This is my latest playlist. I love me some Spotify, whatever Taylor Swift says. Some of these are songs that endlessly make their way into my ears, some are new obsessions. All are moody and perfect for a chilly, rainy, possibly about to snow night…which is exactly what tonight is.

Read more on No, Vember: The Playlist…

gnocchi with bacon and tomatoes

I guess it’s a bacon-and-greens kind of month. This one is a super easy weeknight dinner from the April 2014 issue of Food Network Magazine. It’s amazingly substantial without using many ingredients, which I always appreciate.

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fall collage with pre-k

Last month I read a ton of fall books with the two pre-k classes. After we finished our stories we made these fall collages one week.

I found this tree coloring page online and tweaked the size to make it just right. Then I put piles of cut-up construction paper at the tables and let the kids go to town with crayons, glue sticks, and the paper.

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This was a totally improvised dish inspired by the amazing brussels sprout frittata recipe I found last winter in Food and Wine. I actually made this not long afterwards, and I’ve made it once or twice since. I am creative in many ways, but improvising recipes usually isn’t one of them. This is an exception!

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October 2014 Outfits

October is when I realized that my new khakis are not working for me. Also, I really love khakis. But they do not always love me. Also, even though October is my favorite month, I’ve been sick for most of it.

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halloween 2014 1

Halloween has come and gone, and it was so awesome this year. We also got a ton of mileage out of Hannah’s homemade costume this year. I love this cow.

Read more on The Cow Says, “Moo!” And “Happy Halloween!”…

library class books 2014

I have been so much more methodical about what I want to teach this year than ever before. Maybe it’s the part-time status; I feel more urgency to be on top of stuff since I only have 2 days a week. I usually only plan units a few months ahead, until the end of the novel studies I do with first grade and older. But sometimes I lose momentum after that because the novels are such a long-term investment, and even kindergarten can lose steam after spring break. So this year I’ve mapped out everything I want to do in grades pre-k through 6th all the way through June. And I think it’s a great plan.

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I read spooky and silly and atmospheric stories to everyone in the building this week and last week. October is one of my favorite times for read alouds, and having fifth and sixth grade is extra fun because I can read a few extra creepy things to them.

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fall porch 2014

Love our front porch this year. I skipped the bats and ghosts and bunting this time. We loaded up on mums and pumpkins and just decorated the front steps.

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Short ribs, short ribs, short ribs. Another amazing short rib recipe from the November ’13 issue of Food & WineIt was a good meat issue. I’m finally getting around to posting this after making it way back in March or April. It was delicious. Maybe not as delicious as the Bourguignon, but it was also a little less involved. More manageable on a weeknight. And I rarely cook anything with port, it was yummy.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds well-trimmed boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
2 large Spanish onions, very thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup ruby port
1 1/2 cups dry red wine

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