Currently...JULY?!

Wow, we are already halfway through 2015! That is just craziness! I'm linking up with Farley today for her monthly "Currently" linky party! It's always so much fun! This month's theme is taken from the World Cup Women's soccer game tonight...it was fun to watch!


Listening: I'm watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix- it's one of my favorite shows!

Loving: My family is currently on vacation at Grand Lake in Oklahoma. We have a beautiful lake house, and are spending a week down here together. It's been perfect! Make sure you follow me on instagram (@allieelliott), as I am posting pictures of our adventures daily (and some beautiful landscapes in there too!!).


Thinking: It's about 11:30 right now my time...and I wanted to be asleep by ten! OOPS! #nightowlproblems

Wanting: I've been browsing Pinterest and blogs this summer to decide on my classroom theme for the upcoming school year. I don't know what grade I'm teaching yet, but think it'll probably be in the primary grades (K-3). I'm wanting to nail down a theme/color scheme so I can get shopping, laminating, and crafting! If you have any great ideas, leave them down below in a comment! (Links to blog posts are even better!!!)

Needing: I leave in 43 days (but who's counting, right ;)?!) to go back to Tanzania. That means I need to get myself in gear by making lists of what I need and want, deciding what to purchase to take with me, and then getting out there and buying the necessary items. All that to say, July is going to be a BUSY month!!

All Star: I love celebrating...especially people! My mom made every event, birthday, holiday, etc. special for us kids growing up, and now I love to do the same! Whether it's giving a gift, putting up signs and streamers for a birthday, baking a cake, making simple decorations for holidays, and more, I absolutely love being a celebrator! I love making others feel special!!! :)

Alright, YOUR TURN!! Head over to Oh Boy 4th Grade to grab the image and learn about the link-up, then do it yourself! I'd love to see what's currently going on in your life!!

Much Love, Allie
6

Chicken Stuffed with all things Delicious!

I love trying out new recipes! If I wasn't a teacher/missionary, I would totally consider going to culinary school- because I love to cook! This recipe comes from one of my first EVER pins on Pinterest- and I am very excited to share it with you! I've changed the recipe up a bit, and it is delicious! I'm calling this recipe Herb Goat Cheese and Asparagus Stuffed Chicken.


This recipe makes six servings- that's what I chose. You can tailor it to your needs, and make as many servings as you need. Here's what you'll need to whip this chicken up:
* Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
* Goat Cheese
* Asparagus
* Fresh Herbs (I used chives and basil)
* Garlic
* Olive Oil
* Butter
* Chicken Stock or Broth (I used Better than Bullion to make mine)
* Salt and Pepper
* Toothpicks

Start by prepping the different parts to this recipe. It's pretty simple, but is very important to get all the prepwork done so you don't have to do it as you go! First, wash the asparagus and cut off the ends.

Then, put your goat cheese in a bowl. I get my goat cheese in a two-pack from Costco. I used about 3/4 of a package for six breasts. I like a lot of goat cheese, to act as a yummy creamy aspect of the meal. Chop up whatever fresh herbs you like- I chose basil and chives, as I had those on hand. I also minced up about four cloves of garlic and put those in the goat cheese, and I sprinkled in some fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt.

Now, mix away! This is one thing I changed about the recipe. They suggested using a pre-mixed garlic and herb goat cheese, but I made my own! I absolutely LOVE fresh herbs- especially in the summer! We have a little herb garden here; and I plan to take some herb seeds back with me to Tanzania to have some fresh herbs there too! If you can't use fresh herbs, you can substitute dried herbs, but I strongly suggest getting your hands on some fresh goodness!

Once you have your goat cheese mixed up, clean your chicken breasts. Then, you can choose to do one of two things. First, you could use a mallet and pound the chicken down to about half the size, making it thin and wide. Or, you could do what I did and cut the chicken with your knife parallel to the counter, cutting almost all the way through, but stopping close to the edge, to keep it together. Then, open up the breast, so it looks like the picture.

Spread some of the cheese mixture on one half of the chicken, then place three to four sprigs of asparagus on the cheese.

Fold the chicken breast back over (sandwiching the cheese and asparagus between the chicken), and set with a toothpick or two. Sprinkle the side that's up with a bit of salt and pepper. Do this to all of your chicken breasts!

Then, get ready to cook the chicken! I chose to use two large pans, so that I'd have enough space to flip the chicken over and that it would cook evenly. I would say that the maximum chicken breasts per pan would be four. If you're cooking more than four, go ahead and use two pans.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in each pan. Add in about a teaspoon of minced garlic to each pan. Then, put the chicken in, salt and pepper side down. Sprinkle more salt and pepper on the top of each chicken breast and cook for about six minutes.

