Monthly Archives: April 2012

Big News!

Well here we are… 7 days, 8 posts and 462 hits later. We made it through our first week together and it was a pretty darn successful first week if you ask me! So many people have reached out to me and expressed how much they liked my blog. I just want to thank each and every one of you for your kind words. I started this blog as a hobby so it really means a lot to me that you all have enjoyed reading it so far. Hopefully I can keep the enthusiasm up with future posts. Here are some things to look forward to this week: my favorite new quote, a step-by-step DIY craft, cupcakes, Sigma brush review and a day with the Makeupnista.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post I have some news to share with you and that news is… I’m expanding! I created an email address specifically for this blog (beyondtheteachersdesk@hotmail.com). You can email me with any questions or concerns you might have that you don’t want to leave as a comment. I have also created a Facebook fan page and twitter account for the blog which are linked below.

I have another bit of news to share with you; I’m going to be doing a giveaway once the blog gets to 10,000 hits. I don’t want to reveal too much information right now but the first giveaway prize will be a bunch of my favorite things. After we get to 10,000 hits I’m also going to be doing a once month themed week (baking, craft, review, etc…) and at the of each week there will be a giveaway that ties into that weeks theme. I hope you will stay tuned for more details as we get closer to 10,000 hits.

Last but not least it’s my turn to get to know my readers a little bit better. I’ve attached a short poll so you have an opportunity to let me know what types of blog posts you’d most like to see from me.

If you’d like to subscribe to my blog there is a section on the right side of the page where you can type in your email address and you’ll be notified each time I put out a new post. Thank you all so much for reading and for your outpouring of support!

– Katie

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This or That

I decided to go back in time, pretend I’m in middle school again and complete a “this or that” survey in order for you all to get to know me a bit more. Here’s the results:

Math or English?

Math. I know, I’m a freak of nature.

Summer or Winter?

Fall.

Morning or Night?

Night but only because I have insomnia.

Full House or Family Matters?

Full House.

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee.

Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings?

I plead the fifth.

Black or White?

Gray.

Dogs or Cats?

Dogs.

McDonalds or Burger King?

I don’t really eat fast food but… McDonalds.

Cake or Pie?

Cake and then more cake and then more cake.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate.

Jocks or Nerds?

Nerds.

Cable or Internet?

Internet.

MySpace or Facebook?

Facebook.

The Simpsons or Family Guy?

The Simpsons (I tried to watch Family Guy once…
could not do it).

Coke or Pepsi?

Neither, I don’t like cola.

Batman or Superman?

Batman.

Fantasy or Reality?

Reality, I’m a realist.

Comedy or Horror?

Comedy, I do notttt do scary movies.

Pancake or Waffles?

Breakfast. Period.

Baked or Fried?

Baked (but secretly choosing fried).

British Accent or Australian Accent?

Australian! No competition!

Hamburgers or Hotdogs?

Hotdogs.

Salt or Pepper?

Salt, I cannot stand pepper. Yuck!

Grape Jelly or Strawberry Jelly?

Grape jelly.

Boxers or Briefs?

Boxer-briefs.

Amazon or Ebay?

AMAZON!!!

TV Shows or Movies?

TV shows.

Pen or Pencil?

Pen.

Phone Call or In person?

In person. I HATE talking on the phone.

Video Games or Board Games?

Board games. Love me a game night!

Shower or Bath?

Bath then shower (baths are dirty).

Rain or Snow?

Rain, no shoveling involved.

Pixar or Dreamworks?

Pixar.

American Idol or The Voice?

The Voice.

Rock or Rap?

Rap.

Ketchup or Mustard?

Depends on what kind of food we’re talking about.
Hot-dogs – mustard, never ketchup.
French fries – ketchup.
Cheeseburgers – both.

White or Wheat?

Wheat.

Love or Money?

Love.

Movies or Reading?

Movies, but at home movies. I’m not a big movie
theater kind of person.

Car or Motorcycle?

Car.

Michael Jackson or Elvis?

Michael Jackson.

France or Italy?

Either. I love carbs so I won’t discriminate where I eat them.

Gift Cards or Cash?

Cash.

Paper or Plastic?

Paper. So I can recycle it when I’m done!

Santa Clause or Easter Bunny?

Easter Bunny, they bring baskets full of candy.

