I’m Back!

I have to say, I started this blog, and then I promptly allowed it to fall into extreme neglect. What can I say, though? Life got busy, and it just was feeling a chore…another thing that I “had to do.”

I’m kind of thinking about what direction I should continue in if I start posting again. I definitely want to keep writing about school and teaching tips. I don’t know if I’m so thrilled about writing about healthy eating and exercise, although I think those are important things.

So, for now, I don’t know. Hopefully, it’ll sort itself out.

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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

I promised late last week that I would post all about the chocolate chip cheesecake recipe that I planned on making to bring to work on Friday. I’m now back to share that I did, in fact, make it, and it was a huge hit! It was mostly gone by the end of the day.

Weight Watchers Points per slice: 6 values


  • 10 Oreo cookies
  • 8 oz. fat free cream cheese
  • 8 0z. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (skim or fat free)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees before you start prepping the batter!

oreoscrushed oreos


First, you want to crush up the Oreo cookies and use them to coat the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Don’t try to use a regular 9 inch cake pan for this–buy a real springform one! I ordered this one off Amazon.com and it works great. Be sure to coat the pan with cooking spray before lining the bottom with the Oreos.

cottage cheeseNext, throw the cottage cheese into a blender or food processor, and liquefy it so that all the lumps are gone. It doesn’t take very long if you use the maximum setting. My blender actually has a liquefy setting! How convenient! ;)

ingredientsmixingThen, you want to mix both cream cheeses, the cottage cheese, the flour, the sugar, and the vanilla and almond extracts together in a medium mixing bowl on the lowest mixing speed.

egg whitesbatterStir in the egg whites, and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. This is what the batter looks like after everything is all blended together!

finished batterPour batter into the springform pan over the Oreo cookies, and then top with the remaining 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. It’s not even baked yet at this point, but it looks so good! :)

finished cheesecake

The finished product! ;)

Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. After it is done in the oven, remove it and cool completely on a wire rack. Allow at least 2 hours to make sure it gets completely back to room temperature.

Once cooled completely, pop off the sides of the springform pan and cut into 12 pieces. After you are done cutting, cover and refrigerate overnight. It definitely tastes the best served chilled rather than at room temperature.

I had never made cheesecake before attempting this recipe, and it was very easy for me and turned out perfectly. It was a huge hit with my coworkers.

Now that you’re all drooling over dessert, tell me what your favorite dessert recipes are! I’m always looking for new things to try in the kitchen. Let me know. :)

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Weigh-In Wednesday

I just realized that I’ve only updated once in the past week–oops! Sorry about that. However, I can promise you that either tomorrow night or Friday, I’ll be posting about making Chocolate Chip Cheesecake. I spotted it on the Weight Watchers web site, and I’m going to try it out since my coworkers and I decided to do a dessert buffet at lunch time on Friday. I don’t want to miss out on that, so I’m going to bring a points friendly option in. It’s supposed to cost just 6 points for a slice of creamy goodness, so I’m anxious to see how well it will turn out. :)

Now, onto what you are all waiting for!

This week, I posted a 3 pound loss from last week! Wooohoooo! I did much better with tracking, but I’ll come clean and admit that I did go a bit over. Just a tad. Not nearly as much as last week though. This week’s goal? Not to go over at all! Baby steps. ;)

Just for fun, here is a log of what I’ve eaten today:

Breakfast: 2 Eggo waffles, 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance Light spread, and 1 tablespoon of pancake syrup. 7 points.

Lunch: 1 Lean Cuisine Three Meat Deep Dish Pizza, and a carton of 1% milk. 13 points.

Snack: 1 cup of Trix cereal with 1/2 cup skim milk. 4 points.

Dinner: 1 cup of whole wheat spaghetti with 1/2 cup Ragu tomato & basil sauce. 5 points.

Today’s Total: 29 points!

My daily target is actually 31, but seeing as I don’t have anything on hand right now that is only two points, I guess I’ll be stopping at 29, or maybe using a couple flex so I can have a snack tonight.

Hopefully, this week, I will write a lot more. Stay tuned!

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Pizza Hut

Last night, I had the pleasure of navigating Pizza Hut while counting Weight Watchers points. I have saved most of my Flex points for this purpose, realizing early in the week that we would not know until the very last minute on Friday night where we would be eating. Therefore, I wanted to have as many as possible available in case it wound up being somewhere that would require a lot of them.

I didn’t know the PointsPlus values of anything I ate there, but I kept track of what I had and as soon as I got home I opened up my laptop and plugged them all in. This is what I ate (and, I apologize for the stock images, as I didn’t think to take my own photos of the meal):

Meat Lover's Pizza

Two slices of traditional crust Meat Lover’s Pizza: 16 points total (8 points per slice)

Pizza Hut Salad Bar

Salad bar, with Italian dressing: 4 points

Pizza Hut Bread Sticks

1 1/2 breadsticks with marinara sauce for dipping: 6 points

Total for the whole meal: 26 points! (I had to come back and edit this–I can’t add!)

Not so bad for what I thought would absolutely slaughter my remaining PointsPlus values.

I’ve also found that many times if I eat out not knowing points, then come back and plug them in, it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Just some food for thought (har, har) if you’re one of those people tempted to not track food intake at restaurants.

