The Happy Teacher Challenge

A couple weekends ago, my teacher friend and I engaged in a fun day of learning on a Saturday. I had to get up at 6:30 on a Saturday and had to put on a bra and makeup on my day off. I totally did not have a shot of whiskey in my coffee or a super sugary filled donut for breakfast. 

One of the break out sessions we signed up for was all about Social Emotional Learning for the educator. They sold the class like we would learn skills to feed our souls and regenerate our purpose. 

Pretty quickly, we called bullshit. 

After reading an article that stated my teacher burnout was due to my low social emotional intelligence, I pretty much mentally checked out.  

At the end of the session, we were handed a gorgeous color copy (you know you’re a teacher when a piece of paper has more value solely due to it being printed in color) of The 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge. 

We looked at each other like, “Holy shit, yes!” 

We both need more happiness in our lives in regards to our school year, so we were so down for the challenge. 

That is, until we actually read the “challenges”. 

Double lame with some “fuck that” sprinkled on top is what this challenge consisted of. 

Most of the “challenges” are things I do every single day, because they are what good teachers, who have a solid pedagogy, do. And, some of them, like assigning an exit ticket (one or two questions to gauge understanding) depress the ever-loving crap out of me a lot of the time.  

When we saw, “Happy Teacher Challenge”, we both thought it had to involve alcohol, days off, and lots of chocolate. Not one of those things are included. 

For shame.

Here’s the challenge:


I blurred out the copyright name, because I don’t want to shame this teacher. I’m sure they meant well, but, well, just, no. 

So, after being utterly disappointed and underwhelmed, I decided to make my own “Happy Teacher Challenge”. 

In case there are any fuddy-duddies reading this, or people who have not one ounce of humor, know this is satire. It’s not literal. 

I’m not fancy and also have way too much shit to do, so I didn’t make this into a pretty calendar, so you get a list. Quityerbitchin. 

1. Pull a trusted colleague aside to whisper all of those ‘fucks’ to that you have been holding in.

2. Have your students partner up and organize a section of your room. Call it OCD: Beginner’s Edition, or just Life Skills.
3. Finally strike up a conversation with the idiot who keeps jamming the copier and leaving it for someone else to deal with. Getting how you feel off your chest first thing in the morning will make you feel ready to tackle a day of holding in how you feel all over again.

4. Spend your entire prep period sending teacher memes to your teacher friends. These might be especially apropos:


Michael Scott knows! 

5. Take a short walk down to the vending machine in the teacher’s lounge for a much-needed soda during lunch. When everything but Dasani water is sold out, take another short walk to your car where you have a nice, little scream.
6. Calm yer tits, paper. Organize the stacks of papers on your desk labeled “to be graded” by sweeping them into the garbage can. They’ll just end up crumpled around a moldy bag of apples in the back of their desk anyway, so…

7. Think of a student who is always well behaved and really smart. Pick them to lead your math lesson for a day.

8. Fill out a staff appreciation for your fellow teacher in arms. Luckily you have a really good one this time: “Mr. Walton is a real star for cleaning the word, ‘sex’ off of the boys’ bathroom wall during his only break last Tuesday”.

9. Buy this shirt for yourself (and wear it to school immediately upon receiving it):zyrwrgt

Buy here

10. Take an Ambien and a nap under your desk during lunch.

11. Ask your students to draw a portrait of you, and laugh all the way to the wine aisle at your nearest liquor store.

12.Download a fun desk planner, attempt to laminate it, and when the laminator is broken AGAIN, just buy one on Amazon.

13. Bribe your custodian with a Starbucks gift card so that they will keep providing you with those paper ass gaskets. When you share a bathroom with 20+ eight- and nine-year-olds, they make all the mental difference.

14. Make a very serious effort to smile more. Even while saying, “It goes in the turn in basket” for the nine billionth time. Bonus: your excessive smiling with creep them out.

15. Take a goofy picture with your students-it’s super cute. Just crop out the kid throwing up gang signs.

16. Do a compliment circle with your students to start your morning. Maybe they’ll notice your new Kate Spade earrings or overly-expensive Tieks that they’ll scuff after three days. 

17. It’s Life Skills day again! Provide a Swiffer duster and a push vacuum, and they will actually want to clean the room.