Lucky Charms or Trix?

Lucky Charms.

Mayo or Miracle Whip?

Ew and ew!

Pickles or Olives?

Pickles. Sweet pickles, not dill… YUCK!

Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew?

Dr. Pepper.

That’s all for now! Be sure to check back tomorrow for some BIG NEWS and a chance to tell me what type of posts you’d most like to see from me.

– Katie

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Ben and Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt Review

A few weeks ago Ben & Jerry’s released their much anticipated Greek frozen yogurt. I wanted to try a flavor or two since there is so much hoopla going on about it. But I haven’t had a chance until a few days ago when I finally made it to a grocery store. I picked up two of the mini containers because they are perfect for taste testing and also budget friendly (budget friendly for taste testing only. If not, they’re a total rip off!). The two mini containers cost less than $1.50 each; about the same amount it would have cost me to try a single pint size container. Ben & Jerry’s Greek frozen yogurt comes in 4 flavors: Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Banana Peanut Butter and Blueberry Vanilla Graham.

More info here

The flavors I picked out were Banana Peanut Butter, because I loveee peanut butter, and Raspberry Fudge Chunk since it was the only flavor with chocolate in it.

I love yogurt, I love frozen yogurt, I hate Greek yogurt, but apparently I… like Greek frozen yogurt! (Ben & Jerry’s anyway…) Their version of this up and coming treat was surprisingly not bitter at all for being made with Greek yogurt and for that reason alone I’m giving Ben & Jerry’s Greek frozen yogurt 4 stars.

I’ve only had a chance to try the Banana Peanut Butter flavor so far and it was delicious! This flavor is definitely up to par with what you would expect from Ben & Jerry’s. Immediately upon opening the carton you can see the thick peanut butter swirls mixed in with the banana Greek frozen yogurt. Both flavors are extremely strong (as most of Ben and Jerry’s flavors are), but if you love bananas and peanut butter this is the flavor for you! I would have liked there to be a bit more peanut butter mixed in but overall it was still good as packaged. Once I got my initial few tastes done I added in a bit of dark chocolate because bananas, peanut butter and chocolate are my winning combo! However, I was disappointed because the banana and peanut butter overpowered the chocolate and I couldn’t taste it.

Have any of you given this flavor or any of the other three flavors a try? Leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of it.

– Katie

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S’mores on a Stick Tutorial (Step-By-Step Instructions)

I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands this morning but I vowed to put up a new post everyday this week and that is exactly what I’m going to do. Today I decided I would try a new spin on something that is very near and dear to my heart, S’mores!!! Ladies and gents may I introduce to you… S’mores on a Stick!

What you’ll need*:

– Deep microwave-safe bowl
– Additional bowl
– Parchment paper
– Standard size marshmallows
– Lollipop sticks
– Candy melts or Almond bark
– Vegetable shortening
– Graham cracker crumbs
(or place regular graham crackers in a large Ziploc bag and
crush until the crackers become fine crumbs)

*Sizes/amounts depend on how many S’mores on a Stick are desired

Step 1

Place some chocolate in your microwave safe bowl and heat for 60 seconds (or just press the express one minute button like I did) then remove and stir. Continue stirring until all of the chocolate is melted together. Once you’ve stirred for around a minute you may notice that your chocolate needs more time. If so, don’t worry about it for now we’ll address that situation in step 3.

Step 2

Dip your lollipop sticks about half an inch into the chocolate, insert half way into the flat side of the marshmallow then set aside to harden. This ensures the marshmallow will stay on the stick during the dipping process.

Step 3

If all of your chocolate isn’t melted together yet continue the microwaving process at 30 second intervals (30 seconds in then remove and stir) until all the chocolate is completely melted (my chocolate usually takes about 90 seconds total but the amount of time will differ based on the power of your microwave).

Step 4

Once all your chocolate is melted and you’ve inserted the lollipop sticks into your marshmallows you will want to add some vegetable shortening (NEVER WATER) to the remaining chocolate in order to thin out it out a bit more (this makes the dipping process easier to manage). Only add a little vegetable shortening at a time because you don’t want your chocolate to become too runny (usually around half a teaspoon does the trick for me). At first it may look like the vegetable shortening isn’t melting completely but just keep stirring and I promise it’ll all mix in eventually.

