Made my Monday

Today was the first day of the 2014-2015 school year and the start of my 11th year teaching. I can’t believe it’s been that long already!

While I’m sad the fun of summer is over I’m excited for a new school year. A new chance to try to make a difference in the lives of the students I’ll teach (and see!) this school year.

This year our school has a new principal, as our previous one retired. I loved her dearly and miss her presence around the school but I’m also really excited with our new leader. He’s very different (in a good way!) and is really looking to get the students and teachers excited about the school year. This morning, as I was struggling with technology that I didn’t make sure work worked last week (what was I thinking?!), I noticed this note written on my board


Cool, huh? He went through all of the classrooms and left a note to the teachers. I’m not sure if they all said the same thing or not, but I think it’s awesome that he took time out of his (very) busy day to appreciate the work we put into getting ready for our students.

And because we always take first day of school pics, here are this years batch.




Clearly Harper didn’t want to pose this year. #3goingon13

Words to live by 03

Today was, as a friend called it, pre-pre planning for me at school.  The administration opened up the building so teachers could come back to set up their rooms while the new teachers to our school were learning “the way” our school runs.  I think “the way” training is brilliant, if you ask me.  It’s about all of the things you want to know about your new job without having to ask – because our ILC (instructional literacy coach) is amazing and has thought of everything anyone would want to know.

Anyway, being completely Type A, you know I was there and got right to work setting up my classroom.  I’m happy to report that almost everything is ready to go, decorations wise, after 4.5 hours of work.  I think it really helped that I didn’t switch themes this year (going with a navy, yellow, and teal color scheme that I absolutely love helps!), kept the bulletin board paper and boarder up over the summer (those things take like 20 minutes each to decorate!), and then saved and organized the posters/words that go on the bulletin boards so I could pull out the little baggie and staple my heart away.  It also really helped that I got there early enough that I had the hallway completely to myself so I could work without chatting with my teacher friends, many of which I haven’t seen since June when school ended and our conferences were over, AND I forgot my computer at home so I didn’t have anything to distract me.

All of that to tell you that tonight, after working almost a full day (but nothing compared to a REAL school day) I’m exhausted!  The first three weeks (including pre-planning) are always challenging and this year looks like it will be the same.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve had the last two-ish months off or if there are seriously just so many things to do at the beginning of the school year (or maybe a little of both) but it’s rough, guys.  Carl and I need to be on our game with meal prep, packing bags, sleep and everything to make this work, especially since we don’t want healthy eating or fitness to slide.

Here are some words to live by for the week – I hope you enjoy them. 🙂






{can’t find the source, if you made or posted this please let me know so I can give you credit!}



and my favorite this week,

Love everything



How was your day today?  Are you gearing up for anything new|exciting|different?

Want to see more Wednesday words to live by?  Check out my other posts here:

Words to live by 02

Words to live by


I know I need to blog about the last week and few days of our Paleo Challenge, some workout updates and the results of our Ninja v. food processor test.  They are coming!


Anything else you want to read about?  Ask in the comments and I’ll do a blog post to answer them!

Words to live by 02

I think I’m deeming Wednesday my official “Words to live by” day.  There are some awesome inspirational things floating around facebook, instagram, and pinterest so why not post a few here?

You are worthy


Something to be thankful




And a favorite quote that I have as a magnet in my classroom



What is one of your favorite quotes?

Lately in photos

This afternoon I stumbled upon my new favorite website, The Eighty Twenty.  Just check out this excerpt from their “about” section:

The Eighty Twenty is an online magazine and community, built by and for women who lean toward the Paleo lifestyle. This site is for those who crave balance in all things. For the woman who knows what makes her feel better: more sweat, less complaining, more vegetables, less sugar, more fat, less grains, more books, less television, more fresh air, less desk jobs; the same woman who knows sometimes you just have to work late, skip the gym, eat the cookie, drink the second glass, sleep in, binge on Netflix, splurge on mascara.

The Eighty Twenty Rule has taken on new meaning over the years since the Paleo/Primal lifestyle hit the scene. For some, it means 80% clean, 20% not. For others, it means that 80 percent of your outcomes come from 20 percent of your inputs. For us, it means: make your own rules and make them count.

How could anyone {especially a woman!} not love it?  I really love that they are going to be kicking off a “reset” {same as a Whole30} on August 1st and they have meal suggestions and a grocery list all ready to go!  We will still be on our own 30 Day Paleo Challenge, but this will be great for continuing our Paleo lifestyle once the craziness of school starting and “real life” begins.

