When Life Hands You Lemons

Boy, I’ll tell ya, there really is nothin’ like a good workout and an even better breakfast to kick start your Monday morning!

This morning’s workout was comprised of a 40 minute treadmill hodgepodge:

  • 20 mins HIIT (20 seconds @ 9.5mph / 40 seconds @ 4.5mph)
  • 5 mins steady jog @ 6.5mph
  • 8 mins walking @ 3.5mph & an incline of 10.0
  • 7 mins warm up/cool down

What can I say, I was indecisive…

But not when it came time for breakfast!


I toasted up a whole wheat Thomas’s Bagel Thin and topped it off with some PB, banana slices, and chia seeds. Talk about deeeelish! Smile


Now, before I go for this morning, I have a little something extra to share with you all…

When Life Hands You Lemons

Last Friday, as I was catching on some blog reading, I came across a post from Julie that really resonated with me and has inspired me to talk about something I have not yet discussed here.

Julie made some phenomenal points on what is dubbed “The Comparison Trap,” which many of us women face on a daily basis. I will admit, yes, I do fall into that trap quite often, and it boggles my mind as to just how much I can let it bother me.

Thankfully, when it comes to self-confidence, I am now at a point in my life where I am much better off than I once was. Yes, it’s still a challenge I face and strive to improve, but at the end of the day, I am a happy and healthy young woman, and there is nobody else I’d trade places with in the world.


The comparison trap, as Julie mentioned, also very much applies to the world of blogging. When I first began writing Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life, I wasn’t exactly sure what direction it was going to take, except for the fact that I would be taking pictures of food.

As time has gone by, and I’ve continued to try to find my “blogging voice,” I’ve found that it’s not only the food that I eat, but the fun in my everyday life that I enjoy sharing most, whether it be date nights, Cody’s crazy antics, blogger meet-ups, or days with friends. These are the things that keep me happy.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are also things in my everyday life that I don’t share with you. And the reason I don’t share them with you is because they are either boring, personal, or what my friends and I would call “Debbie Downers.”

Well for the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with a pretty major Debbie Downer and haven’t decided to bring it up until now. At the end of this school year, I’m getting laid off from my teaching job.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have already seen me comment on this once or twice when I first got an inkling, but things were still in speculation at that point. Within the past week, however, finance meetings concluded and I got the word that, due to financial reasons, my position would be getting cut.

Part of the reason I haven’t mentioned this yet on the blog is because, quite honestly, it just sucks. I’m good at my job, I’ve worked pretty damn hard to get to where I am, and now I’m losing it. With the way education is today, it will be nearly impossible for me to find another teaching job around here anytime soon. Sure, there are many “what if” scenarios, but I don’t like to live in a land of “what if’s,” so I’m taking it as it is.

For the most part, I really do try my best to keep things on STSL as positive as possible, and I hope that that comes through to you all when you’re reading. There’s enough negativity out there in the world nowadays, so why add to it?

I am a positive person, and I am trying my best to find the positivity in this whole situation. I mean, there are certainly worse things that could happen, right? And I’m definitely not about to take for granted what I already do have.

I truly do believe that everything happens for a reason, so in some crazy way, I know this is not being done to punish me. Perhaps, it’s a blessing in disguise? Whatever the reason may be, I will continue on and finish out this school year with as much pride and perseverance as I can, and hope for the best as to what’s to come.

Hopefully you’ll all stick with me in my adventure to try to figure out what life’s got in store for me next! Hey, you know what they say…

Question for the Day:

How do you keep positive when things get tough?


  1. says

    Court what a fabulous post :) I so agree that with all tend to fall ‘into the trap’ here and there but getting yourself out may be the tough thing to do. Whenever I need to keep positive during tough times, I always put music that makes me smile on and dance (literally) around my living room. Sometimes I read a book that helped inspire me to write, go for a walk, make one of my favorite meals, or call up a friend. Staying positive is always key to have a positive attitude. you’re amazing :) keep up the great work and finding your ‘blogging voice’ i love your blog!
    cait recently posted..Forgetting is easyisnt it

  2. says

    I am so sorry to hear that! I am an education major right now, and its scary that they arent hiring teachers right now! Especially when there are teachers out there that don’t even enjoy what they are doing!! I know you will be fine though and find something else or another job! I am a strong believer in everything happens for a reason :) I try to just focus on the good things in my life, and try hard not to think about the bad!
    Tara @ The Game of Life recently posted..Inspiration

  3. says

    Great post! I can totally relate, I have gone through some ups and downs with my career and also had to deal with my husband getting furloughed for two years. It’s really tough to go through loosing your job when it is such a big part of your identity. I found the key was to refocus my energy on the other aspects of my life so that my happiness wasn’t all tied up in work alone. I hope it is a blessing in disguise for you and that ends up working out for the better!
    Brittney recently posted..Fun Times!