Step 5 

Now that your chocolate is thinned out you can start dipping. I find it easiest to dip the marshmallows straight down and out of the chocolate. Go to step 5.5 and 6 before continuing on with the rest of the marshmallows.

Step 5.5

Once the entire marshmallow is covered in chocolate let the excess chocolate run off (this should take about 30 seconds or so). You may want to use both hands for this step; use one hand to hold the stick and the other hand to gently tap your wrist (or fingers, which is what I do). Vibrations from the tapping will help move the excess chocolate along faster than just holding the stick still over the bowl.

Step 6

Immediately after finishing step 5.5 you’ll want to sprinkle with or pat (I found rolling became too messy) the chocolate covered marshmallow in the graham cracker crumbs before the chocolate hardens. Once coated with graham cracker crumbs place the marshmallow on parchment paper to set. Repeat steps 5-6 until desired amount of S’mores on a stick are finished.

And here’s the finished product…

Well that was painless and only took about 25 minutes from start to finish to make 12 S’mores on a stick. I reallyyyyy hope you all will give it a try because let me tell you, these are DELISH! (I may or may not have already eaten 3 today) This is my first attempt at making them and I think I just found a new favorite treat! If you try it out let me know what you think, I’m always interesting in hearing other people’s opinions.

Give my tutorial a try? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear whether or not it worked out for you.

– Katie

I had some extra chocolate left over from dipping and when life gives me chocolate I… dip fruit in it!

P.S. All photos were taken with my iPhone 4s since I could easily work with one hand and take photos with the other so the quality isn’t the best but you get the point…

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21 Favorites at 21

My name is Katie and I have an obsession with obsessions. I’m the type of person that when I love something I want to go shout it from the rooftops and share it with the world. I’m constantly going to be sharing things I love with my readers and lucky for you I decided to start off by compiling a list with 21 of my favorite things at age 21.

Here we gooooo…
*sings* THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGSSSSS *sings*

1. CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara
Purchase here

This is the absolute best mascara that I’ve ever used in my entire life.  I have been using it since it came out a few years ago and I like it so much that I buy it in packs of 3 from Costco to stock up. I always recommend this mascara to everyone and anyone who is looking for a new mascara to try out. I naturally have extremely long eyelashes so for me this mascara is mainly used to darken my lashes (I use the very black shade), extend them a bit more and hold them in a nice curl. It’s not a very dramatic mascara. It has more of a natural look to it which is what I love about it. If you wanted a more dramatic look you could always just add on a pair of false lashes which would do the trick.

2. White iPhone 4s
Purchase here

One magical day last October when my contract was up I finally got the iPhone I had been longing for and my life hasn’t been the same since. I am addicted to this thing! I swear I don’t know what I did with all my time before I got my iPhone! I probably spend at least a few hours cumulatively on my phone every day. Which as I’m typing this out I’ve realized that is really unhealthy habit. Whoops… Word of advice: If you ever plan on getting anything done in your life DO NOT GET AN IPHONE!

3. Scratch Off Lottery Tickets

 Scratch offs are one of my many guilty pleasures. I tend to always buy the same kind, ICY HOT 7-11-21. Subconsciously I feel like those are my lucky tickets even though I know the lottery is a “luck of the draw” game. Raining on my own parade, whatever…

4. Crystal Light Pink Lemonade
Purchase here

This has been my everyday go to drink for over a year now. With only 5 calories a serving (8 fluid ounces) it’s wayyyyy better than the regular lemonade I use to drink which had upwards of 200 calories per bottle. I’d recommend this to any lemonade enthusiasts, like myself, who want to cut out a few calories and tons of unnecessary sugar from their diets.

5. EOS Lip Balm
Purchase and get more information here

I have been a Chapstick addict for as long as I can remember… that is until last year when I decided to give EOS (Evolution of Smooth) lip balm a try and let me tell you,  it definitely lives up to the hype! I love this stuff, which is why it’s on my favorite’s list duhhhh! If you’re like me and put some sort of lip product on your lips approximately a million times a day then I would highly suggest you give this stuff a try.

6. Cheese

I love cheese. Point, blank, period. I probably eat more cheese than any person should. Sargento is my favorite grocery store brand of cheese. I really like their new Colby-Jack thin slices, reduced fat Colby-Jack cheese sticks and light string cheese.

