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Sunset.

Sunset.

It’s almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream. ~ Bern Williams

Sometimes you have a day, or several of them, when you just have no idea what on earth you are doing or why things are the way they are. Spend 10 minutes watching the sunset. Let it bring peace to your day, knowing that you survived it, no matter how crazy it was. Let it give you hope that tomorrow will be another day. Dream about the future, because tomorrow, you can make it happen.

Lunches made simple

I am NOT a morning person.  Which doesn’t really mesh well with the whole teacher gig.  So, I work really hard to make my mornings as easy as possible for myself.  If I wake up around 9, I can be showered and out the door by 9:45.  If I wake up at 5:30, I’m lucky to be out the door by 7.

So, about 3 years into teaching and waking up way before the crack of dawn, I decided I needed to stop attempting to throw a lunch together in the morning.  I started planning a bit in advance and now spend about 20-30 minutes on Sunday prepping lunches for the week, which literally makes it a “grab-and-go.”  Oh, and they are healthy AND delicious! Win!

All you need to get started are these Ziploc (or any brand) plastic containers (with 3 sections):

Click to find them on Amazon!

These are surprisingly durable and last a long time.  And they do not leak! (As long as you make sure to press the seal down tightly and they aren’t too old, sometimes they warp slightly after a while.)  I put them in my bag on their sides every day and have never had a problem!  I do hand wash them, so that probably helps.  We bought enough so we have one for each day of the week, that way we don’t have to make more lunches mid-week.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrot mix (or whatever your veggies of preference are)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Dressing
  • Lunch meat of choice
  • Fruit (we typically go with grapes or oranges, something that will last the week without browning or going bad).
  • Optional: hard boiled eggs

The key to simplicity is to buy the bag of pre-cut broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  We used to chop stuff ourselves but when we found this bag at Sam’s Club for about $6, it was just as expensive and PRE-CUT! Whew.

We lay out our 10 lunch containers and start throwing stuff in!

We put the main salad in the large part – I put the lunch meat in the smaller section and then the fruit in the larger section.  My hubs does the opposite because he wants more protein.  We used to add hard-boiled eggs (with the shell on, peel them when you are ready to eat) but found we didn’t have time to eat them during our 20 minutes of *sometimes* uninterrupted lunch and we weren’t really that hungry after eating everything else.  We also used to use cherry tomatoes but they got super expensive so we decided to just load up on everything else.  But obviously, you can use any veggies here.

Finally, once they are all stuffed to the brim with food, we add a small fork.  These cheap-o forks are from Sam’s Club as well.  Yes, we bought 800 of them because they fit so nicely into our containers:

Slap the lids on them, and voila! Lunches are made for the week.  The hard part, is now finding room in the fridge.  We save one crisper drawer for some and then manage to squeeze the rest elsewhere.

So, in the morning, I grab my lunch, put dressing on, and go.  If you work somewhere with a fridge, keep dressing there and you can skip that step as well!

I cannot tell you how much this process has made my life easier! No more complaining about lunches in the morning! No more grabbing a granola bar or PB&J to hope it lasts me through the day. These are healthy, filling, and delicious!

The total cost to make 10 lunches is:

  • Spinach = $5
  • Veggie mix = $6
  • Lunch meat = $12
  • Fruit = $4-6
  • Total = $29 /2 people / 5 days a week = $2.90/lunch.  Throw dressing in there and make it an even $3.00. Worth it.
  • *We buy all of our produce at Sam’s Club. You may be able to find it cheaper (well, not buy as MUCH anyway) but it’s just easier for us.  Then we use the extra spinach and veggies as sides with our dinner during the week.

I dare you to try it for a week, you’ll be hooked.  And when you get tired of salad, there are a ton of other things you can try.  Sometimes we do stuffed pitas, chicken salad, or just regular sandwiches.

If you try it, let me know what you think! (And don’t be too jealous of my amazing green counters. )

Detoxing, Day 2.

I survived day 2, barely.  I have never really felt hungry, in fact I am not doing the “snack” smoothie as the dinner portion is usually enough for about 26-30 oz so I can make almost two full smoothies from it.  The one thing I have had is an intense urge to chew.  Especially around dinner.  I could have eaten all of the ingredients on my own, but having to drink them was a challenge.  As I was cutting up the mango and avocado, there is a good chance I snuck a bite, or two.  🙂 But  I still drank my smoothie.

My husband is really trying to do this along with me but it is not his thing.  He is drinking the smoothies but eating some stuff as well – as long as I’m not around to yell at him 🙂

One thing I wanted to share was in addition to the smoothies, I also made a flavored water to drink along with them.  I adapted this from this recipe on Skinny Ms’ Website.

I took a large pitcher of water, added 1/2 of a grapefruit cut into chunks and about half of a cucumber.  I made this the day before we started so that it would have a nice flavor the next day. It is wonderful! I can see myself making this on a regular basis.  It is really lightly flavored.  The recipe called for more ingredients that I didn’t really have on hand and didn’t feel like going out to buy.  I didn’t add ice because I just kept it in the refrigerator so that it would stay cold.  I made 2 pitchers full and this is all that is left after day 2, so I think it is the perfect amount for 2 people for 3 days.   Even though it’s January, this would make a great water to keep on hand in the summer, refreshing, lightly flavored, all natural, and delicious! 

Almost done!

Well, hello there!

I have been staring at my screen for about 5 minutes now.  Wondering, how does one start a blog exactly? Seeing as I couldn’t exactly figure out an answer, I did what any normal person would do… I googled it. And found this article on how to write your first blog post.  So… here we go.

1. Who are you? I am a 30-something teacher (of español) living on the east coast.  I am married with a dog, who might as well be my kid because I love her to pieces. Oh, and my husbands not too bad either!  I absolutely love learning and teaching… and I am constantly dreaming of all of the things I would also love to do if I had a billion dollars.  Most of those dreams revolve around traveling and meeting all of the amazing people that are in the world. So, my blog learn.teach.dream came about.  Three things you should never, no matter how old you are, stop doing.

2. Why are you blogging? For fun? I love my job and not a day goes by when I don’t sit back and laugh at the wonderful and ridiculous things I do in any given day.  Several people have told me they love my facebook posts so I thought I would expand a bit.

3. What will you be blogging about? You mean you haven’t figured this out yet? Probably about school, but don’t expect a daily recap of every day.  I don’t have time for that.  Moments I love and moments I hate will probably make the blog.  I will not post what I have for lunch every day (but I will some days).  I will probably also post pictures I have taken because, since I didn’t mention this earlier, I love photography.  I will also probably post a lot about my pup, because she is awesome.

4.  How can I leave feedback? If you are reading this blog and can’t figure out how to hit the “comment” button below… then maybe technology just isn’t for you.  Kidding.  But feel free to comment on my post.  I love feedback. If you have a funny story to share or have experienced something similar to my post, feel free to post it! It’s nice to know I’m not alone sometimes.

Well, that wasn’t so bad.  I leave you with a picture I snapped of my pup this afternoon while we were frolicking in the yard.  Ok, not really frolicking.  Just getting the mail.

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