Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #44

It’s crazy to think it is already 8 pm on Sunday. Where did the weekend go?!

The fun this weekend sort of started Thursday night when I had a girls painting night with a few girls from small group. We all met up at Fear No Easel and did one of those painting classes. I was a little nervous my painting wasn’t going to turn out because I’ve never felt very artistic. BUT, I love how they all turned out!

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Friday I started coming down with a cold. Nothing like getting sick week 2 of the school year. But that didn’t stop our plans for the night. I first went out and celebrating surviving the first 2 weeks of school with some of my coworkers. Then Cody and I took Cooper on his first social outing! We all went to Waterfront Park for another movie night, this time it was Star Wars (the new one).

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And Uncle James came out to hang with Cooper!

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Saturday I woke up really stuffed up and just kind of lousy. So I spent a lot of the day lounging around and I think Cooper knew I didn’t feel good because he was so good and cuddled more than he usually does these days. It was really nice! But we had to get up eventually and clean the apartment before our evening plans.

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Our friends Alexa and Mitch just moved to Augusta and came into town for the night. We went out to dinner with them at Home Team then took them on a tour of King Street, ending up on East Bay by the harbor. On our way back to the car we stopped for some dessert! It was nice to spend some time with them since our wedding was the last time we saw them.

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Today we got up and went to church. Today’s message was about parenting, shaping the arrow. And honestly, it applied so much to my life. No, we don’t have any kids yet (well, aside from Cooper); however, I have over 80 kids in my life right now that I teach this year or are still around from last year. As their teacher, it is my job to shape those arrows, especially when some of those kiddos don’t have that model at home. Check out the message from today (it’s Part 3) because it can apply to anyone’s life! (The whole series has been great!)

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Before we left church we also got signed up as the leaders of Financial Peace University for our small group, which starts in a couple of weeks. I’m really excited to learn a lot from this study and to grow even more as a small group!

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After church we stopped at Target to pick up some pieces for our gallery wall we are doing in our living room. When we got home we did some lunch and I worked on planning and school work. Tonight we took Cooper on a walk, getting rained on the last part of it.

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Speaking of Cooper, this is my weekly funny from him. He was just sitting on Cody’s leg like that for a good 5 minutes. We love him so much!

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Questions for You:
What do you like to do when you have friends come to visit?
How do you get rid of a cold quickly?

P.S. Be on the lookout Tuesday for a reader survey! I would love some feedback from my readers now that I’ve been talking to y’all for over a year!

So this week’s meal plan is going to be a little sparse. Cody is gone 2 nights this week and we are going out of town Friday for Labor Day weekend. For a full meal plan, check out some of my past ones on my Food & Fitness page!

Sunday – Chicken Parm Pasta

Monday – Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper

Tuesday – Leftovers (on my own)

Wednesday – Quesadillas or Sloppy Joes (on my own)

Thursday – Spaghetti Squash Skillet or a Soup

Friday – Asheville!

Saturday – Asheville!

Last weekend we joined Planet Fitness and it’s been nice to have a lot more machines available for our use! 5:00 am comes really early but it’s great to already have my workout done before my day begins.

This week I still want to do some lifting but I’ll be listening to my body during my workouts. I’ll for sure be doing some cardio to at least be moving every day.

Monday – Cardio + Abs

Tuesday – Cardio + Legs

Wednesday – Off Day

Thursday – Cardio + Arms

Friday – Cardio + Full Body

What kinds of workouts do you do when you are sick with a cold??

Pins I Love

Pinterest is such an amazing resource! I use it for a lot of different reasons: to find recipes during meal planning, outfit inspiration, blogging tips, workouts, and many other ways. I use it to keep all of the great tips and resources from blogs I follow organized.

Here are 10 recent items I pinned that I love (click on the image to take you to the actual site of each pin).

I did this workout this morning and it was great! It works your entire body, using only your bodyweight. Plus, it’s quick and efficient, which I need so early in the morning.

Pins I Love

I’ve been using this site a bunch to find good Crockpot recipes. We started making Tuesday Crockpot Night to make it more convenient with small group.

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Sometimes I wish we had a full house so I could put the farmhouse stamp on it. I love the look of a farmhouse, especially inspired by Chip and Joanna Gaines!

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With fall around the corner, I am in love with all things sweaters, boots, and scarves (even though it won’t feel like fall here in Charleston until probably November). This pin gives you 20 fall outfit ideas.

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I am wanting to organize our bathroom better after watching videos courtesy of Alejandra Costello. Hoping this pin gives me some inspiration.