18. Play some Enya, add some lavender essential oil to your diffuser and transport yourself during Guided Reading. Hey, it’s better than nodding off. Calgon, take me away!

19. Drink your double espresso out of your World’s Okayest Teacher mug, and remind yourself that you are doing your very best, dammit. 

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But it here

20. Make time to sit on your fat arse at the end of day. In fact, make time to sit accompanied by a glass of wine, loaded nachos, and some Netflix. Getting up 20 times a day from the kidney table counts as exercise. Thighs of steal, man. Thighs.of.steel.

21. Bring home the contraband notes they write to each other that you find on a daily basis. Laugh over their spelling choices and sweet innocence with a glass of wine and your dwindling sanity. Math sux bols! 

22. Organize your files on your teacher computer with fun new folder names like, “Important Shit”, “Crap I Will Never Look At Again”, and “Bullshit I Have to Deal With”. 

23. Share passwords to Teachers Pay Teachers, HBO Go, Discovery Ed, Match, and Flocabulary. Sharing is caring. 

24. Encourage students to bring cupcakes for their birthdays. It’ll create positive memories for them and you won’t have to fund your cupcake habit. But, store-bought only, and remind them not to forget the Capri Sun (organic tropical punch pairs nicely with a good white cake and vanilla cream cheese frosting). 

25. Bring a bottle of wine to weekly planning with your grade level. Watch how your lesson plans are utterly transformed.

26. Download a countdown app and set the date for the next school break. Watch the seconds count down as you get closer and closer to freedom. 


Get the same app here.
27. Do you work with an overly harried colleague who needs some “chill the fuck out” time? Buy them this mug, if they have a sense of humor, it’ll make their year:


Buy it here

Don’t forget to include some mini booze bottles and a couple Xanax. Bonus: You basically own them now. 

28. Make sure you plan “Coffee/Wine Bitch Hours” with your teacher friends. These people and the moments you spend commiserating is a huge part of why you might remain sane during your career. 

29. DON’T assign an exit ticket so that you can briefly, blissfully believe your students understood what you were going on about for 40 minutes.

30. Stand at the door and give your students a high five as they leave for the day, knowing you don’t have to see them for another 18 hours.

So, what do you think of the challenge? Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments. 

5 Reasons Teaching Made (Is Making) Me (More) Fat

There’s a reason I’m fat, and it isn’t just because I eat Oreos smothered with peanut butter for breakfast.

It’s because I’m a teacher. This profession is rife with situations in which I’m faced with deciding between a few sad, old grapes or Krispy Kreme. Some days my big decision of the day is whether or not to eat the sweaty, homemade, hand delivered cookie. Sadly, the questionable cookie always wins. Mostly, being a teacher means you either drink or you check yourself into the mental hospital. Drinking excessively is more socially acceptable. Also, being clinically insane isn’t usually seen as a desired quality in the teaching world.

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Decisions-Not My Forte

Happy Friday Eve, beautiful people.

This past Monday I was offered a teaching position at a school in Surrey. Surrey in freaking ENGLAND.

I can’t even put into words how I felt, but I can say, it was a mix of insane excitement and utter fear.

The rest of this week I have been a mess of decision-making-crazy.

Most of you are probably wondering what decision I even have to make. HELLO? ENGLAND?

Well, after several email correspondences, I have been given my final salary offer, and well…

I am disappointed to say the least.

I had wrongly assumed that the cost of living would be pretty relative to here in the U.S. and that is just plain not the case. The cost of flats in Southern England is astronomical. I mean, twice the cost of apartments in my area. For me, paying half of the rent, the costs I am looking at are more than three times what I am currently paying.

This wouldn’t be too horrible except for the fact that I will be taking a $3000 pay cut. What is absolutely insane is that the salary they offered me was incredibly generous and a HUGE step up from what I am currently making, but with the high tax amount taken out, I will be paid significantly less.

I don’t even know what to say.

I will have to some more crunching of numbers, but so far, it isn’t looking good.

Because I am someone who thinks with their heart and far too often I am idealistic in how I view the world, I had assumed that I could move to a different country, do the same work I do here, and it would work swimmingly. Well, that is not the real world. Not even close.

