Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun Friday: Back to School Edition!

I say I'm back, then I don't blog for 2 days--baaaad blogger :)

Well, Wednesday was the first day of school (and teaching at my new job). I've been teaching college students for two years and group fitness for almost seven, but I still get those first-day-of-school-jitters on the first day of a new class (academic or group fitness).

Did you know that it takes less than THREE seconds for someone to form a first impression of you and less than 30 for that impression to be set in place? AND, once that first impression is set in place, it can take MONTHS to undo/alter that impression! First impressions count--especially when your paycheck depends on someone else liking you as an teacher/fitness instructor.

For the first day of school, I packed my lunch--PB & J, banana, and rice-cake crisps.

I commute 40 minutes to work, so I leave the velcro rollers in until I get to work, I park and then take them out. Can you imagine passing me on the highway looking like this? :)

Fruit snacks for the "ice breaker" activity. Gotta bribe 'em early!

Thursday was Wes and I's FIVE year anniversary. I absolutely can't believe it's been five years already! We aren't yet married, but it doesn't bother me (yet lol). I joke with Wes and tell him that every year he waits to marry me, I'm mentally adding one carat to the engagement ring.

I'm just kidding with him. Ring or no ring--we've been through so much together and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else but this man who makes me laugh everyday. Awwww. I'll save the story of how we met for another day. It's a good one though ;)

Our first picture taken together. We had been dating one month. We look so young!

Us, two years later, where we fell in love--Charleston, SC.


For this Fun Friday's recipe, I'm sharing an after school snack fav--Chocolate Chip Cookies. This is my closely guarded, top-secret recipe (if you consider "top-secret" widely available on Allrecipes. lol). Okay, okay, so this recipe for chocolate chip cookies so soft they melt in your mouth isn't all that secret, but I've been making them for almost 10 years now and they've never met a tastebud that they didn't like!

The "secret" in the dough is a box instant pudding (unprepared), which gives the cookies flavor and fluff. You can use any flavor of pudding mix and chip: White chocolate pudding and white chocolate chips with cranberries is good. I've also done chocolate pudding with dark chocolate chips--delish! If you can find it, try using "cheesecake" pudding in the dough--heavenly!

I will warn you though--this cookie dough is highly addictive. Eat at your own discretion :)

Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Allrecipes)

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown. *NOTE: I've found 9-10 minutes is the best amount of time for these*
  4. Let cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to cooling racks.

I made this batch for my favorite Communication staffers/faculty and my PiYo class. Rave reviews! :)

I love my stand pink mixer. I've wanted this KitchenAid since I was 12 years old! It has seen many a chocolate chip cookie in its day.

For this week's Fun Friday playlist, I've got a good variety of up-tempo stuff for your listening pleasure. Click the hyperlinks to hear the song on YouTube.

1. Like It's Her Birthday by Good Charlotte
(I'm not even going to launch into how much of a GC fangirl I was back in the day, but their NEW single is pretty bi*chin')

2. Yeah Ya Know (Takers) by T.I.
(I have a feeling this one is going to be in heavy rotation this football season)

3. Bed Intruder Song by Antoine Dodson and The Gregory Brothers
(This viral YouTube/iTunes hit is all kinds of politically incorrect and just unethical, but its catchy as hell. You can see the original news story here)

4. Night by Night by Chromeo
(This recent electronic single is filled with 80's beats and goodness)

5. Turn on the Radio by Reba McEntire
(Gotta love that sassy red-headed county vixen! I was distraught when her TV show ended, but at least the re-runs are on every night of the week. This country song is catchy!)

Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend, friends! I'm getting these lazy, sleepy-time pups out of bed to take them for a walk, then off to school I go!

Q.O.D. (question of the day): What's your favorite "after-school snack?" Do you get "first-day" jitters at a new job or class? Have a song/video you're digging right now--leave a link the in the comments! I'm always looking for new music!


  1. My husband and I were together for 5 years before we got married. We even owned a condo together so sometimes being truly married really doesn't mean so much as a piece of paper. So, happy anniversary. Oh yes, 1st day jitters of course!

  2. Happy Anniversary!

    My favorite after school snack would be water crackers smeared with goat cheese and a glass of red wine.

  3. Those cookies look fabulous!
    I had no idea you taught at ISU - that's awesome! How crazy has it been in town since the students have been back?
    Happy anniversary:)

  4. Before I got married, I was with my man for four years. There's no need to rush marriage when you know that's who you're going to spend your life with. I was lazy about planning a wedding because we were already together, and nothing would change, but it's nice to take that step. Happy anniversary and good luck with your job : )

  5. Congratulations on your five year anniversary with your boyfriend. I am sure that you two are very happy together!! :)
    I also think that those cookies look amazing. I think that my mom might make a similar cookie. I LOVE cookies, so I might have to try those out!! :)