Long story long, they inspired me with their Lately in Photos and I thought I would do this for the month of July since it’s almost over {can you believe it?!}.

Feeding Fish Playing with Grammy 1000 rep challenge Pool with Family  Birthday Burpees  Carl at CrossFit Reading New Dishwasher  First Rx Workout Brazilian Blow Out

1. Harper feeding the fish at The Dolphin with Carl and Pa
2. Harper playing with Grammy
3. Amy and me after finishing the 1000 rep challenge at her gym {brutal!  I don’t know how she does this every month!}
4. Fun swimming!
5. Birthday burpees: 34+1 for good luck
6. Carl’s back at CrossFit
7. Family reading time after dinner
8. We finally got a new dishwasher
9. My first Rx WOD
10. My hair after my Brazilian Blowout

What does your life look like lately?

Paleo challenge: week 3

Paleo Challenge

Three weeks in and one more to go!  This is it!  We are in the home stretch!  

How was week 3?

I know I said that week 2 was challenging, but I think that week 3 was even more so.  For me, I think it was because I had some lovely hormonal things going on (TMI: sorry!) which totally had me craving chocolate and all things sweet.  We did do a better job of eating veggies, which was good!

In general we struggle with staying Paleo on the weekends (probably because we are out and about and it’s so hard to not just grab something while we are out) and that was in full force this week.  While we were at the outlet mall we were a little hungry and had we not been doing the challenge we totally would have gotten a pretzel or some fro-yo.  Not a good thing for my tummy or our bank account!

Did we have any “cheat” meals or desserts?

We didn’t have a “cheat” meal, but we definitely had some cheat desserts.  We had some people over for dinner on Friday night and Carl made paleo cookies, paleo bread, and we ate some cake that our friend Katie brought over.  We did also indulge in some veggie chips and fruit from The Fresh Market today although the fruit chips were actually too sweet for me to eat.  My palate has definitely become more sensitive to sugar the past three weeks.

How are we feeling? 

Continuing to feel good.  There is something to be said for eating a meal that is beautiful and feeling completely satisfied afterwards.  I feel that way so much more after eating a healthy, Paleo meal than something that I may be craving at the time – which usually leaves me feeling bloated and gross.  Now if I can just remember that in the moment. 😉  

My skin (and even Carl’s!) is continuing to look good and I didn’t even break out like I usually do during my period (again, sorry TMI).

How’s CrossFit going?

This week brought three more workouts for me and two for Carl.  I was able to do my first Rx workout this week!

First Rx

First Rx2

You know it was a good workout when everyone is on the floor afterwards!

Notable, amazing food we’ve eaten

Week three brought some really great new recipes and things that we repeated because they were so good including,

Goals for week 4 

  • Make three CrossFit classes
  • Eat less nuts/bars and more veggies for snacks
  • Skip the “cheat” meal
  • Get 8 hours of sleep a night – meaning go to sleep earlier!

Yep, same goals as week 3, but they are good ones so I’m going to stick with them.  

Secret to Change

What are you building new?

You can read about week 1 and week 2 of our Paleo challenge if you want more recipes or to get caught up with how it has been going.

Words to live by

Start where you are

It’s not about the end result – it’s about the journey.  I needed this reminder and thought someone out there may, too.

Do you have a favorite quote?  What are words that you live by?

Paleo challenge: week 2

Paleo Challenge

I was aiming to have these posts up each Sunday night but here it is Monday afternoon and I’m just now sitting down to compose my thoughts about week 2 of our Paleo challenge.  

How was week 2?

Week 2 felt more challenging to both Carl and me.  I think it’s a combination of trying to get the most out of our summer by getting out of the house while still trying to eat as Paleo/healthy as possible.  In general I usually feel like I could do a better job of eating more veggies and less nuts.  I guess it just doesn’t occur to me to pack some cut up veggies in a little thermal zipper pouch (I am a Thirty-One consultant after all!) instead of packing it with nuts or Lara bars.  I’m also typing this as I have rosemary roasted almonds baking in the oven.  I think I just like salty, crunchy non-veggie snacks and it’s going to take a lot longer than 30 days to change that.  

Did we have any “cheat” meals or desserts?

I really don’t like thinking of them as “cheats” because that implies that we’re “dieting” and not trying to make a lifestyle change.  I am really trying to work on my view of perfection (as in I’m a perfectionist learning that life isn’t perfect) but for the sake of the guidelines set up by Whole30 and our box, we did.  This week our “cheats” were some dark chocolate covered macaroons on Thursday, some sweet potato chips on Friday and Five Guys on Saturday.  