Not only am I a heart-thinker, I am also one who has a lot of debt and minimal savings.

Just to get my fat ass and my few possessions across the pond it will cost a fortune. And I am a broke as a joke teacher.

It isn’t over yet, I may be able to figure something out (like, maybe I can sell a kidney).

So, now I ask you all, what would you do? Would you go into further debt to move to another country? Would you be OK with being seriously broke just to experience another culture? Would you live well under your normal comfort zone in order to experience a serious adventure?

I need opinions and maybe some moral support. Something. Anything.

 

 

 

Definitely

Well, today marked the end of my social life and any semblance of free time. Today, my first online course went live. My first assignments are due tomorrow, but like the smarty pants I am, I decided to get a head start (actually, tomorrow is my birthday, so I plan on doing nothing unpleasant all day long).

I am a huge proponent of working smarter not harder. Some examples of working smarter and not harder would be:

  1. Not reading all of your emails. You may miss a crucial email from your principal, but that is the risk you take when you receive 3,456,782 emails a day.
  2. Calling, “spraying down your shower with the detachable shower head every day when showering” cleaning your shower. It’s really genius multi-tasking, methinks.
  3. Choosing to only correct quizzes, class work, and exit tickets, but not homework, because you are not Super Can Do Everything Teacher, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  4. Getting fast food all week, for dinner, because then you don’t need to wash dishes. Blam! Lots o’ time saved.
  5. Grading papers at red lights. AT LEAST I AM NOT TEXTING.

This is obviously an abridged list, and not complete. There are many ways in which you can save time by doing things the “smarter” way.

Today, I went about my usual “smarter not harder’ routine, and things were going swimmingly. I had skimmed through the course introduction page. I purchased books for the course on Amazon while listening to the tutorial on how to send a message to classmates. I typed up my first assignment in a record 3 minutes. I was on a real roll.

Then, immediately after turning my assignment in to the instructor, I turned in that same assignment on the discussion page, per the directions, and I noticed…

definetely. 

Yes, this college graduate-self-professed-spelling-stickler-teacher, spelled ‘definitely’ incorrectly on her very first assignment for her masters in education. 

I am killing it, guys.

FACE

My “I make killer impressions” face. 

 

The Horror

 

blog.classroomdirect.com

 
I haven’t worn a bra for roughly 90% of the last 3 weeks. 

I’ve been able to use the restroom whenever the need presented itself.

I haven’t taken my yoga pants off for precisely 21 days. 

I have zero paper cuts. 

I’ve had no real reason to drink, other than, well…

I’ve only answered one question: “Would you like to apply for a Target RedCard?” 

I don’t even know what the date is. 

You can imagine my horror when, as I came up for air from my cereal bowl, I had discovered 3 glorious weeks of no school had passed by in a flash.  

Well, I suppose I better unearth myself from my snack-laden, alcohol-induced hibernation, because it’s back to school I go. 

Also, I better figure out what day it is, practice writing the new year, and open up my lesson plan book, because I have a student teacher starting with me tomorrow. We don’t want to show her the ugly side just yet. 

Here’s to all my fellow educators out there, drinking away their sorrows tonight over winter break being over. 

Good luck, and may God be with you tomorrow. 

Teacher Breath

Today I was reminded why I never wanted to be that teacher who nurses their coffee all day. COFFEE BREATH STANKS. 

I distinctly remember every single teacher who would lean over me, praising my hard work, with their breath from burning garbage hell. I always wondered how they couldn’t tell their breath was peeling varnish off the desk tops, but I could? If I can smell your breath from a foot away, how can you not smell that God-awful air coming out directly under your nose? How??

Stank Breath Unawareness (SBU) is a very real phenomenon, and 99% of the cases involve teachers. It’s true. 

Today, I was pulling students to the kidney table to assess their phonics knowledge. Every time they got a letter sound or vowel pattern wrong, I would say it correctly for them and then ask them to say the sound with me. 

After overly emphasizing the ‘aw’ vowel pattern for *Sally, she had a very pained look on her face. My first thought when this look appears on my students’ faces is always, “Oh no! He/she is gonna blow chunks!”. Then my knee-jerk reaction is to recoil quickly while trying to play it cool, like, “I’m good-you’re good-it’s-all-good-I’m-not-at-all-terrified-of-bodily-fluids-not-at-all-I’m-just-gonna-stand-over-here”.

