Back to School Memories #BTS

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Share your Back to School Memories with Me!

This is a Sponsored Post in Partnership with Verizon Wireless. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!

This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to chat with @VZWaudrey, @MyDFWMommy and @jmroubinek along with lots and lots of my fellow Texas Twitter peeps about Back-to-School Memories. Lots of talk was made about the best gadgets/tech devices for Back-to-School plus lots of fun memories.

We chatted about how you can print from your mobile device and about the Fit Bit. We chatted on how the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet is water resistant and dust proof!

We learned 4 Ways your Middle Schoolers can use your Tablet for School (some great tips in there!) We also chatted about some great accessories for tablets: like wireless headphones and keyboards.

Today, I thought I’d re-live some of my own Back to School Memories. I’m a child of the 80s/90s when I was in elementary, middle and high school. I remember a lot of things from Kindergarten (it was half-day school for me at that time…did anyone else have half-day Kindergarten??)

I remember learning my street address and phone number by heart. I remember a hunt all through the school trying to find the Gingerbread Man (we found him in the Cafeteria…lol). I remember different learning stations during school (kindergarten)…one was a reading area, one was a home area (think kitchen stuff)…one was a coloring area…one was a nap area.

I have various memories throughout Elementary School…just bits and pieces of random stuff. Like Earth Day in 3rd Grade. Having a Split Class in 3rd grade (so there were half 3rd graders and half 4th graders). Having a Split Class in 5th grade (so there were half 5th graders and half 6th graders).

I remember the Oregon Trail on the big bulky computers with the green screens. I remember Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? game. I remember the eye sight and hearing tests all throughout Elementary School. I remember getting a salad bar in the 6th grade as an option at lunch. I remember taking the Presidential Fitness Test in 6th grade…the chin up bar specifically (where you had to hold yourself up for so many seconds and then once you got past that specific time, then how long you could stay up there…I was a rockstar at that).

I remember cleaning the erasers outside for the chalkboards. I remember the Book Fairs. Ohhhh the Book Fairs. I would spend hours going through the Book Fair catalogs and marking everything I so badly wanted.

In Junior High, I remember having a Lunch and After-School Canteen where you could buy sodas and Candy. I remember being on the Drill Team (dance) my 9th grade year and going bowling twice a week once our seasons were over. I remember typing class. Sometime in Junior High, my parents bought a home computer. I think it was an ASIS. And we had AOL. And my brother became a computer nerd/hacker and ended up getting our account shut down at one point. We had all get new email addresses. I still have my email address from way back then on AOL.

In High School, my first cell phone was this huge bulky Nokia Flip phone that had a battery that weighed like 5 pounds. It’s what I took with me to college.

In College, I ended up getting a new cell phone…it was this tiny little Nokia. It was dark blue. Text messaging still didn’t exist. And you cherished your phone minutes. There was no such thing as Night and Weekends. I owned a beeper. That was my text messaging. ;) My parents bought me a desktop computer (an HP) to go off to college with. I had it from 1999 till well…I honestly don’t remember when I got rid of it. I remember having it in 2003/2004. But then I don’t remember having a computer for awhile after that.

Ultimately for me, back to school meant new clothes and school supplies to start the school year. Even as a College Student, I would go on the hunt for new clothes and school supplies. If the technology had existed way back when, when I was in school….I would definitely had asked for a tablet for school and an e-reader. I would’ve had a smartphone because it would’ve been something else that I would’ve asked for (either birthday or Christmas). The advancement of technology even since I’ve been out of college (2003) has come leaps and bounds. I foresee text books going digital. I foresee tablets being used more and more in the classrooms (even in Elementary Schools and Junior Highs).

What are some of your Back to School Memories?

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Cocktail: Texas Lemon Drop Martini

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Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

If you have an upcoming holiday party or bachelorette party, these Lemon Drop Sugar Cubes are the perfect on-the-go mixer to make this simple Texas Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail. What makes this a Texas Lemon Drop Martini?? The Dripping Springs Texas Vodka of course. This vodka is pure and smooth…making it the perfect pairing in this cocktail.

Texas Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

Serving Size: 2 cocktails

4 oz Dripping Springs Texas Vodka
2 oz Triple Sec
2 Lemon Drop Sugar Cubes
Rimming Sugar (optional)
1 lemon for fresh lemon juice & for sugaring the rim (optional)


(OPTIONAL) Cut the lemon in half. Take one half and cut into half again (make 2 wedges) Run the lemon wedge along the edge of your cocktail glass and dip glass immediately into rimming sugar.

Add vodka, triple sec, juice from the rest of the lemon and sugar cubes into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake like crazy until the sugar cubes dissolve and cocktail is chilled – roughly 30 seconds.
Strain into cocktail glass of choice, garnish with a lemon wedge and enjoy!

NOTE: If you don’t have access to the Sugar cubes, use of 1 oz simple syrup plus 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice per 2 cocktails.

Bacon & Parmesan Oven Potatoes

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Last week when I took my final exam for my cooking school class we had to cook two side dishes, a sauce, and an entree from memory. Well, two kids seems to have sapped my brain cells and my memory is not what it used to be so I made sure that the recipes that I did were simple but delicious.
My husband is from Ireland and so naturally we love potatoes. One of the sides that I made was oven roasted rosemary potatoes. They were crispy and tender and so simple. I made a variation again and spruced them up just a bit. Everything is better with bacon, right?

Parmesan & Pancetta Oven Potatoes

Bacon & Parmesan Oven Potatoes

2 pounds new red potatoes quartered or cut into 1/8ths depending on size of potatoes
1 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves chopped garlic
6 ounces bacon chopped (can use pancetta instead)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Coat a casserole dish with nonstick spray.
3. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic to casserole dish.
4. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and salt and pepper.
5. Cover dish with foil.

photo 1(52)

6. Bake for about an hour or until fork tender. Gently stir once halfway through cooking to turn potatoes.

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7. While potatoes are baking, cook the bacon or pancetta and drain off the fat.
8. When potatoes are done baking sprinkle bacon and parmesan over potatoes. Cover again and let stand 5 minutes for cheese to melt.

photo 3(43)

The bacon and cheese add extra flavor to the already yummy potatoes. The recipe is also super simple to make. You get it going in less than 10 minutes and let it do it’s thing for an hour until it’s time to cook the bacon. Easy peasy for a delicious side that goes with most anything and the whole family will love.

Parmesan & Pancetta Oven Potatoes

I’ll see you again next month with another easy recipe from Penney Lane Kitchen. In the meantime, I hope you’ll stop by the blog or give me a follow on social media. I’m sharing new recipes each week in both place. Happy cooking y’all!

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