Thursday, August 17, 2017

End of Summer Favorites from Tuckernuck

I am sure I'm not the only one who has ever been asked "what if" type questions where I am forced to respond. Sometimes when doing blog question and answers those are some of my favorites to respond to. At one point someone asked me "What if you could only shop for clothes at one store, which store would you choose?" If you know me in real life you probably know I don't really like choosing favorites and decisions may not always be my strong suit. However, for this question I could confidently say either J.Crew or Tuckernuck. J.Crew has so many great pieces but sometimes (at least at Furman) I felt like 6 other classmates may have had the same ones. And don't get me started on how many of the same J.Crew pieces Nell and I have in which we feel the need to text one another so we don't end up looking like the Bobsy Twins. For the most part that isn't going to steer me away from J.Crew but instead leaves me with my other option, Tuckernuck. If you've never been to their site then I am warning you now that I usually end up with half of the store in my basket when I've gone to just browse. The clothes are for the most part pretty classic but sometimes embody a modern trend that makes them that much cuter. I would be completely ok if I could only shop for clothes at one store if it were Tuckernuck. They have the type of clothes that would transition perfectly from work to weekend and as I aim to expand my professional wardrobe you can bet I'll be shopping here first.

After sharing some cute picks from H&M with y'all last week I thought I'd do the same this week but would feature some of the cutest new arrivals and items I've had my eyes on from Tuckernuck

I look forward to sharing some posts featuring a few of these items styled in the coming weeks! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Post Grad Plans

Happy Wednesday. At the end of today I am over half way done with my first work week in the real world. Today's post is a little different than my normal posts but I wanted to have everything down in one place for the people who may not know and ask. Many of you could probably recite this yourself but instead of having my post grad plans scattered among Step Into My Week posts putting them in one place seemed like a good idea. 

So, if you've been following along for a bit and already know this major kudos to you! 

I graduated this past May (2017) from Furman University with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education. The way Furman's education department works, has us graduated in four years however we don't have our teaching certificates until we've completed a semester of teaching. I'll receive my teaching certificate (as long as all goes well) this December. You may be thinking why the heck do they do that and how the heck does she have a job then. To answer the first of those questions, I have no idea why Furman does this when other schools allow their students to graduate with this teaching certificate but in all honesty it serves as a way to rope us into graduate school (which I'll get to in a minute). To address the second question, Furman pairs with two nearby school districts, Greenville County & Spartanburg Districts 1 & 6, to recommend us for hire. As a trade off for us being hired with only an "internship certificate" instead of our teaching certificate we end up only getting a portion of the pay. So, I do in fact have a job and am the sole teacher in my room but I won't receive full pay until after I've obtained my teaching certificate in December. 

To complicate things further, I am also attending graduate school at Furman. Come August of 2018 I will have a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education allowing me to be certified to teach anywhere from Kindergarten to Fifth grade. I began graduate school in June and did a session in June and a session in July. We do have class some during the fall and a little more frequently in the spring but the program is set up so that we can teach at the same time and do the bulk of our classes over the summer. Since as graduates from Furman we pretty much have to stay until at least December of this year I figured it was a wise choice to go ahead and knock out my Master's.

What does all of this mean for Prep In Your Step? Honestly, that is a great question and one that I ask myself frequently. It is my goal to still have posts go up every week although I know in reality I may have to cut back on the frequency of my posts. To be transparent with y'all, I would like to teach for a couple of years and then while I'm young, do something related to blogging/social media/PR. I wouldn't have known about any of that had I not started my blog so it is clearly something I value and love doing and I am going to do my very best in order to keep it up. I've been working in the past couple of weeks to build up lists of post ideas that I can rely on as things get busy but know that if a post doesn't go live it's because I will have to prioritize my job and school work over this wonderful hobby. I also want y'all to know that I have no intention of turning my blog into a teaching blog. A lot of my real life friends ask me this and my response is always the same. I started Prep In Your Step as a creative outlet and plan to keep it that way. Yes, I will post about my classroom and outfits I've worn to work but with plenty of other teaching blogs out there I can guarantee you that me posting "insight" on how to teach or what to do as a first year teacher would not be worth your time since I still have so much to learn. 

I hope that answered any questions you may have about what I am up to and I appreciate the opportunities I have to share my life with y'all! If you recently graduated for college I would love to hear what you are up to now! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meal Prep In Your Step: Ground Turkey Taco Bowls

Hi my name is Dorothy and I am not a professional cook or food photographer. In fact, I feel like I have a lot to learn when it comes to both. So, why not practice both right here with y'all in the newest series here on Prep In Your Step. The idea for this started when I was planning out my meals for the week at one point this summer and sent my friends a snapchat of me cooking with the caption "Meal Prep In Your Step." The rest is history. A number of my friends encouraged me to actually share what I have been making with y'all since this may benefit a number of you who are slowly transitioning from the beauty that is a meal plan in college to making your own dishes every day. With a love of puns and "Meal Prep In Yours Step" being all too perfect here I am sharing with you one meal that I eat far too frequently but have yet to get tired of. You'll soon realize in these posts that I either follow a recipe to a T or neglect to look one up all together. For this one we are recipe-less but that's half the fun (and the other half is most certainly eating your creation and looking forward to leftovers). 

