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,