7. Tom Cruze
More information on the Chevy Cruze here

My favorites list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include my 2011 Chevy Cruze LT which I cleverly named Tom, Tom Cruze. I have a slight obsession with my car. Literally every single time I get into it I think to myself, “gosh, I really love this car.” That my friend is what you should feel when you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a car. If you don’t feel that, you did something wrong and should consider buying a Cruze *wink wink*

8. The Blind Side
IMDb here

I saw The Blind Side with my parents when it came out in theaters in 2009. I think I only said two things when we exited the theater, “wow, that was amazing” and “I think that just instantly became my favorite movie.” If you haven’t seen The Blind Side you are definitely missing out. It’s a true story based on the triumph and success experienced by Baltimore Raven’s offensive tackle Michael Oher.

9. Secret Va Va Vanilla Deodorant
Purchase here

Secret Scent Expressions deodorant in Va Va Vanilla is the only deodorant I have used for years. It could be a mind game but I feel that this is the ONLY deodorant that actually works for me. It smells amazing, does its job and does it well. If you’re looking to switch deodorants anytime soon I’d recommend you give this one a try.

10. Baking

I’ve always kinda, sorta liked baking but since the beginning of this year I just can’t seem to stop! So much so that even the guys at my step-dad’s shop are tired of eating sweets. Not sure how that’s even possible because I LOVE sweets! Which brings me to number 11…

11. Sweets

Sweets, sweets, and more sweets! Cookies, cupcakes, cake, ice cream, milkshakes, cereal, candy, and chocolate. I loveeeeee chocolate. Basically anything with an excess amount of sugar in it I LOVE! Except caramel, I never really got into that. Between my new-found love of baking and my old love of sweets I’m in big trouble!

12. Instagram

Instagram is hands down one of my favorite apps and the best part? IT’S FREE! Instagram is a photo editing and sharing app. I describe it as a kind of social network for pictures. Instagram is now available on both the iPhone and Android devices so go download it… right now! Ready? Gooooooooooooo!

13. Nail Polish

I have this problem where almost every time I go shopping I buy one or more new nail polishes. Needless to say I’ve accumulated around 100 or so bottles over the years. My favorite brands are OPI, Essie and China Glaze which range from around $6-$8.50 a bottle. I haven’t gotten a chance to try out ZOYA yet but hopefully I’ll be get a chance to try it soon and write up a review. For a cheaper alternative I also really like Sinful Colors which are around $2 a bottle and (in my opinion) work as good as the more expensive brands but has a little less staying power. *Pictured above is my all time favorite nail polish color Below Deck from the China Glaze Spring 2011 Anchors Away Collection*

14. Disney

I love ANYTHING and EVERYTHING Disney… expect for the scary movies and that’s about all there is to say about that because I’m sure there is a character limit on these posts and I couldn’t possible begin to fit my love for Disney into whatever the character count limit is.

15. Music

Ahhhhh, music. What to say about music… I listen to music when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m annoyed and when I’m mad. I’m not the type of person that only sticks to one genre of music. I like everything from rap to alternative to country to R&B to oldies to a little bit of rock and roll. I often laugh at myself because when my iPod is on shuffle it’ll go from Brad Paisley to Disney music to Lil Wayne to the Hairspray soundtrack to Britney Spears to Gavin DeGraw and I’m able to sing every single song without skipping a beat. I’m just a music lover in general and I loveeeee getting music suggestions so if you have anyone you think I should check out leave a comment and I’ll definitely give them a listen.

16. Amazon.com

Where to start about my love of Amazon…… It’s a terrible but amazing favorite to have. You can save TONS of money by ordering things though Amazon. Most items ship for FREE (with a $25 or more purchase)  andddd you don’t pay tax on most items either. I order from Amazon AT LEAST 3-4 times a month. I actually have an Amazon order going in another browser as I type this out right now (letter fondant cutters and the book Thirteen Reasons Why… in case you were wondering). If you have never tried Amazon out before I’d suggest you get out from that rock you’re living under and look into it.

17. Coupons

Going right along with my money-saving Amazon favorite is coupons. I LOVE coupons! I’m not going to link this favorite to a website or expand too much on my coupon love on this post because in a week or so I’m going to go further in depth with all my coupon and other money-saving tips and tricks.