Ground Turkey Taco Bowls

When I grocery shop I usually go to Trader Joes since that is where I can find quality ingredients the cheapest. It has become my go-to grocery store leaving me with only a few things to pick up at other places. Pretty much everything for today's recipe can be picked up there and the beauty of this bowl is that you can customize it however you would like which I think is one of the reasons I've yet to get tired of it. 

Ground Turkey (sometimes to mix it up I'll use ground chicken)
Taco Seasoning
Brown Rice (when you want to mix it up use quinoa)
Bell Peppers
Any other favorite taco topping. 

How To Make It
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a recipe-less recipe. If I was bold enough to start my post-grad cooking endeavors with this then that should be proof that this is a breeze to make taking me no more than 15 minutes. Based on the ingredients I buy I can usually make 4 or 5 servings from cooking this once although on occasion I need to make a fresh bag of rice. 

1. Spray cooking pan and place ground turkey to cook in it on medium heat. Add water as needed and sprinkle on some of your favorite taco seasoning. Depending on the amount of ground turkey you purchase I couldn't see this cooking for more than about 10 minutes. You'll want to flip it throughout and once it is browned then you are good to go. 
2. Follow directions on bag or box to cook rice. 
3. Chop bell peppers & avocados.
4. Once the rice and ground turkey are ready place the desired amount in your bowl and top with cheese. 
5. Place additional ingredients into your bowl and enjoy with a Lime La Croix (kidding but it is delicious).

TA DA you have a quick dinner for tonight and some look forward to worthy leftover to pack in your lunch or eat for dinner the rest of this week. It's always a happy sight in the fridge when I make these since it's a colorful meal and so easy to customize to your liking. I'm almost embarrassed to admit just how easy it is to make these and the fact that I could do it with my eyes closed considering I've made this dish at least 10 times. I hope that y'all are excited for this new series and I would love to know any recipes that you adore so that I can try those out as well! 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Step Into My Week

One last week before the kids arrive for me. There is still so much to get done before they arrive next Tuesday but having spent 3 days in my classroom this past week it is starting to look a little bit more like a suitable learning environment. With my car loaded up I made my first trip to the room on Tuesday morning (although I had a few meetings to attend that day) and had just as much stuff to unload on Wednesday and Thursday as well. The poor secretaries who kept having to let me in and out of the building were quite impressed by how much stuff I could pack onto my rolling cart to make fewer trips. My classroom is HUGE as it is actually a brand new kindergarten classroom that will be mine for the year as I teach 4th grade. As a first year teacher with fewer supplies and things in general I almost feel guilty for its size and storage but I am already getting attached. I have a long way to go before it feels put together but once I started making visual progress I started to feel a little bit better about how soon the kids come. I shared a lot of progress and silly tidbits on my instagram stories and plan to continue to do so this week but will eventually do a classroom tour on here. I've been shocked to see how many teacher and education majors follow me on instagram since I've been getting the sweetest messages with ideas and encouragement after each classroom story upload. While I'll be sure to share some aspects of teaching and my classroom I definitely do not want this to become a teaching blog as Prep In Your Step has always served as a creative outlet for me. I am planning to maybe talk about my classroom once a week (maybe every other week) but will need to play that by ear. I also plan to share my teaching outfits with y'all (confession: I am proud to be an outfit repeater) and I'm not sure if y'all would want those in their own post or right here in Step Into My Week posts like I did while student teaching. Y'all will just have to let me know. For now, here is my far from finished classroom. 

In addition to trying to get into some sort of routine in the near future (hello a valiant attempt being made to work out, blog, sleep, teach, etc...) I was able to do some fun things throughout this week. I had dinner at Chipotle with my friend Sarah (read her blog here!) on Wednesday and as per usual it was delicious and so fun being able to connect with other creative minds. In Thursday we celebrated my friend Porter's 22nd birthday with wine and appetizers at her apartment. Her mom and sister were even in town for the occasion and it was the perfect laid back way to celebrate after we were all feeling tired from moving boxes and perfecting bulletin boards. 

This is the shirt I am wearing in that photo and wore during some instagram story uploads that y'all were asking about! This weekend I finished up my book, continued to spend money on my classroom (the amount they expect you to supply is borderline insane), and spent a lot of time printing, laminating, and cutting various items. Yesterday we had our first grad class of the fall semester which was made better by getting our schedule for the semester finally and door prizes. I would up with a stapler and staple remover that will look cute on my desk and some fun friends that may make grading work a bit more bearable. The professors, supervisors, and mentors there definitely know the way to teacher' hearts. I think that about wraps it up for last week but hopefully I'll have more photos for you next week! 

Last Week's Posts 

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