  4. says

    Man, that does just suck. Teaching is one of the most important professions, yet education is really getting the shit end of the stick recently. So many of my friends (my brother included) are teachers and it’s so difficult and frustrating to remain positive in this situation. You’re right though – everything does happen for a reason. Chances are, something better will come along. Maybe you WILL find another teaching position. Maybe you’ll find something totally different that you’d never expect. When things like this happen to me, I get in a super pro-active mode and try to make things happen for myself. Don’t let this one situation control your outcome. You’ve got a lot going for you – keep your eyes open, your head up, and things will work out :)
    Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries recently posted..Weekend Wrap Up

  5. Erica says

    Great post Courtney — I’m a teacher as well, and the same thing is happening all over the country, It can be frustrating to “put on a happy face” & put in so much work when you know at any moment your job could be eliminated. You are so right about things being a “blessing in disguise” though! Wishing you the best!! :)

  6. says

    I had a feeling we’d be hearing about this sooner or later, since I’ve noticed your hints. I am a full believer in the ‘everything happens for a reason’ mantra. Don’t for one minute think that great things won’t come from this! You’ll have more time to blog, bake, and explore new paths.

    Whenever things get tough, I always, always remind myself that things could be worse. I have my health, a family that supports me, etc., and many people in the world don’t have that.

    If all else fails… go get yourself an iced coffee. 😉
    Liz recently posted..Cherry-Lime Sweet Potato Chili

  7. says

    This is the worst! I found out a couple of weeks ago that I am getting laid off from my teaching job as well. To make matters worse, I relocated to another state all on my own for this job and I’m not sure if I can afford to move myself back to where my friends and family are.

    I agree with you, though, that everything happens for a reason. When things aren’t going my way, I try to do things that I enjoy to keep me from getting too bummed. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of running and new workouts, trying new recipes, and writing. While it doesn’t fix everything, it sure does help!

    As far as blogging goes, I totally get not wanting to share everything in your life with the whole blog world. But I am a big fan of getting my thoughts out. Otherwise, I create crazy scenarios in my head and start to obsess in a totally unhealthy way. Maybe doing some personal writing would help? Or, if you’re feeling brave enough, you could share it here, too. I have found that there’s so much support out in the blog world–and I know I can use all the help I can get!

    Sending huge hugs your way! Hang in there!

  8. fsugirl! says

    That is just HORRIBLE! You are a great, happy, POSITIVE teacher and kids need people like you! I truly hope everything will turn out okay for you and your family.When things get tough for me I just think ” Heck, I could be homeless or dying with cancer or living in Japan after this tragedy” Thank you for being such a joyful and positive blogger 😀

  9. Christy says

    I’m so sorry to hear that!! Thought I’d share this with you – posted one day ago via Times Union on Monster.com: Albany Prep Charter School is recruiting for Middle School Teachers grades 5-8. Certification required. Send resume and cover letter to: jobs@albanyprep.org.

    They also posted that they are looking for Elementary School Classroom and Performing Arts Teachers, and Middle School Reading, Writing, Math, Science Teachers for the 2011-2012 year. http://www.​uncommonschools.​org/​usi/​careers /​

  10. julie says

    So sorry to hear about your job! When i hit rough patches i start making lists. First up is always my “who/what are the most important people/things in my life right now?” Then, i do my “what am i worried about?” list. And eventually, i make my “plan of action” list.” It always puts me in a better frame of mind when i feel like i’m being proactive and i’ve reminded myself just how lucky i really am. (It’s also fun to read my lists again after some time has passed, in a few months my worries will be totally different than they were a year ago.)

  11. Kelly says

    Oh I am so sorry!! We are also facing a budget crisis in Texas too and a few of my friends found out they are also losing their teaching jobs. So frusterating! I am really sorry that you are going through this but I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

  12. says

    Aw, I’m so sorry to hear that. Like you said, it very well could be a blessing in disguise! I admire your attitude and I am sure that great things will be coming your way 😀
    Katie H recently posted..Kauai! Part 1

  13. says

    I’m really sorry to hear that news, I know how hard a situation like that can be as we have had to deal with it in our family over the past year too. But I think keeping a positive attitude is seriously the best thing you can do as you look to move forward… it will keep you going and lead you to where you are meant to be! :)
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic recently posted..As Close as it Gets

  14. Vanie says

    Hey Courtney….I am sorry to hear about that….but personally I think it will open another window of opportunity for you where you can explore your other talents…and i am sure you have pther talents (I am a regular reader of your blog and i know what i am talking about)..SO just hang in there gal and enjoy and live every moment to the best!!

