Friday, October 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes

I think this is the second, maybe third, time I've ever done 7QT. But I had all these stray photos hanging out on my phone, none worth their own blog post, so I figured I'd jump on Jen's awesome bandwagon.

1. Today is the feast of St. Francis—which means it's my husband's feast day!

Frank was raised Protestant so this was his first time celebrating his saint's day.

I, meanwhile, was raised in a Cuban family that made a huge deal out of saint's days. It's like another birthday for us.

So I started the day off right with a big homemade breakfast to surprise him when he woke up...

I really wanted to have a cake or cupcake for him, but I ran out of time to make anything big. A Buzzfeed article inspired me to make a mug cake instead. That's the thing in the blue bowl. I even stuck a candle on top—so fancy. :)

Happy feast day to all Franks, Francises, and Franciscos out there—and especially to Pope Francis!

2. My mom bought me this darling handmade wreath last time we went to Naper Settlement:

It's been making me really happy lately. It brightens up our home so much.

2. Every day on the drive home, I pass "my favorite house" down the street. I can't get enough of those pretty flowers growing all over the porch:

Isn't that an impressive garden for a crowded little city street? Someday I hope to meet the talented gardener and compliment him/her on the lovely work.

3. It's been unseasonably warm these past few days. When work allows it, I like to sneak out to the quad and eat lunch on the grass.

Sometimes I even slip off my shoes and bask in the sunshine. :)

Indian Summer, you stay as long as you like.

4. I can't thank Jen enough for linking to this amazing website and in particular this list of organizational tips. I've been trying to incorporate a few of those into my life.

My favorite so far is the tip to line clothes up horizontally in drawers, so everything is visible:

It's already made my life so much easier and neater!

5. Going back to the topic of breakfast, lately I've been addicted to crunchy peanut butter on whole grain toast (with a side of orange juice, of course):

Smooth peanut butter doesn't quite do it for me, but crunchy just hits the spot.

Is that weird—peanut butter for breakfast? I never had it for breakfast before, but lately I really love it.

6. Katrina inspired me to make this amazing one-pot mac and cheese. I was inspired to get all Pioneer Woman and take photos of the process...

This is what happens when I have too much time on my hands.

First up, "The Cast of Characters"

Just-added-to-the-pot elbow pasta plus butter and milk:

Adding in the cheese. MMMM.

(I think I need to clean my stove.)

Aaaannnnnnd the finished product. Ta-da!

That was a fun one to make and just as easy as it sounds. I'll definitely be adding it to the regular rotation.

7. The last take is actually the most important. I have an exciting announcement to share!

You guys know how interested I am in Montessori education, mostly thanks to my awesome friend Ruth who runs a Montessori school in Virginia.

For a while I thought about training to be a Montessori teacher, but the time and money commitment was too much for this stage in my life.

Ruth suggested that I train in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd instead—the Montessori method of religious education. The training is a lot less intense, and you can easily find work on a part-time or volunteer basis. Considering I work full-time at the university, that low commitment sounded perfect.

I began looking into Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) training courses in my area, and this week I made the jump and registered for one. The classes start on Saturday and run until April 2015 (just one class per month).

I'm so excited to begin this course! Yesterday I bought a pretty new notebook for the class, and when I got home I organized all my course materials in a nice stack on my dresser. It felt like back-to-school, for the first time in three years. :)

Wish me luck!


  1. Sooo many good things! Happy feast day to Frank! My husband and I eat crunchy pb on toast for breakfast all the time. :) Have fun with your class!!!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes pb for breakfast. :)

  2. Happy Feast Day. Our prior church just started Catechesis of the Good Shepard right before we moved and right before our son was old enough to attend. I also did the mac and cheese and was in love with it. PB if a favorite for breakfast. Unfortunately my husband can't stand the crunchy.

  3. So awesome to hear you're starting training for COGS! And love that wreath from the Naper Settlement. I might have to go find one for our home. :) Loved your quick takes. You should do it more often!

    1. Thanks, Julia! You should totally go if you get the chance—the Settlement is so much fun for kids and the "Weed Ladies" store has so many great seasonal decorations. I'll try to do these more often. :)

  4. A lovely quick takes! Happy Feast Day, Frank! Tess, you are such a sweet wife to make it such a special day for him. And now YOU have me wanting the mac and cheese.

    And the wreath? Love it. I need to get/make one!

  5. What fun quick takes! These all made me smile :) I'm definitely looking into those organizational tips - I've never thought to arrange my clothes vertically... good idea! lol. And you know I love #7! PLEASE let me know how it goes! I'm considering my possibilities as well.

    God bless you! <3

  6. Hi! I love your blog and have been reading it for a while. I just wanted to say that you are going to absolutely love Catechesis of the Good Shepherd! I work at a Classical elementary school and the pre-school teacher is a Montessori teacher and uses this program. I can't say enough good things about it. Did you know that it is the curriculum used by Mother Thersea and her sisters?

    1. Thanks! The first class was super interesting, so I'm excited to see how it goes. Is your school in or near Chicago, by any chance?

      I didn't know that about Mother Teresa's nuns—good to know though! That's pretty awesome.

  7. 1. LOVE your dresser drawer pulls.
    2. We didn't celebrate saints feast days in my family (except St. Nick and St. Valentine!), but we love to celebrate just about everything. Maybe I will start that tradition with my own family!
    3. In my family, we like peanut butter on our pancakes--so yes to peanut butter for breakfast!!

    1. Thanks, Molly! They're from World Market—I got a whole bunch of them really cheap. Love that store!

      Oooh, you totally should. It's so nice to have a special day with your favorite dinner and maybe some presents, but that's "just family" and more intimate and spiritual than your birthday. Especially since I'm a twin who had to share all my birthdays, having my own saint's day to celebrate (Lillian's is in July and mine is in October) was so great. We keep it really simple, just a special meal, Mass together, a small gift, and either reading a children's book about the saint or sharing a story about him/her.

      Oh my gosh, you're just like Frank. :P He loooooves peanut butter on his pancakes. I can't quite wrap my mind around that one!