Coming Home


I never really thought about what that word truly means. In high school, it was an excuse to dress up and have a date to the first big dance of the year. In college, it was a lot more exciting with floats and returning alumni.

But this year, it means I am coming HOME.

Photo organized by Ali Pabrinkis, Photographed by James Bonetti

I am beyond blessed to have the most perfect college experience I could have asked for. It was not free from problems, stress, major changes, tears, pain, or heartache. But the laughs, smiles, hugs, achievements, sisterhood, and joy more than made up for it. I can’t thank God enough for the memories and the opportunities that He gave to me.

I apologize for the lack of posting recently, but this week has been absolutely ridiculous. But in the end, I will have made it through knowing that I will be rewarded with some new memories that I’ll keep with me forever.

Insta-Friday 9.21.12

During a walk around town this week . . .

“Better keep yourself clean and brightyou are the window through which you see the world.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

The view from my classroom

This has been a rough week. I am beyond thrilled it is over and, even more so, thrilled to spend this weekend with the man I love. It could not have come at a better time…

Here’s to making it through.

life rearrangedPhotobucket

Cooking for One

I haven’t talked about food on this blog before…not quite sure why exactly, but I suppose I was fortunate not to have to cook too much for myself over the summer. Now that I am moved out on my own and fending for myself once again, I have been getting back into cooking and baking.

I thought it would be fun to share my favorite Pinterest recipes that I’ve tried recently. It is important for me to find recipes that I can tailor for only one person or that I can easily split into freezable or refrigerated meals to bring to school for the week. I’m a big fan of leftovers, but only when they can reheat well.

Planning meals for the week has saved me both time and money. I make enough to pack my lunches and I don’t buy (as many) random items at the grocery store each week. Eventually, I hope to get into a routine on Sundays where I make everything ahead of time, but let’s not get carried away…I’m still in survival mode :)

So here we go, Cooking for One:

Cook these three one-serving meals


This Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili was the first recipe I tried because I wanted to test my crock pot. Because I live so close to my school, making food with a crock pot is a feasible option for me. I can just load everything in the morning, set it on low, and stir it when I get home for dinner. Unfortunately, my crock pot was being a little iffy on low, but I was able to make this meal in a few hours on high and it was DELICIOUS.

The next thing I tried was this Monterey Chicken. Let me tell you, this is one of the fastest (but still very tasty) meals I have made so far. If you leave a few frozen chicken breasts out in your fridge to thaw during the day, you can make this meal in probably 10-15 minutes when you get home from work.

Finally, I tried this yummy cheesy zucchini recipe. I did not have squash or I probably would have added that, too, but it made for a few delicious side dishes that were easily reheated. It was a nice change from my typical breaded zucchini.

One thing I’ve really started paying attention to now that I am purchasing and cooking for myself is preserving food so that it doesn’t go to waste. As a result, I spend the necessary time packaging my breads and buns individually to keep fresh in the freezer.  I wrapped each in some plastic wrap, bagged them in freezer bags, and labeled them with the date. My next goal is to work on storing vegetables and fruit in the best way to keep them fresh as long as possible. Since I can’t afford a vacuum sealer, I am thinking about mason jars. Thoughts?

Hope you are all getting through your week unscathed! I know it has been a somewhat rough one for me, but spending the weekend with Aaron will make up for it completely :) Let me know if you have any recipe suggestions for one-meal dishes or those that freezer/reheat well! I would really appreciate it!


Teacher Tuesdays 9.18.12

Happy Teacher Tuesday, everyone! I hope you are having a good start to your week. I know that I am itching for the weekend to get here already! But since we have to wait, we might as well share some good content!

I thought it might be fun to show you some awesome book covers I found maybe a year or so ago that I thought were brilliant. They were created by and shared by Sarah Enni and Tracey Neithercott. Check them out:

 And my personal favorites:

You can get them printed on 11 x 17 inch tabloid paper and it should fit most YA books! Click the pictures to go to the post to download them!

I felt so inspired that I created my own FREE printable book covers to share with all of you.

Download the pdf Flipside

Download the pdf Hashtag

Enjoy! Now, let’s see what you teacher creatures are up to this week! Link up your teacher outfits, crafts, lesson plans, ideas, and printables!

Want to participate in Teacher Tuesday? Here’s how!

1. Write a post about something educational or teacher-y. I would love to see your teacher crafts, outfits, lesson plans, ideas, and strategies!

2. Copy and paste that link into the box below, add your information, and submit. Make sure the link is directly to your specific post, not just your blog!

3. Copy the html from the Teacher Tuesday button and paste it into your original post or on your blog where it can be seen!

4. Visit other participants and learn something new!

Hope you decide to join in!

The Modern Austen


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