Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What a month...

Wow... these past few weeks have been crazy and exciting. Here are the highlights:

1. Traveled to Franklin for Halloween.. highlights of the weekend include eating at Whiskey Kitchen (If you are ever in Nashville you MUST go here and get a fried green tomato BLT) and attending pumpkin fest!

2. Traveled to Dickson County to watch my Brother play football and my Dad coach! Go Dragons!! (Sadly they lost in the second round of the playoffs but I am very proud of both of them! They had a great season!)

3. Visited Memphis for .5 seconds. Well actually just over 24 hours but still managed to see a few of my favorites.

4. Left my second graders :(, but returned to my fourth graders :) My second graders threw me a surprise going away party.

Before I left, we also did the pumpkin math lesson plan that I mentioned. How fun!

5. Took my 2nd and 3rd Praxis tests to become a licensed teacher!! Wahoooo!!! One more in January!

6. Found a place for Bowers and I to live!! (WAHOOOO. Bowers got an amazing job at Pilot Corporation in Knoxville doing finance so we are no longer long distance :D) He has already moved in and I am so excited to be able to see him everyday. His home and my future home is a two bedroom, two story townhouse with wood floors! It was built in the 30s and I love the character that the building has. I will post pictures once I have it somewhat decorated. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that being in grad school (aka no income) allows for very little in the decor department. I am trying to talk Bowers into a decoration allowance.. we will see how that goes. Here is a preview:

I am super excited about  Christmas garland on the railing :) I'm a nerd

7.  My mentor teacher that I am student teaching under has jury duty. Positive note= I actually get paid a mere $65 a day for being at school. Negative note= I miss my partner in crime and am trying to teach LONG DIVISION to fourth graders. No... I am not smarter than a fourth grader.. although I think I do a good job at tricking them.

I am looking forward to the first weekend in forever that I have NO PLANS!! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins

Currently, my apartment smells like chocolate chip pumpkin bread! If you love chocolate and pumpkin... you MUST make this bread ASAP. Recipe credit: Whitney Thompson

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup choc. chips (I used semi-sweet)
1 3/4 tsp. pumpkin spice (I found it at Kroger.. If you can't find it you can substitute 1/2 tsp. cloves, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ginger)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Sift dry ingredients.
3. Add everything else and mix.
4. Grease pan and fill half way. ( I used 2 mini loaf pans.)
5. Bake for 50 minutes.
6. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back to life.. Back to reality

Last Wednesday, I left for an amazing, much needed vaca with my Mom. I have never been to California before and I LOVED it. Highlights from the trip include: spending time with mom, walks, wine, seaside cycling class, a painting class, tour of Warner Brothers Studios (They were filming Hangover 2 while we were there!!), and walking around Rodeo Drive/ Beverly Hills. Here are some highlights:

Beautiful sunset the first night!

Central Perk on the Friends Set
 Beautiful Resort!
 Of course I had to find Frank Sinatra's hand prints!

Overall it was an amazing trip! After traveling all day Sunday.. it was very hard to get out of bed on Monday morning. The jet lag and torrential down pours did not make it any better. But this did...
They may not have spelled my name right... but it sure makes Monday mornings that much better when you get to work and see this. I am sad that I only have 2 more days with my second graders but excited to return to my fourth graders.

P.S. At the grocery store yesterday, I got really excited that food expiration dates were after my wedding date. But then I got to thinking that that could be kind of gross.. LOTS of preservatives since we still have 228 days!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


So.... I have a slight obsession with our band for the wedding! Here is a little preview of the SoulSations...

Dear June 11,
Please hurry.
Love, Brooke

Monday, October 18, 2010

This time in 2 days...

This time in 2 days..... I will be here....


That is what is getting me through this mound of grad school work that I should have been working on over fall break...woops. Obviously I still have not learned (blogging instead of research.. hehe). Someday I will learn. 

I could not be more excited about this fun girls trip that I get to go on with my Mom. More updates on the class field trip and my fall break trip to Franklin coming soon. Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The new addition to my class.....