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Finally, I’ve had the travel bug ever since we went on our honeymoon. This pin makes me all smiles with it’s bright colors and picture perfect destinations.

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For more pins, check out my Pinterest boards here! I also have a teacher Pinterest for those fellow teachers out there!

Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #43

My first weekend of the school year is officially coming to an end. I hope y’all had a great weekend! We had a nice mix of plans and down time.

Friday after work I met Cody at his work before we headed to the Riverdogs game with his company. We had some good picnic food and enjoyed hanging out!

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After we left the game, we headed over to our friends Chris and Katie’s place for a night swim and to hang out. The guys did a bourbon tasting while us ladies chilled on the couch.

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Saturday after feeding Cooper at his usual time, I was able to sleep in since we had a really late night Friday. We made omelettes for breakfast and laid around the house until we went to check out Planet Fitness. After the tour, we decided to officially become members.

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Saturday night was date night! We had supper at Lewis BBQ downtown, a new addition to the BBQ scene in Charleston. Their brisket is amazing! The sausage was good but a little spicy for my taste. Overall it was a good experience!

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After we filled our bellies, we went and played some mini golf at Charleston Fun Park. And as always, Cody beat me, but only by 2 strokes.

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We wrapped up our date night with frozen yogurt for dessert. I got a mix of white chocolate mousse and mountain blackberry with some Kit Kats and Oreos. YUM!

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Later Saturday night we invited our friends Chris, Katie, and James for a night swim at our pool. It was fun to finally be able to do that in our pool!

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Today started out with an amazing message about marriage at Seacoast! Everyone should go to their site and listen to it!

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The rest of the day was pretty typical. We played with Cooper, did a workout (at PF), meal planned, did some school work to get ready for this week, and relaxed.

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It was a really nice weekend and I’m now rejuvenated for another great week at school.

Here is another adorable pic of Cooper from this weekend to end our recap!

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Questions for You:
What did you do this weekend?
What is your go-to date night?

Here is our meal plan for this week. We decided not to go get groceries for the week, so I had to work with what we already had in our kitchen.

Sunday – Homemade Pizza

Monday – Turkey Walking Tacos

Tuesday – Crockpot Cheesy Chicken & Rice with Peas

Wednesday – Egg Burritos

Thursday – Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Friday – Chicken Parm Pasta

Saturday – Wine Bar Date

As for fitness this week, I am starting in full force at Planet Fitness. I’m planning on going with our friends Gracie and Trevor in the early mornings. Not sure what I’ll do for workouts, but I’m sure I’ll take ideas from my Being Fit Pinterest board. Check it out for ideas for yourself!

Year 2 Classroom Tour and Teaching Goals

Yesterday was officially our first day back to school! It was a great day and I have a good feeling about this school year. I wanted to share with y’all a tour of my classroom as well as my goals for this year.

I set up my desks a little differently this year, and there is truly no bad seat in the room. I went for the more flexible seating, providing a variety of choices for the students, which will also help when the students are working on different things in a unit and need different types of help.

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I divided my left whiteboard with washi tape for areas like Announcements, Agenda, Homework, and Standards/Essential Questions. I kept my right whiteboard open for if I need to write directions or note take with the students (this board is easier to see for most of the room).

Above the whiteboards, I printed our geography standards on orange paper to add another pop of color but also to make the standards transparent to the students. Plus, it makes it easier to reference them when all you have to do is point at them.

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Next to my whiteboard is my only bulletin board in the room. I used a world map as the backdrop and put some of the postcards I’ve collected from my travels above it. Eventually, I would like to make the map more interactive as we go through the regions in the class. At the bottom of the bulletin board, I’ve tacked on things the students would need to reference.

I was excited to have a teacher desk be moved and have this table available for use. I decided to make it more of a student center where they will turn in their work, collect missing work, and access any supplies they might need.

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This “Were You Absent?” binder comes from Eat. Write. Teach. I’ve used it in the past and it seems to work! Plus, I love the binder I put it in this year🙂

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Instead of making another big poster and cluttering up my walls, I decided to make this little sign next to the turn in trays for things the students can do if they finish early.

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Under the front table there is a set of drawers. In those drawers are supplies the students can access and use like calculators, erasers, notecards, clip boards, band-aids, etc.

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Next to the door I keep important documents like the schedule, grading scale, and classroom expectations so they are easy to access. This year I also decided to put a small whiteboard next to the door to have students sign out on when they leave the room.

P.S. I love my little chalkboard signs!

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On the other side behind the door, I put hung out folders for exit slips. These are to rate their understanding of the content for the day. I don’t do these slips every day but I try to do them a couple of times in each unit.