Then, prepare 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth per pan. I used a half-cup per pan so we'd have a bit more sauce, but you can use 1/4 if you'd like. After the chicken has cooked for 6 minutes, flip it to the other side, pour in the chicken broth, and cover the pan. Cook for another 6 minutes.

Once the cook time is up, remove the toothpicks and serve! I served my chicken with couscous and a salad, but you could do pasta, rice, or whatever you would like!

I think this recipe is easy enough for a simple dinner all year round, or you could add it to your menu for a dinner party! You could also change up the cheese and vegetable inside! Mozzarella cheese with broccoli; feta cheese with olives...be creative! Anything goes! This is an awesome recipe to have in your back pocket for when you need something easy and exciting for the main dish of a meal. If you try this recipe out (or any variation), leave a link in the comments or tag me on social media! You can also use the hashtag: #thegypsyteachercooks. I would love to see your creations!

What have you been cooking lately? Any new recipes I need to know about?! :) Happy cooking!!

Much Love, Allie
0

Dare to Dream!

Hey everyone! Today I'm back for week two of the Teachers Pay Teachers Seller Challenge! This is a fun way to motivate me this summer to work on my TPT Store! This week's challenge is all about blogging- sharing our dreams of what we want out of selling on TPT. That's what I'm here to write about today!!

This week's challenge actually came at a great time! This spring I was in a Life Group where we were reading and discussing a book. One of the chapters was about our life goals, and making a life goal list. As I've been pondering what my dreams are for my TPT store, I've been thinking about what is on my life goal list too!

I would love to use the money I earn with my store to travel. Traveling is one of my favorite things in the whole world- I love to experience new cultures and people and places. I'd love to be able to save up enough money to spend a month in Paris living in a flat and taking in the city that I've always wanted to experience! (And that's just the beginning!)

Ever since about six years ago, when I went on my first missions trip to Bogota, Colombia, I had a dream to do missions and teach around the world. This kind of goes along with number one, but it's also separate enough, that I needed to mention both. Last summer, I got a chance to see if this "dream job" is actually what I'm supposed to do long-term. I received an email, actually a year ago TODAY, from one of my best friends, with a flyer asking for volunteer teachers to come teach in Moshi, Tanzania. After hesitantly applying, and a Skype call, I got the position! I packed, prepared, and headed off to a new place with a new job and a whole new culture, and have never looked back! This year has been a CRAZY AWESOME year of teaching, being a missionary, and feeling fulfilled in my "dream job"! I'm so excited to return for a second year at Hope International School with Global-Effect! With my volunteer position, they provide my necessities (airfare, visa, housing, and a small food stipend), but I need to raise my own support. I'd love for my TPT store to help with supporting my passion and lifestyle teaching as a missionary- as I would love to do this for the rest of my life!


I'd love to put some of my TPT earnings in savings for the future! And, I'd also love to have some TPT earnings for a family in the future. I am currently single, but dream to someday be married and have children, as well as adopt!

So what are your dreams? What would you like me to create in my Teachers Pay Teachers store next?

Much Love, Allie
5

TPT Seller Challenge: Makeover Madness!

Whew! It has been a WHILE since I posted...about a month and a half! (way too long!) Life has been crazy- first with my laptop breaking, then with the final weeks of the school year, and traveling back to the States for summer! I am hoping and working toward posting twice a week again...hopefully I can be a bit more consistent this time (and we don't have any more malfunctioning technology!). It has been quite an incredible year- and there's lots for me to share with you about! But, today I have a quick post on something I've been up to this week!

A group of teacher bloggers and Teachers Pay Teachers sellers have come up with an awesome way to motivate us TPT sellers over the summer! It is called the TPT Seller Challenge! If you didn't know, I have a little online store over at TPT where I create and sell products for teachers! I have definitely been slacking in that area, and this challenge is a great way to get me back in the game! This first week, the challenge was Makeover Madness- we chose a product(s) that we've already made to make over- it could be just the cover picture or the whole product.

Well, I went into this challenge thinking that I just would makeover the cover of one of my most popular products, Pail of Pals. I ended up overhauling the whole product, and I think it turned out great! Here is the before and after of the covers of the product:

It is the same product, just made a whole lot better! This product is all about making the lives of teachers easier! Read more about it in my store! Here's the preview of it too!

I think everything turned out great- and much sleeker than before! This product is on SALE through tomorrow- 20% off! If you're thinking about some fun back to school activities to do, check out my Pail of Pals Back to School Activity!

Much Love, Allie
0