Today my class had a new addition.......


YIKES!! So this morning.. my mentor left me alone with the students to get some things done in the office. I was going over morning work with my students and all of a sudden they yell RAAAAAAAAAAAAATTT!! I HATE rodents and was completely freaked out but being the mature adult (yeah right) I had to stay calm. All i wanted to do was stand on the desk until I knew the rat was gone but the day had to go on.. we had important things to do. So I tried to distract the students and get them back on task. No use... all day long anytime we passed someone in the hall they had to tell them that there was a rat in the classroom. Luckily there is only one more day until fall break. Hopefully our little friend will not be sighted again in room 215. 

On another hilarious note, we all know how nostalgic vol fans are about the golden year of 1998. I was not a vol fan until I came to college so I still don't fully understand the magic that occurred that year. I overheard my 2nd graders talking on the playground. Here is how the convo went down...

Student 1: Did you know that one year the vols were champions?
Student 2: Really?
Student 1: They did not even lose a game. It was in 1998, a great year.

These kids were not even born until 2002 but they are still nostalgic about the great 1998 season.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baby Tenley

Only a mere 6 days stands between me and fall break! Wahoo! And only 12 days until I head to Southern California with my Mom! My Mom won a trip through work and my Dad could not go so I get to :) This is where we are heading..

I have never been to L.A. or California for that matter so if you know of some fun things to do.. let us know. I CANNOT believe that I am 1/4th of the way done with grad school. Time flies when you are having fun (or SUPER busy). On Tuesday my cousin had a baby girl, Tenley. Isn't she precious!?!? I CANNOT wait to head home to Memphis to meet her.

Monday, October 4, 2010

You don't know Jacques!

Oh Mondays... how they make me wish Friday was here again. But on this gray cold fall day... I am trying to see the glue bottle as half full. This past week I left my beloved 4th graders to do an inner city rotation in 2nd grade. I had to get used to a new school, new mentor teacher, and new students. What an adjustment. But, I have loved getting to know the new students and enjoyed their many hugs (4th graders aren't big on the hugs).

Some of my fall favorites:


You don't know Jacques! - This nail polish makes me happy!!


You better believe that I busted these puppies out today. It was 47 degrees in Knoxville this morning!! While Bowers and Julie protest them... these shoes are cozy and comfortable. Oh how I love wearing them with leggings and a sweater dress.


Pumpkin everything!!!! I am making a lesson plan for using pumpkins with math estimation! Yay! Also, Julie and I are making pumpkin and chocolate chip bread this week! I will share the recipe and pictures once we make it :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Birthday Brownies

Thursday I was able to celebrate the 23rd birthday of this handsome fellow who will be my husband in 251 days :) (This picture was from his 20th birthday).  Luckily he was able to get off of work and head to Knoxville. While we have loved exploring his new hometown and my future hometown of Franklin, TN... this is what we feel about the long distance.. 

Regardless,  we had a wonderful time celebrating and spending time together. He was only able to stay for one night but we were able to squeeze in some QT. I made him his favorite dessert.. Peanut Butter Brownies. I got the recipe from The Milk-Free Kitchen Cookbook. 

Three 1- ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup margarine (blue bonnet light)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use peter pan)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9- by 9- pan. Set the unsweetened chocolate in the oven, remove it when melted. Beat the margarine, chocolate, sugar, and vanilla well together. Beat in the eggs, and continue beating until the batter is very light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together; stir into the batter just until well mixed. Add the peanut butter, taking care not to stir in very thoroughly- you want to leave streaks of peanut butter in the brownies. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. 

A secret... they taste better a couple of days later. 
This weekend was such a blessing.. the first weekend in  forever when I had absolutely nothing that had to be done. I enjoyed the farmer's market, time with friends, baking, church, and  a movie night. I hope you all had a restful weekend.