As I’m assessing the situation, I become distinctly aware that Sally is basically mirroring me. Exactly. She’s doing the exact same thing as me. She has a pained, grossed-out look on her face that’s she’s trying to disguise with a super-fake-it’s-all-good smile. What? Is it me??? What the hell…

Yeah. I have teacher breath. 

Getting keys to your classroom, or welcoming your students on the first day of school is not when you first become a teacher. You become a teacher the day you disgust a student with your coffee breath. It’s only true. 



Back to School

I spent a good portion of my Sunday fine-tuning lessons, nitpicking over the placement of basically everything in my room, and making sure I’m ready for another year of madness, AKA: teaching. I thought I would post the pictures of my room on my blog, to showcase the reason I may be not as present here, in the blogosphere. So, this is why: 

  All this room needs: students! 

  

 My little corner. 
  

 The kids need to know. 
  Teaching kids how to be accountable via their classroom conversations. Win! 

  The math corner. 

  Where the reading magic happens! 

  A new addiction: my students will be learning how to self-assess this year! 

  Writing and phonics AND I need an apostrophe!! *adding to to-do list*

  I hung up headphones that don’t connect to the CD player I have! Fail! 

  “Make Good Decisions Corner”! Most important corner in all the land! 

  Writing with chalk is hard!!!! 

  Whole class journals! I’m excited to try these this year! 

  Maybe we won’t go through 4,562 boxes this year? 

  I can’t wait to get this up and running! I’ll take pics of my students looking like they are pondering the meaning of the world, and then they can add things they are wondering about new units, or just in general! 

  The Readbox, plus an addition: “Reading Takes Us Places!” I still need to add a black plane and some dots depicting it’s trail. Whenever we read ANYTHING, we will pinpoint where in the world the setting took place! Fun! 

  

  Classroom library! 

School starts tomorrow and I’m more prepared than I’ve ever been. It’s time, let’s get this show on the road! 

I truly hope I can balance my career and my desire to write. I don’t want my blog to be forgotten, but as you can see, I have some educating to do! 

A Day in the Life

Since teachers, in my neck of the woods, must report back to school tomorrow, I thought I would write a post about the, often misunderstood, life of a teacher. As I typed “must report back”, I had a pretty hearty chuckle. Every teacher I know has been to school off and on all summer. There is no such thing as a true break for teachers. So, while we must report back, we aren’t really “coming back”, we are just arriving at a certain time, sans ratty sweats and stained work shirts, to join the rest of the staff for getting to know you games and (hopefully) donuts. I can only be so lucky.

During lunch today, my friend, Alyssa and I were talking about our respective blogs. I was expressing my worry that I would fall behind on my posts once lesson plans and assessments become more of a pressing matter. I was also lamenting that I would have to arrive to school early if I wanted good pickings, in regards to the laminator and copiers. She found it quite amusing that part of the stress involved with being a teacher revolves around getting to the copier before someone else. Oh, honey, let me tell you. 

She suggested I write a little ditty about the wild world of teaching for her, and others who really have no clue what it is really like.

Instead of writing some serious diatribe about what I do, I thought I would use humor to make it clear to any lay person what teaching is really like. I get too wound up and sweaty when I get riled up on the topic of misconceptions in teaching, so humor it is. I mean, if you don’t laugh, you will cry, and drink an entire bottle of wine. And no one wants that (well, maybe I want the wine).

Any night, before any day, whereby you will be teaching, laying in bed:

Did I add that one thing to my “to-do this week” list? I don’t think I did. Shit. Get phone and email reminder. Quick add a reminder to “alerts” in the calendar, just in case computer at work doesn’t want to work (this happens at least once a week). While emailing reminder, remember that you were going to try to find a video on ecosystems. After an hour of scouring YouTube, TeacherTube, Google, and Pinterest, you think you have found one that works. It is now 11:05 PM. You wanted to be asleep by 9 PM. Why even try to sleep anymore?