After we ate the Five Guys on Saturday night Carl and I both agreed that we’d be skipping a “cheat” meal for week 3.  It’s just not a habit that we want to get into and while I do believe that part of healthy eating is eating all kinds of foods in moderation, I don’t think we are in a place to do that yet.  For us a “cheat meal” easily turns into two or three meals and us feeling horrible both physically and mentally.

How are we feeling?  

Really great!  I’d like to say that we have a ton of energy but we are still staying up too late.  That along with a toddler has us still wanting to crash mid-afternoon.  Obviously if Harper is up in the middle of the night we aren’t going to be able to get as much sleep as if she sleeps through, but we can go to sleep at a time that could get us the 8 hours we’d be better off with.

How’s CrossFit going?

Carl and I both made it to three classes for week 2!  I’m so proud of Carl for getting back to the gym!  I know he’s struggling with figuring out how to properly fuel (we take Vega Sport before a workout and Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder after) but I think he needs something during a workout.  


It’s hard to say if doing the Paleo challenge is helping me with CrossFit because I had taken a month or so off and I’m totally sucking wind at just about everything.  I even had to go down in weight with my wall balls (from 14 lbs. to 10 lbs.) to work on my form.  Ah well.  It’s a process, right?

Notable, amazing food we’ve eaten

Week two we included some of our standby meals like chicken sausage, kale and broccoli, ground beef with veggies, and chicken sausage, peppers, and onions with zoodles (zucchini noodles).

New recipes include:

Goals for week 3

  • Make three CrossFit classes
  • Eat less nuts/bars and more veggies for snacks
  • Skip the “cheat” meal
  • Get 8 hours of sleep a night – meaning go to sleep earlier!

What are your goals for this week?

A day in the life

Like the “what I’m loving lately” posts, I also love reading about what other people do during their days.  It had been a while since the last time I used my “real” camera so I decided to break it out and snap some pictures of what we did during the day.  Obviously not all days are like this and it’s just a snapshot of time, a nice highlight, if you will.

Note:  I definitely need to work on my photo editing so please excuse some of the horrible, grainy pics in some of the shots.  I’m working with PicMonkey right now but I’m not sure it’s what I’m going to stick with.  Any suggestions on free or relatively inexpensive photo editing software?

7am: Harper is up!


Carl made smoothies for breakfast so I down that, fill up my Hydro Flask, and slowly drink coffee while reading blogs for a little while.  Harper is watching cartoons (yes, we let her watch TV and *gasp* sometimes it’s on all day long as background noise while we are playing) and Carl is getting ready for CrossFit.

8am: Painting “Kitty” and “Ponies”


Earlier this summer I bought these painting papers on clearance at Michael’s to do as an art activity together.  They aren’t my favorite as the paint part of the paper often bleeds onto the table and makes a mess but they keep Harper happy and entertained for about 20-30 minutes.  When we first started there was definitely more water than paint on her paper so  she’s gotten the hang of dipping her brush into the water and then rubbing it on the paint squares before trying to paint.  She doesn’t like it when our pictures look better than hers and often tries to steal either our brushes or our pictures.

9am: Laundry


10am: Snack time and working on our monthly budget


A smoothie doesn’t hold me long so I was hungry just a few hours later today.  If I’m being honest I’m usually hungry most of the day so snacking really isn’t unusual for me.  Harper wasn’t too excited about me trying to work on the budget so this didn’t last long and we watched countless videos by Super Simple Songs on youtube.

11:00am: Lunch time


Carl is home from CrossFit and we make lunch.  I love when Harper helps us in the kitchen because it exposes her to different kinds of foods in their different stages of being cooked.  Girl loves raw kale but won’t touch it once it’s cooked.  Go figure!  Today we are making egg salad.

Noon: Folding laundry


1 pm: Nap time

No picture of this but I took a nap while Carl and Harper played downstairs.  I’m always thankful that Carl will watch Harper so I can take napes during the day.

2pm: Who’s a princess?  


Today there is a princess party at the local library so Harper picked out this dress from Keith and Amy’s rehearsal to wear.

3pm: Too crowded!

DSC_0776 DSC_0773 DSC_0775

We get to the library and it’s PACKED!  We parked a good bit away and walked in, discovering all kinds of fun things on our way.  We’d never been to this library branch and really liked it compared to the one that is closer to our house because it has a separate children’s area.  We opted not to participate in the princess party and decided to look at the books, play on the computer and make our way to the park we passed on our way in.

