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 of milk (or non-dairy alternative), 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 diced apple to a mason jar.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spiced Oatmeal Muffins

I have been making muffins weekly lately & I have loved having them as snacks in the mornings! These were so good and very fall! Although I will probably hold off making these again until October/November they were still so tasty to have! I found the recipe on Five Heart Home & you can find it HERE.

The Bean made these with me and I was so happy to have my stylish little side kick baking with me!

She sported my chef hat with a little bow and a darling apron that we found on sale at Target! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa & Avocado Crema

This is one of my all time favorite meals! There is so much flavor going on in these tacos and they are so perfect for spring or summer! I found the recipe a couple of years ago on Carlsbad Cravings (one of my favorite foodie blogs!!) and I am never disappointed when I make it! You can find the recipe HERE.

The chicken needs to marinate for marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, but I typically prep the chicken the night before and leave it to marinate in the fridge overnight!
Prep the marinade in a container large enough to hold the chicken by adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Music for Monday: Surprise Yourself

I mentioned last week that I recently watched Me Before You and I loved the music in it so much! I read the book last summer and liked it, but found it heavy & very sad. The movie captures that same heaviness and sadness while also bringing about so much life, light and happiness! Today, I'm sharing another song from Me Before You!