Sometime in the middle of the night:

Wake up in a cold sweat, realizing that what you forgot was to call one of your student’s parents. I am going to email them now. No. What if the “ping” wakes them up? If I wait to call them tomorrow, I will forget again. I guess I will add to my 20 reminders for tomorrow. Again, why do I even try to sleep?

5:30 AM:

Are you effing kidding me? It was JUST 3 AM. I am going to hit snooze. I don’t need to look decent for a pack of 8 year-olds. They won’t notice my baggy eyes and greasy hair (FYI: They WILL notice these things, and quiet verbally).

Driving to school, after spilling coffee twice, and forgetting school keys:

My eye is ALREADY twitching. Coffee. More effing coffee. Drives straight to Starbucks.

In the drive-thru at Starbucks:

Would it be in poor taste to yell out my window that if Joe Blow doesn’t hurry up and decide, I will miss out on my chance for the laminator? Yes. That was in poor taste.

Pulling into parking lot:

Now, which spot has afternoon shade, again? I really don’t want to drive home with my elbows again.

Getting from car, to classroom, with a carload of crap and a hot coffee:

If I put my lunch, the Clorox wipes, my Nalgene bottle, and the 3-hole punch in my purse, I can put my teacher bag in my new turquoise Tupperware bin, I didn’t need, and I can carry my coffee in my teeth. More than one trip is for sissies, and teachers ain’t got time for that. When am I ever going to invest in one of those rolly-cart things?? 

Walking, trudging along rather, to classroom:

OK, if I can make it to the workroom to turn the laminator on, that will save me a wasted trip.  I will also try to make it to the teacher’s lounge, to check my box. Abort mission! Abort mission! I cannot carry a Starbucks with my teeth for that long!!! Cannot lose coffee. Cannot.

Upon entering classroom:

Fabulous! The AC is off again, and no one vacuumed! Why do bad things happen to good people?? 

Formulating a game plan:

Do I have everything that needs to be copied? Check! Everything that needs to be laminated? Check! Guided reading books to be returned to the library? Check! Field trip money to add to class account? Check! So and so’s colored Sharpies to be returned? Check! Library-lounge-office-so and so’s room-work room, in that order. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. 

Upon seeing someone on the laminator, the laminator YOU turned on:

Are you effing kidding me?? Really? “Good morning! I am fabulous! How are you??”

While copying what you thought was everything:

Are you effing kidding me? I forgot to grab the weekly vocabulary sheet!!! Grabs random piece of paper laying on the floor and quickly writes out the vocabulary homework page, because that is quicker than going back to classroom to search for it and coming back.

Exactly 10 minutes before first bell:

OK, I have the morning message on. I have Fred’s behavior chart ready. All copies for the day are ready and waiting. I have all pages up: Flocabulary, YouTube, etc. I have their guided reading books sorted and ready. I have their tests graded, and handed back. I looked up if the Vikings really had horns on their hats. No. I have the CCD word picture card ready. THE CCD CHART. I forgot that. 

Precisely 2 minutes before the bell:

OF COURSE I spelled “definition” wrong. OF FREAKING COURSE. I am sweating and my hair is just a ball of frizz. Do I have time to go to the bathroom? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. 

Sometime during the morning, before lunch:

Why do kid farts always smell the same? I think that smell will forever be branded into my nostrils. While being bombarded with relentless farts, requests to use the restroom are ongoing and severe. Lost pencils, missing whiteboards, and bickering are a daily strife. Teaching, engaging, monitoring, along with thousands of decisions, second-guessing and worrying occurs all morning with no sign of break.

Lunch recess bell rings, sweet release:

Needing to use the restroom, but Johnny needs help. Alert goes off to call Susie’s parent. Wash hands, heat up lunch, all with child in tow who is explaining why they did not feel the need to work at all, all morning.

I have helped everyone. I have done everything. Now, it is my time. I look forward to this 10 minutes every day. Pure heaven. 

Sometime during the afternoon:

What is that ungodly smell? “OK, who has their shoes off?” Embarrassingly, it is you. You are what smells.

Guided Reading time:

While overseeing and monitoring students reading, you must also see all points of the room. The kid just chilling behind the bookshelf, picking his nose. LouLou who does a really good job looking like she is busy, but you know better. Timmy who has gone to the bathroom exactly 23 times. ALL behaviors corrected with one, all powerful look. The teacher look. With one finger pointed to a student’s starting point, an ear pointed at a reader, and eyes on the rest, there is order and peace.