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I set up my teacher area a little different this year. The desk was switched out and I added the document camera cart, which freed up space on my desk because the printer is on top of the cart. I put the recycling bin behind my desk to avoid students putting food wrappers in there. I also put a student desk at the end of my teacher desk for when we do student conferences.

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This is behind my desk. I really like how this is set up compared to last year. I feel like I have more surface space. Also, I’m still in love with that map!!

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This last area is a space I was more excited to incorporate. I wanted to make it feel more homey in my room so I purchased two bungee chairs, a couple of throw pillows, and a small rug to create a lounge/reading space. The green ottomans were part of the room last year but felt out of place by themselves. Yesterday, the kiddos were really excited to know they could sit in them🙂

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The cabinet behind the chair is also an area where the students can access. It holds extra supplies for them if they need it, art supplies for projects, and books for them to borrow and read. And the cabinet is easy to access with just a scooch of the chair.

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I am very happy with how my room turned out! I definitely want to be in there doing work and I’m excited to share the space with my students this year!

Speaking of work, here are my teaching goals for this year:

  1. Stay firm and consistent in my classroom management
  2. Incorporate more engaging and collaborative activities in my lessons
  3. Contact every parent before Open House (which is some time in September)
  4. Have all copies and presentations done by the Friday before
  5. Keep working at home to only one night a week and don’t stay later than 5 pm any day – this means utilizing every planning minute before and after school and during my prep period
  6. Update grade book weekly
  7. Do more checks for understandings and conferences to catch issues early on
  8. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to other team members

But most importantly… enjoy the school year, get to know the students, and continue to grow!

Questions for You:
How do you decorate your classroom?
What are your non-negotiables?
What are your goals for this school year?

Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #42

Sorry I was little MIA last week. It was a crazy week with getting ready for the school year to start back up tomorrow. As I sit down to write this post, I feel ready but still have those first day back jitters. Just leaving it up to God and planning on having a great day tomorrow🙂

I wanted to make sure we had a great weekend before heading back to school!

Friday started off great with heading over to Home Team to celebrate a co-workers birthday. Then Cody and I went out to Waterfront Park under the Ravenel Bridge for a movie in the park. This week’s movie was Space Jam! Classic. We got there early to grab some grub and listen to some music. Our friends James and Allie also joined us for a nice night.

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Saturday started off early for me. I went into school to do all of my copies for the week and put my finishing touches on my classroom. Look out for a full classroom tour this week! Here’s a sneak peek for now.

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In the afternoon, Cody and I headed out to Isle of Palms for some jet ski fun. We hadn’t been out on jet skis in several years and we missed it. We were able to go crazy in the bay before riding 15 miles up the Intracoastal Waterway to Capers Island and hang out on the beach for a bit before heading back.

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Saturday night started out chill with some egg sausage casserole for supper (Cody’s favorite breakfast food!) and hanging with Cooper then we were invited out with some friends to watch some preseason football and Olympics at DIG in the Park, a great restaurant in North Charleston.

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Today we heard a great message at church about how each family is imperfect behind the picture perfection on social media, pulling examples from the Bible as reference.

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The remainder of the day was pretty typical with grocery shopping, lunch, and planning on my part.

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In the middle of all the usual business, I was able to get together with a few of my girls from small group for some pedicures. This pampering felt great right before a new school year begins! It’s easier to take care of your students when you take care of yourself first.

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I also want to give a shout-out to my amazing mom. It’s her birthday today!! I was able to chat with her earlier today and I hope she’s had a great day, she deserves it!


And, here is your weekly dose of our cutie Cooper. He’s been in a biting phase lately. Any tips to help him learn to listen and to stop??

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Questions for You:
What did you for fun this weekend?
What is part of your typical routine on the weekends?

Here is our meal plan for the week. I’m planning on doing some Pinterest workouts this week, give myself a break from the bootcamp workouts.

Sunday – Hamburger and noodles

Monday – Vegetable beef and rice soup

Tuesday – Crockpot chicken, potatoes, and green beans

Wednesday – Turkey meatloaf and asparagus

Thursday – Turkey dogs and sweet potato fries

Friday – Riverdogs game

Saturday – Homemade pizza

Five Favorite Restaurants in Charleston

There are hundreds of restaurants in Charleston and the surrounding towns, and more being added all the time with the growing population. We have been in Charleston for a little over a year and have been to only a handful. However, there are places that have become some of our favorites and today I’m sharing about five of them.

