Garlic Mustard Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Slices

Keep reading if:

1. you like delicious food

2. eating healthy sounds good

3. you enjoy cooking but don’t have a lot of time to cook

4. you do not enjoy cooking but want to eat something yummy

Are you still here? Great! Glad we’re on the same page. I made these flavorful, juicy Garlic Mustard Pork chops with Sweet Potato Slices tonight, and they couldn’t be simpler or more enjoyable. The meal took 5 minutes to prepare, and since it’s all cooked in the oven, all I had to do was set the timer to 20 minutes, take a shower, set the table, and voi la! Dinner is served.

*Note: do you store large kitchen items in your oven like I do? If so, make sure there’s nothing plastic in there before you preheat the oven…just sayin.


Create a Postcard in Canva

One of the things I loved doing since I was a child, traveling around the world with my family, is sending postcards. I would look at all the beautiful pictures and try to decide which postcard was best suited for its recipient.

Some of my favorites have been unique destinations, like Egypt and Turkey, classic spots like Italy, the Caribbean, France, Greece, and Ireland, and my childhood front runner, Disney. I loved sharing a quick note with family and friends, and the idea of sending an open-faced postcard instead of a traditional letter felt special.

While my travels may be on hold for a bit at this time in my life, I decided postcards don’t have to be reserved to exotic travels- in fact, I could create a postcard myself- so that’s what I did. You can create your very own postcards by using the easy-to-use, free program Canva.

No Teasing Zone

As I was modifying my classroom rules tonight in preparation for the first day of class on Monday, I’m slightly conflicted. While I’ve always strived to make my high school classroom a completely positive, focused, kind, and challenging environment, when you’re dynamically engaging with twenty-some personalities of teenagers, there’s bound to be deviation. In fact, regardless of age, it’s unrealistic to think you can have a 100% productive and respectful conversation in any group. I work in an incredible school that emphasizes college prep and independent thinkers. Although I teach British Literature, I take our school mission to heart and constantly push myself to learn how I can incorporate these values into my class. Instead of stagnantly remaining in the text and historical era of what I’m teaching, I look at the universal themes and see how they apply to issues we face today.

I love to discuss controversial topics; this gives me an opportunity to teach students how to discuss with passion and confidence while having an open mind and learning to actively listen to others. As we discuss these topics, emotions can get in the way or productivity, and people can react fervently without thinking.

Simply S’mores Waffle Recipe

S’mores have been the consistent, melty-chocolatey, crunchy, ooey gooey glue of my family for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my mom led my sister and me in Girl Scouts where we learned the art of toasting the marshmallow after carefully choosing our perfect roasting sticks after a long hike. We girls proudly built a campfire, sang songs, and told the ghost stories of Bloody Mary, The Babysitter, and Bloody Finger (from “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark-” high five if you know this book). While my mom is the master of the slow mallow roast achieved from patience and a steady rotation, marked by a beautiful smooth golden flush, my approach is more aggressive. I begin with the intention of the slow roast, and after about 10 seconds, thrust the marshmallow assertively into the fire for the ‘marshmallow fireball’ method. Characterized by its crispy black casing, the marshmallow fireball is a delectable addition to the s’more with its charred taste, appropriate for the most discerning palate.

Simply Spruced Up Side Pony

I’ve never quite mastered a great way to style my hair while wearing it down, unless I curl it- no matter what I do, it just sort of awkwardly hangs there and screams ‘blahhhh.’ I’ve tried blow drying it meticulously the way they do it at the salon, using the same products, and taking about 30 minutes until my arms feel like they’ve fallen off, only to be left with a slightly better, yet still frizzy, version of my uninspiring hair. I’ve tried setting it in Velcro rollers, the way I’ve seen models and celebs get ready, and somehow my hair turns out straighter, the rollers somehow sucking any body and volume from me.

While I could wear my hair in a normal pony tail every day and be happy, I wanted some simple, quick ways to perk up my pony, which is how I came up with the Simply Spruced Up Side Pony. Another favorite of mine is the Easy Everyday Bun– for both of these looks, all you need is a brush, hair tie, and a few bobby pins.

Everyday Skin Routine

*This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.*

Since I started blogging, I have reaped so many benefits. I feel constantly pushed to find ways to better myself, through inspirational bloggers I’ve networked with and through my desire to find honest ways to inspire my readers. In an effort to generate new blog topics, I figured I may as well search for ways to improve the things in my life I have been putting off, and at the top of my list was my skin. Instead of bouncing from one product to the next and never feeling satisfied with the results, I’m calling my new approach to my skincare routine my Hands On Hands Off approach- I know, I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but it makes perfect sense. “Hands On” means finally taking charge of my skin by having a consistent routine using products I have researched and that have been recommended by skincare professionals.