Pack Up time:

What happened to my sweet, darling, well-behaved students? Oh, I know. They already checked out. 2 more minutes. We can do this! We can do this! We must do this, or we wet our pants! I don’t think I have peed all day…

Hours leading up to bedtime:

To-do lists, parent phone calls, correcting, planning, copying, stressing about assessments, questioning career path, pride at student improvement, second-guessing all choices, feeling content that you are making a difference, even if it means gray hairs, an ulcer, and little sleep.

This is just a humorous account of what might be going through my mind on any given day. I have not even gotten into the heart of what we do, what teachers do, every single day to make the lives of their students brighter, and more promising. Yes, teaching involves enduring really smelly farts, annoyances involving disappearing pencils, and 8 year-old drama, but it also involves witnessing the “ah hahs” and being a part of a classroom family that consists of laughs, triumphs, and love.

I humorously complain, but there really is nothing more in the world I would rather do than teach our future. Teachers are not respected enough among the general public, but that’s OK, Imma keep doing what I do best. Haters gonna hate.

Bad Cupcakes! 

Yesterday was the last day of school (Schools…out…for…SUMMER). I have exactly 58 Saturday’s ahead of me (more about that blessed dilemma later). I started my summer vacation off in a very positive, good-Samaritan way. Let me explain. 

Naturally, one of my students brought cupcakes to celebrate the last day of school (I’m not only known as a cupcake-lover on my blog). As it was the last day, my students were leaving early left and right. When we finally had our room cleaned up, things packed, and I finally participated in a Just Dance video for my students’ amusement (more on that later, too…), it was Cupcake Time. The 24 cupcakes were more than enough, there were 8 left. Of course, the student who brought them was fully planning on taking them home. I would like to make it amply clear that I would never stoop so low as to beg a nine-year-old for their leftover cupcakes. I’m not that far gone. 

The mad rush to collect all of their precious end-of-year goodies and give me hug after hug, coupled with their desire to get the hell out of school, made for a whirlwind ‘goodbye’ with my students. Yearbooks were left. Data folders, that they would have trashed anyways, were left. Their had-to-have, homemade letters from their friends were left. And, the cupcakes. They were left. Two, almost empty, boxes of vanilla cupcakes were left. I figured she would be back. I waited a few, anxious minutes. Guilt-ridden, I went outside, hopefully, albeit reluctantly, to try to find her. 3 minutes after the bell had rung, and it was a ghost town outside. “Lost” report cards, confetti, and papers littered the ground. All was still, but for a tumbleweed that blew across in the breeze. She was gone. They were mine. 

I felt a sudden internal glee that only fat people, who have an unhealthy love for baked goods, ever feel. I knew it was bad news that I now possessed 8 entire cupcakes, cupcakes topped with the sweetest confection of sugar ever created, but my unhealthy addiction and glee overwhelmed my sense of good judgement. 

If anyone saw me leaving school with all of my treasures, they surely videotaped it and uploaded it onto YouTube with the heading, “Watch Fatty Teacher Leave School and Almost Drop Two Boxes of Cupcakes Exactly 32 Times”. I can just see the comment section now: “Damn, she dropped her phone, purse, bag of whatever, and her keys, but she didn’t drop the cupcakes-no words”. That would have been the nicest thing said. 

When I finally got home, lugged in all of my shit, along with my prize, I felt victorious. I made it home, and not one cupcake was injured. 

My boyfriend was aghast that I brought two boxes of cupcakes home, as he shares my love (and obvious addiction) of anything remotely sweet. He, too, envisioned us sitting on the couch, in our fat pants, devouring them all. All he had to say was, “Babe…” and it all became clear. I have serious problems. We did NOT need 8 cupcakes, like at all. The cherry on top: my boyfriend then asked me, “Why didn’t you put them all in one box?” Good God. Not only am I fat, I’m a fucking genius too. 

So, to address how I began my summer vacation in a Good Samaritan way, I put all 8 cupcakes (in two boxes) out by the dumpsters in the alley, for the bums. Almost daily, we have homeless people digging in the dumpsters. All they ever find is moldy spaghetti leftovers and black bananas. Last night, one lucky vagrant came upon a gold mine. I’m such a saint. You’re welcome. 