Now, for the rest of the weekend, and then Monday and Tuesday next week, I need to try and get in some activity points, and continue to diligently track. I’m really, really hoping I can post a loss this coming Wednesday.

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Sigh. This week was Weight Watchers fail. This is pretty awful, isn’t it? Week one and I gain 0.8 pounds? :(

Actually though I’m going to try to look at the positive: even though I ate too much, I tracked every last point of it. So, at least I know how much I overate by. I also know that I need to exercise. I haven’t really made much of an effort to get moving, so that needs to change starting now! I also overate big time last night (Tuesday) so my weight is probably artificially high for my weigh-in. Oh well.

This week is going to be a challenge. I have plans Friday where dinner out will be involved, but we aren’t deciding until the last minute where to eat. So, I’m definitely saving all my flex for the weekend. Saturday I’m supposed to be eating lunch out too, so I’m really going to have to just bear down and do the best I can, and track.

I think I’m going to make a deal with myself though–if I work out at least 3 days a week through the end of April, maybe I can let myself take CrossFit classes starting in May. I used to do CrossFit and it was awesome. I really miss it, but I want to make sure that I’m committed to exercise before I start investing hard earned dinero into it. ;)

Anyway, here’s to a much better week ahead! Sorry for the letdown, readers. :(

Posted in Exercise, Food, Weigh-In Wednesday | Tagged | 2 Comments

Teacher Tuesday: Winding Down the Marking Period

Most of what I know about teaching has come from experience. I feel that college prepared me well, but there are a lot of things that I didn’t learn. For example:

  • You don’t have to teach something new every single day.
  • It’s OK to plan days for students to catch up on missing work.
  • It’s important to plan for the end of the marking period, to make sure everything is ready to go with posting grades and comments about student performance.

There are more, but they fall outside the scope of this post, and I will more than certainly discuss them in future posts! ;)

When it gets to be the last week of the marking period, I do several things to keep things organized on my end. First, I run a report of missing student work from our grade spreadsheet application (most schools now have one of these, such as ProgressBook or maybe one that your local district developed independently). I print the report out, and then I create packets of missing work for each student.

The students then have a day or two in class to get their missing work done. If they are current on all their assignments, or if they finish and show me the work that they owed, then they are to work toward finishing their quarterly Accelerated Math goal.


What’s Accelerated Math, you say?

Accelerated Math–or AM for short–is a program designed to keep students working on their on pace with spiral reviews. The teacher can assign objectives based on material learned in class. The students get printouts of multiple choice questions, which they then answer on a scan cards. Students can scan whenever they complete a practice, and the computer automatically prints the next practice. Each grading period, the student must earn a “point” goal that I set for them, and I count it in their final grade.

Nifty, eh? :)

This isn’t the only way AM can be used, but again, that’s for a different post.


After I have all missing work accounted for, I make sure that the grades in the online spreadsheet correspond to what I have in my paper grade book. Checking grades is a very time consuming process. At the end of each nine weeks, I reserve 1-2 days in the computer lab for the students so that while they complete iReady or Study Island activities, I can work on completing grades and comments.

Don’t ever feel guilty about winding down at the end of the marking period. It’s a very busy time and there is a lot to get done. If managed properly, however, the kids will have structured, important activities to finish, and while they accomplish what you assign to them, you’ll have peace and quiet to meet your grade deadlines.

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The Authentic Stadium Mustard

Stadium MustardWhile eating a hot dog for dinner tonight, it dawned on me that it would be a great idea to do a product review of the Authentic Stadium Mustard. It is just far too delicious, and letting my readers remain ignorant to its existence would be a huge disservice! Trust me, I know when something is good, and this stuff is far superior to the average “oh, yeah, it’s good” compliment.

Authentic Stadium Mustard hails from Cleveland, Ohio, where it is the official mustard served at Progressive Field–home of the Cleveland Indians. As a native Clevelander, I have to digress and call the stadium by its original name, “The Jake.” The history of the mustard dates back prior to Jacobs Field, however. It originated at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which was home to both the Indians and the Browns before it was demolished in 1996. :)

The back label of the bottle reads as follows:

Fans call Stadium Mustard “the best mustard in the world.” Served and enjoyed at Cleveland Stadium for more than 50 years, this mustard now also has the honor of being requested on three space shuttle missions.

When you open this jar, you may not hear the crack of a bat or the roar of the shuttle, but you will have shared with me and now millions of fans this unique, high quality, all-natural mustard that is now truly out of this world!

David Dwoskin, president, Davis Food Co.

Stadium Mustard is my absolute favorite condiment. It is delicious on basically anything. Burgers, brats, and hot dogs are pretty bland without it. It adds so much to deli meats on sandwiches–ham, turkey, salami, roast beef…it really doesn’t matter, it’s just so good! It’s not overpowering, but it delivers a little bit of heat. It is mildly spicy and completely brown, so it’s much more similar to European mustards than other American brands.

Whenever I visit home, I make sure I stock up with more bottles. You can only really find it in Ohio in grocery stores. However, you can order it straight to your doorstep right here. If you ever decide to try it, let me know. I hope some of you do, because you’ll never go back to French’s. Or Grey Poupon. ;)

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