Still a faithful vol fan,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fried Okra.. A simple southern classic

My roomie Julie has introduced the world of Farmer's markets to me. This last rainy Saturday morning, Julie and I headed to Market Square in downtown Knoxville to get some goodies. We left with many yummy things including: organic chocolate milk, homemade rolls, green peppers, sweet potatoes, and okra. All for under $10!!! We decided it might be fun to fry okra (neither of us had ever fried anything before). So tonight, we found a recipe and it was easy, cheap, and SUPER YUMMY. The recipe can be found at ALL RECIPES.

Bon Appetit!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You know you are growing up when....

You know you are growing up when... the thought of plate and bowls excites you. This past week... we registered for our china. Bowers could barely hold back his excitement... I wish you could hear my sarcasm. Our experience registering could be a reality tv show. I wish you all could have seen us in Pottery Barn a few weeks back. Hil..arious. Anyway, Bowers wanted the most manly china in the store...While we did not end up getting Bowers' plates... my sweet Mom started Bowers a collection for his birthday. We ended up getting the Juliska in brown, white, and blue and we (I :)) am really excited about mixing the colors. Calli was super sweet to help register.
I can already tell that my cooking is going to taste better off of these plates!! Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday evening.

- Brittney S. Pears

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Today is officially the first day of my FAVORITE season and even though it is still 90 degrees in Knoxville, I am excited. Fall= crisp air, beautiful trees, football time in Tennessee, and PUMPKIN FLAVORED EVERYTHING!!! Pumpkin is my favorite flavor EVER and I was so excited to be able to get a pumpkin spice latte and muffin at Panera this past weekend. Two of my favorite people came to visit me this past weekend, Bowers and Caitlin. We had a great time despite the loss :(

This year, I am attempting to become domestic :) I have never been the best cook, but I really enjoy it! Last night I made chicken tetrazzini for some friends and it turned out great! It is super easy and affordable. I found the recipe at All Recipes. Too bad it is full of dairy (Bowers is HIGHLY allergic to all dairy products). I just love cheese and chocolate too much... so I am going to indulge as much as possible before my kitchen turns into a dairy free zone.
Happy first day of the fall!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A tribute to Coach

Tomorrow is the birthday of the best father a girl could ask for! I wish I could be in Memphis to celebrate!

Here are some pictures from Halloween circa 1992. A little preview for June 11th...

I love you Dad!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My new life.. as Ms. O'Neill

As of August .. let's be real.. my world was rocked. I became a 4th grade teacher (technically intern but who's counting... I am working on my masters' degree right now in elementary ed). For someone who hates change, this has been a hard transition from the college lifestyle (a la waking up at a casual 9:45 each day and getting to wear nike shorts and a t-shirt to class) but I am loving it more and more each day. The kiddies are great and make me laugh everyday. I love their honesty and excitement. Here are a few highlights from today..

teacher: "Were you listening to me?"
student: "Weeellll..... not the whole time." At least they tell the truth! :)

and another...

teacher: "What's the difference between jobs now and jobs before technology?"
student: "People used to do manual labor but now all they do is sit at desks and talk about car insurance."

It has been an adjustment but I am so excited about what this year has in store! I have already started coming up with ideas for next year when I become Mrs. Clement :) Can you tell that I am excited about my new name? I have attached pictures of the Clement Cash that I have been making for next year.

Yay!! Hope you all have a wonderful week and GO VOLS!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The beginning

So... here it begins. If you ask my roommate Julie, she would tell you that I spend more than a fair amount of time looking at blogs. Okay... maybe A LOT more than a fair amount of time. You name it... from friend blogs, to wedding blogs, to MODG and the pioneer woman. So I decided that I have a lot of blog worthy things in my life that I should contribute to the blog world.

With that..

I ordered the save the dates!!!!!!! YAY :) I have always had an obsession with paper and had the best time looking for save the dates. My amazing friend Michele was so sweet to take our pictures. She did such a great job that we had a hard time deciding what picture to use. You should check out her blog at I have attached the picture.. Let me know what you think. Also, for all you fellow paper lovers.. has amazing return address stampers and I am counting down the days until mine arrives.

Keep it classy san diego.