Five Favorite Restaurants in Charleston

  1. Hall’s Chophouse – We have loved going to this restaurant for special occasions like my birthday and Cody’s birthday last year! Why we like it? The steaks are delicious (and from the Midwest), you can’t beat their sides, and the atmosphere they create is amazing!
    Hall's Chophouse
  2. 5Church – We have only been here once, a couple of weeks ago with some friends, but it left us speechless. The food on their menu is different but delicious. The drinks are excellent. And the fact that they’ve turned a historic church into a restaurant is super cool!
  3. Page’s Okra Grill – This Mt. Pleasant restaurant is the #1 breakfast place on TripAdvisor and for good reason. We’ve been there a couple of times when our parents are in town and it always leaves us wanting to come back. Their flavors and mix of classics with trends are delectable. And their portions for the price do not disappoint!
    Page's Okra Grill
  4. Smoky Oak – There are SO many BBQ choices to pick from, and as much as I’ve talked about Jim n Nicks in the past, I let this one be husband’s choice. I’ve only been to Smoky Oak once last fall, but Cody has been back again and stands by their meat being the best! I especially love their smoked sausage and pork. There is a new BBQ place in town, so we’ll see if it gives Smoky Oak a run for its money.
    Smoky Oak
  5. Yamato – This Japanese restaurant has been enjoyable every time we go and never leaves us hungry! I love hibachi grills because they provide entertainment, give you multiple courses of yummy food, and usually leave you with leftovers. I really like this grill because they even include sherbet for dessert with their meals🙂

Bonus for Dessert… Carmella’s! I love their desserts for sure! It is comparable to Kaminsky’s but we’ve been here more. We’ve tried a few different desserts and they are all delicious!

Question for You:
If you live in or have visited Charleston, where is your favorite place to eat??

Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #41

Hope everyone has had an enjoyable weekend! We certainly have had some good times this weekend.

Friday my weekend started earlier in the day with some tax free weekend shopping with my friend Gracie. We headed to Old Navy for some good deals and some new Pixie Pants (my fave!).

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We also stopped into Target to pick up a couple of things, including some lounge chairs to add to my classroom.

Friday night Cody met up with some of the guys from small group to visit a couple of breweries in town while us ladies got together at our apartment for some wine, snacks, and girl chat while we watched the Olympic opening ceremony.

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Saturday morning I started my day with a coffee date with a fellow blogger and Iowan turned Charlestonian, Rachel from The Latte Budget. After that I headed to Walmart to pick up school supplies I needed for this school year and also checked out some pillows and rugs to add to the lounge area of my classroom with the chairs from Target. I still have a few things to pick up but I’m pretty much set on supplies for the start of the school year.

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The rest of Saturday was pretty chill with a workout and some usual planning every weekend has.

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We ate some yummy crispy cheddar chicken and green beans for supper then took Cooper for a nice long walk. (Made a little too much sauce and needed to use it lol)

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After our family walk, Cooper was worn out and cuddled with us while we watched some HIMYM. Officially into Season 8!

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Today we decided to watch the early church service online so we could head to Sullivan’s Island for some beach time before it got really hot.

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We came home in time to make some lunch then this afternoon has been nice to hang out, watch some Olympics, and work on the blog. Remember to check out and like Passionately Southern’s Facebook page!

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Tonight we are going to video chat with both sets of parents, which is awesome! And I’m hoping to head to bed at a decent time since tomorrow I head back to school for our week of inservice before the kiddos come back to school.

To wrap up, here is your weekly dose of Cooper! I took this Friday night when he was hanging out with the ladies. How cute is he?!

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Questions for You:
How do you spend the last part of the summer?
What is your favorite thing to watch at the Olympics?
If you are a teacher, how do you prepare for the upcoming school year?

Here is our meal plan for the week:

Sunday – Spaghetti

Monday – Gnocchi and Chicken Sausage Vegetable Skillet

Tuesday – Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday – Crunchy Taco Homemade Hamburger Helper

Thursday – On our own (I have freshmen orientation at night) … maybe pizza??

Friday – Egg Sausage Casserole (my mother-in-law’s recipe)

Saturday – Vegetable Beef and Rice Soup

I think I’m going to give my bootcamp workouts a break for a bit and for my workouts I will do a mix of cardio, TurboJam, Zumba, and weight lifting. Cody and I are going to do a trial at 9 Round Kickbox Fitness to see if we like it. We are also considering becoming members at Planet Fitness to have a place away from home to work out.

I’m also going to go back to tracking my food and macronutrients with MyFitnessPal (friend me if you use the program!) to get back into a healthy lifestyle as school starts back up.

Any meals on your plan you are excited about this week?