  15. Katie says

    I’m new to your blog so over the past week or so I’ve been trying to play catch up and read some of your back posts and other sections. In the Q&A section someone asked “What are ten things that you really want to do before you die?” and one of your responses was to open your own bakery/cafe. I’ve seen pictures of your cupcakes and other desserts and they look phenominal; perhaps now is your time to work on that dream (especially since cupcakes are so ‘in’ right now!). I know I would go all the time and, based on youre photos, probably rave about them to everyone I know.

  16. says

    Sorry to hear about the job. I was laid off from a job 2 years ago and it ended up being the best thing to ever happen to me. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but keep your head up and things will work out.

  17. says

    I have been thinking about you lately- with this whole situation :( I know how much it must suck- but you have been on my mind so very much!! I keep crossing my fingers & hoping for the best.
    You never know what might come along- maybe there are bigger & better plans for you! Like opening a bakery :) I noticed you are doing a lot more bakery-type work lately– saw the cupcake boxes the other day. :) Are you shipping too or doing local? I think it is awesome that this part of your life is looking VERY up– you never know, you could be the next big bakery in NY 😀
    Love ya! xoxo
    Holly recently posted..Countdown to the Bachelorette Party!

  18. Julia says

    I’m so sorry about your job! You’re a wonderful person though and I’m sure you will find something around the corner soon, and in the mean time take some much needed time for yourself. Thanks for always being true to you in your blog-I love it and will hopefully start one of my own soon! :)

  19. Lindsey says

    I am so sorry to hear about your teaching job, I know how stressful it can be to be laid off. I am excited for you though because I agree with some of the other readers commenting on how this could open the door to you opening a bakery :) . You are such an upbeat person and I’m so glad you share your life with all of us. You will be in my prayers and I can’t wait to hear what new opportunities present themselves to you now. Keep your head up because I have no doubt that there are amazing things waiting for you!

  20. says

    Hey girl – I’ve sort of been lurking for awhile, but what a great post – your attitude is awesome and you know, sometimes when an opportunity doesn’t work out – an even better one shows up 😉

    ps – I stayed at the Grande St. Lucia sandals resort on my honeymoon too – so fun!
    Kat recently posted..Newmans Own Recipe &amp Video

  21. Samantha says

    My heart sank when I read that. What a bummer but I’m glad to see you are trying to be positive. I agree with one of the other posts about maybe pursuing your dream of opening a bakery/cafe…or maybe on online bakery/cafe…just a thought. I know you will get through everything and come out better when all is said and done. To stay positive I do a lot of yoga and long outdoor runs when the weather is nice really helps too. Keep your chin up!

  22. says

    Courtney, I’m so sorry to hear about your being laid off. But, I do think that you can almost replace your income as a teacher by selling advertising on your blog. There’s no shame in doing so. You work hard to provide an entertaining blog for us, and you deserve to be compensated. If you sell widgets on your sidebar for $100 per month, and you attract 20 sponsors, you’ll be earning $2,000 in advertising. As your readership increases, you can continue to charge more. Other blogs that do this are http://www.makingitlovely.com, http://www.younghouselove.com, http://www.betterafter.blogspot.com.

    It’ll definitely help bride the gap in income until you’re able to find another teaching job you love. Or, who knows, you may very well decide to become a full time blogger.

    I wish you the very best in whatever you decide. Just trying to give you an idea you may not have considered in the past.

    • says

      Hi Jazmin,

      Foodbuzz, the advertiser to the left and right of Courtney’s blog, actually pays bloggers as well, so she’s making a lil’ moolah already. I totally agree that her blog gives us a lot and she deserves to make money from it.


      I’m so sorry to hear about this. :( I’ve seen some of your tweets about it and am sad that it actually happened. But, you never know where your next journey will take you. Though I’m not sure where your interests are, I think a part-time blogger/cupcake baker sounds right up your alley! :) Good luck to you. I am very excited to see where your journey will lead. I’m sure only good things are in your future!
      Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers recently posted..Gary Coleman in Orlando

  23. says

    Aww, Courtney, I’m so sorry to hear this. I went to visit an old elementary school teacher when I was home last week, and it sounds like this kind of thing is happening everywhere :( Keep your chin up!! Even though it’s definitely a tough thing to go through, I’ll bet your baking skills will only benefit from it, right? 😉 Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!!
    Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine recently posted..Zero Otto Nove

  24. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your lay off. I like to believe that everything does happen for a reason and I’m sure you will find that reason. I’m sure it’s hard, but after reading your blog for a while I know you will make it :)
    Kristi recently posted..Hawaii Part I