Here is the proof:

  
And, the proof that our local homeless people have more smarts than a teacher. Whomever took the cupcakes likely transferred them all to one box. Doh! 

  
So, there you have it. I have started off my summer on a positive, healthy note (I won’t mention that I attended our school’s happy hour, devoured a food truck Philly cheesesteak, and ended the night with a Double Caramel Magnum-I can only give up so much!) 

Health Balls 

So, it’s no secret that food is the culprit for my fatness. It’s also no secret that I have zero control when it comes to food. If something is tasty, there is no just sampling it, or eating a normal, decent amount of it. No, I eat something until it’s gone. I eat it until my insides are crying out in agony. I eat it until I drown out the voice of reason, the voice saying, “Er, I think that’s good. Enough. Stop”. Shut up, you deceitful bitch, and take this cheesecake like you want it. You know you want it. 

Anyways. 

In a nutshell, I’ve always struggled with food. My cupboards are bare, and not because I can’t afford to stock them, but because I can’t have any temptation just lying around. You would think I was a crackhead. In a sense, I am, just my drug of choice is kettle corn and caramel cookie crunch gelato. 

Since Amy and I are getting all physical with our yoga and plank challenge, (I think the squat challenge has been dismissed for reasons of “fuck that”) we decided to go all the way and try to eat clean for a whopping 3 days. Yes, I know. “Go us”, in a really haughty, sarcastic way, “3 whole days, I don’t think we will make it”. In defense, I don’t think we will make it. Or, I won’t. I can’t speak for Amy. Let me explain, we are teachers. Chocolate, and large doses of it, is practically prescribed by our physicians. I have a drawer in my desk, specifically reserved for my chocolate horde. I have decor made of Dum Dums in my room. I will have to cart all of that crap out of my classroom to be successful with this no-eating-sweets business. That’s the plan, actually. Another 3rd grade teacher will be “watching” our chocolate for us. I can pretty much just kiss it ‘goodbye’. 

After a fair amount of tears and mourning for my chocolate, I got on good ol’ Pinterest and pinned “clean” and Paleo-ish shopping lists and recipes. I can’t say we are going all gangbusters as far as eating 100% clean or Paleo, just drastically cutting down on highly processed foods and sugars. One area in which I intake far too much artificial sugar is with my morning coffee and granola bar. Instead of my usual chemical-laden coffee creamer, I made my own with almond milk, honey, and vanilla. I can’t take credit for this recipe as its all thanks to Pinterest, but I can take credit for the cute fabric flower on top of the jar. That was all me. It was also very necessary, obviously. 

  

Coffee creamer recipe: http://pinterest.com/pin/113997434294579075/

Next, I knew I would need a “sweet” fix, outside of my morning coffee, so I made protein balls. I would like to say I’ve been a total adult, in regards to the naming of this health “treat”, but alas I’ve been making jokes all day about my balls.  I don’t really have balls, but I made them. They started out too small, and I felt so bad for them. No one wants small balls, and they just wouldn’t satisfy. So, I made my balls bigger. Also, I thought that they resembled Snuffleupagus’ balls, if he had any, that is. I mean, don’t they? 

  
PB Granola Bites: http://pinterest.com/pin/113997434294561989/

I found this recipe on Pinterest, as well. I did not add the mini chocolate chips, as I felt they were the direct opposite of what I should add to health balls. I also nixed the chia seeds, because that is the only thing Winco does not have in their bulk section. Oh well. I used Adam’s natural peanut butter and raw honey. I ate one ball, and wowza. I never knew balls could be so tasty!

Tomorrow, these health treats will be the most exciting thing I will eat, outside of the raw almonds and zero taste Greek yogurt on my menu. I will really have to start beginning to live for something other than food. I’m getting the shakes just thinking of it. Perhaps, I won’t make it one day this week, or maybe it will be so fantastic to eat this way, it will be a total lifestyle change. Either way, it will make for great material for my blog. Stay tuned. 

*The lack of commas in the ecard image in no way signifies my knowledge (or lack there of) of commas. It was too funny, and too true to not include.