4pm: Parkin’ it

DSC_0777 DSC_0790 DSC_0802DSC_0786

Harper enjoyed the little park way more than she enjoyed being inside the library.  She’s definitely an outside girl!

5pm: A new place to explore


On our way home we decided to stop by Fresh Market to check it out.  I needed to pick up a dessert for girl’s night and we always enjoy checking out new (to us) grocery stores.  Harper even tried a free sample of grapefruit juice and loved it.

6pm: Girl’s night


I should have been there already but I was running a bit late.  I’m so glad that I pushed on and went because I had so much fun!  I love Catie, who truly has the most amazing heart, and was glad to hang our with her and some other ladies for the Initial Outfitters party.

7-8pm: Shopping the party and having fun


It was neat being a guest at a party instead of the consultant.  I enjoyed just sitting back and listening to the consultant’s presentation and flipping casually through the catalog.  I decided on a chevron scarf with my monogram and I can’t wait to get it!

9pm: Packin’ lunch


We are sending Harper to daycare on Fridays for the last few weeks of summer so I packed her lunch when I got home.

10pm: Bedtime


After a shower and chatting with Carl I finally crawl into bed to read the Paleo Magazine that I picked up from Fresh Market.  I don’t think I lasted 10 minutes reading before I turned off the light and went to sleep.

And there we have it!  A day in the life at the Unsweet Tea household. 🙂

What are your days like?  Do they vary or are they pretty similar each day?  


What I’m loving lately

What I'm loving lately

I always love it when bloggers share some of their favorite stuff so I thought I would share some of the things I’m loving lately.

The Door Monkey:Harper had a difficult time when we transitioned Harper to her toddler bed earlier this summer.  The first few nights were okay and then she’d get out of bed, close the door and sit between her door and the baby gate we have outside of her door to keep her from going downstairs.  After a few weeks of horrible sleep we finally broke down and bought one and she’s done AMAZING with it on her door.  The firs time we put it on she cried for about four minutes before putting herself back to bed and went right to sleep a few minutes later.  She hasn’t gotten out of bed since!  Score!

The Whole30A few people from our CrossFit box decided to start a Paleo Challenge on July 7th and while it’s hard, I’m really loving how I’m feeling.  We are closing in on week two (recap of our prep and week 1 here) and while we are definitely not perfect I love how it’s really challenging us to look at food (and our relationship with it) in a different way. It’s amazing how many things have sugar added to it, too!


This shirtbecause it’s awesome.  I want one for me and Harper!

The Hydro Flask: This water bottle is AMAZING!  I bought it after reading about it on someone’s blog (of course I can’t remember who now!) and was totally sold!  I bought the 40oz bottle in Everest Blue from REI a few days ago and it hasn’t left my side since.  I love that it’s insulated so it keeps water cold (seriously, I still have ice in there from when I filled it up this morning and it’s 8:30pm!) even when it’s left in the car, it doesn’t sweat, AND it’s 40oz so I’m getting my water in.  It’s on the pricey side but trust me, it’s worth every penny!

I also love that Hydro Flask has a charitable side to it, too.

5% Back (former was created by Hydro Flask in 2009. Hydro Flask stands apart in their belief that great flasks and great causes can go hand-in-hand. They are strong believers in taking care of each other and the environment in which we live. Therefore, when Hydro Flask began in 2009, 5% Back started as well. Through 5% Back, Hydro Flask offers you an opportunity to give back to the greater community by choosing a charity to donate five percent of the net profit of your Hydro Flask purchase.

Discovering new blogs: I’ve found a few new blogs lately and wanted to give them a shout out! Ashley from My Food & Fitness Diaries is just so sweet and has the cutest little boy.  I’m also loving A Healthy Slice of Life.  Brittany has a daughter around Harper’s age and just had a baby girl two months ago.  I love her real stories about life with two little ones and no, this doesn’t mean I’m thinking about another baby!

Shopping at new stores:  I’ve always loved checking out new grocery stores and we’ve started shopping at Whole Foods and Fresh Market again.  I know, I know, Whole Paycheck, but their 365 brand actually has lower prices than some of the brands at Publix (for coconut milk, unsweetened shredded coconut, etc.) which I was really surprised about.  Both of these stores are just fun and different than our normal Costco and Publix runs.

What are some things that you’re loving lately?

Note:  None of the companies I’ve mentioned above have compensated me in any way I just love their products and wanted to share them with you!