18. Strawberries

Strawberries are hands down my favorite fruit. The strange part is that when I was younger I didn’t even like the things! Man, what was I thinking… Now I like them in just about every shape and form. Plain as a snack, in smoothies, with whip cream, in ice cream and of course covered in chocolate!

19. Sweatpants

I. Love. Sweatpants. Being a nanny is great because I never have to wear real clothes. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I put on a part of jeans. Needless to say the majority of my wardrobe is from the Victoria Secret Pink line. You’re welcome Victoria Secret…

20. DIY and Crafts

I could go on forever and ever about crafting but I won’t bore you with all that since you’ll likely being seeing crafts I make, as well as, DIYs with step by step instructions on future blog posts. Get excited everyone!!!

Last but certainly not least is number 21…..


21. We’ll call her A for now

A little over 2 years ago my best friend gave birth to a healthy baby girl on January 6th. This little girl has absolutely had my heart since the minute she was born. She’s a wild and crazy girl (just like her mama! Shhhh… don’t tell her I said that!) but she’s also a little sweetie when she wants to be. I’m not even her mom and I can’t remember what life was like before her. She’s my little love so of course I had to include her on my favorites list! I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots of this little one on my blog so get used to seeing her cute mug now!

Well, those are some of my MANY favorites! That gives you a little insight into my life and who I am. Can’t wait to share more favorites with you all since I have a new favorite just about every week!

If you have any favorites you think I should try out leave a comment below so I can check it out.

– Katie

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Coming Soon…

Last year I came across a website that would forever change my life. That website is……. Pinterest! Pinterest is a magical website that sucks up all my time and takes my procrastination to a wholeee nother level. Since creating my Pinterest account I’ve taken on the task of recreating many of the pins that I liked. However, there is one re-creation in particular that stands out as my favorite craft I’ve ever done, my magnetic makeup board. After falling in love with the idea over and over again on Pinterest I decided it was time for me to take action and that’s exactly what I did. Here’s the finished product…

Almost as soon as I posted a picture of it on Facebook and Instagram I was flooded with others girls who LOVED what I had done and that got me thinking. Soooo last week I posed a question on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts….

After getting about 20 positive responses I looked into it all and good newsssss….

The magnetic makeup boards are a go! I’ve already started purchasing materials and the first batch will consist of 10 boards. Buying will be based on a first come, first serve basis. I don’t have a set price yet but once I finish purchasing all the materials required for each board I can come up with an estimate price. I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on the progress but this is all I’ve got for now. I’m really excited to get started and I hope you all will be pleased with the final products!

– Katie

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The Lucky One Review

This past Saturday after a longggg day of visiting my future alma mater, North Central College, for their transfer student day (I’m officially a Cardinal, YAY!) as well as running errands, my parents and I decided to head out for a movie night. Naturally this included having buttery movie theater popcorn with nacho cheese and candy for dinner… I didn’t hate it.

Yummmm!

Our movie choice for the night was… *drum roll*

The Lucky One!
(trailer can be found here)

The Lucky One is based on the novel The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. For those of you who haven’t heard of the movie here is a summary of the storyline from imdb.com:

“U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Discovering her name is Beth and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.”

Okay, now time for my review:

I really enjoyed this movie. It has the typical romantic storyline: boy and girl meet, boy and girl turn each other away, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get into a fight, boy and girl make up, end up together and live happily ever after. Overall, The Lucky One had a clear theme that was consistent throughout the movie. However, I did find that certain events in the movie felt a bit rushed; which I completely understand because if it wasn’t rushed the movie would have been 4 hours long. That being said, I had not read the book prior to seeing the movie and everyone knows the Cardinal rule: don’t see a movie if you have read the book first, it will ruin it for you! My mom on the other hand had read the book and wasn’t exactly pleased at how it played out on screen. After the movie she shared with me a bunch of the differences between the movie and the book which is part of the reason why I’ll give this movie 3 stars.

I’m giving The Lucky One 3 stars because not only is it very different than the book (based on what my mom shared with me) but it also felt rushed. Generally speaking though it was still an enjoyable movie and I would recommend it to anyone who is a sucker for a good love story.

Have any of you seen it? If so, what was your take on the movie?

Haven’t see the movie and want to? Click here for movie times in your area. Haven’t read the book and want to? Click here to purchase.

– Katie

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