  25. Shayla says

    I’m so sorry to hear that Courtney…..in this economy it’s such a shame that jobs cuts have to happen in the education sector and that such great teachers as yourself have to be cut. I’m confident in that this is a blessing in disguise for you and that everything happens for a reason….I was laid off over a year ago and though it was hard at times and disheartening, I was blessed with an even better job and am more happier at. With your character and positive personality, I’m sure you’ll be fine and thank you for opening up to us blog readers. I know all of us love how fun and positive your blog is, but we support you in those moments that aren’t so great and I’m sure for you it feels good to let it out! I know I’ll be following you and am excited to see what your future has in store for you! Good luck :)

  26. says

    I am really sorry about your job. I was laid off from my teaching job last year also and it SUCKED. You are such a good example of staying positive and remembering that everything happens for a reason. You are amazing, beautiful and talented…don’t forget that:) AWESOME workout!
    janae @hungryrunnergirl.com recently posted..Tummy Time and Key Lime Pie

  27. says

    Awww I’m sorry hun!! This darn economy!! You have the right attitude about it though, these things definitely happen for a reason! I’d start looking for a new job now if you haven’t already…good luck! Please keep us posted!

    Sarah Lynn recently posted..If it wasnt for the birds

  28. says

    Hey Courtney, I’m so sorry to hear about the upcoming job loss. I can tell you this, you will get through it. In 2009 my husband’s company filed for bankruptcy and he lost his job. He was the main source of income for us; and it was totally scary in the months that followed. We went from frustration and anger (he didn’t even get a severance after 10 years there). Then the fear set in, for me anyway. We would pray every night and say three positive blessings we were currently experiencing, despite the job loss. Some days were easier to cope with than others. But we got through it. I don’t know what the turning point was, because it took a year for him to find work again. During that year we learned to rely on each other even more so and grew closer. Keeping our eyes focused on our love and the many many blessings we were experiencing really helped us. I hope that you and Jay will do the same. I know something good will come around for you. Hang in there. And like my friends say, when life gives you lemon, go find someone with vodka and have a party!
    JaNelle recently posted..ABCs of Nickijay

  29. Danielle says

    Hi Courtney,

    Sorry to hear about your job situation…I have been in it myself this year! I promise things will look up and you will find something you are passionate about and love doing! I was just telling my friend yesterday this area needs a fun hip bakery……think about it!

  30. says

    Hey Courtney,

    My condolences to you too, I went through a similar thing last year so I know it’s hard – I was doing a job in a local government programme and our funding got cut. Fortunately, after I applied for loads of positions (and suffered a few knockbacks too) I got offered a better job with a slight pay increase somewhere else in the same organisation, so all was not lost.

    One book I can really recommend helped me a lot is ‘What Colour is Your Parachute?’ – it was a great work book and tool for practical steps about how to think on your feet in situations like this, ahead of or during redundancy. It helps you to be versatile about marketing yourself and exploring new avenues and skills. You seem like a pretty organised person in your approach to life (like me!) so I thought you might find a similar approach to a big career challenge quite helpful. Let me know if you do give it a try and find it helpful – I can recommend plenty more resources too – I certainly did my research during this time!

    Good luck and whatever you do keep blogging. All your readers would be completely stranded and adrift without your daily posts! You’ve certainly inspired a regular reader over here in the UK.

    Best wishes,


  31. says

    Hi Courtney! I’m here for the first time but I have to say thanks for being so open about your situation! I’m really sorry you’re going through that~but I have no doubt that God will provide the best way for you :) I’ll be praying for strength girl! <3

  32. says

    What a bummer. As a non-tenured teacher in the Chicago suburbs, I feel anxiety over my job security all the time. It stinks that good teachers are laid off even though kids need them, just because of budget costs.

    Luckily you have a great attitude and lots of energy – you will make something great happen!
    Meg Joyce recently posted..Function over style

  33. says

    WOAH first off- KILLER workout 9.5! OOph! that is tough about the job but like you im a VERY FIRM believer in things happening for a reason.. it may seem a little shaky right now.. but in the future you will be somewhere you couldnt have been if you had still had that job and you will thank that it happened!
    Carrie (Moves ‘N Munchies) recently posted..It’s Normal…

  34. says

    I’m so sorry to hear the news, Courtney. That is a total bummer. I hope things work out in the job department soon enough. And like you said, things happen for a reason, even when we have to clue why. We eventually learn what the lesson was and why it was supposed to happen. Hang in there!

  35. VanessaG says

    I’m so sorry. I’m a first grade teacher. I will def keep you in my prayers. Remember that even though we don’t always understand, God knew this would happen. He has a plan for you. You are so talented in so many ways. Try to keep your head up high. If the gov doesn’t make some changes there isn’t going to be enough teachers anymore. We can only do so much!! Love ya and your blog!!

  36. Allison says

    Hey Courtney….I’ve never posted on your blog, but felt compelled to today. I’m sorry to hear about your job!

    I was in a similar situation 3 years ago, when the school I was working for closed. I felt myself wondering what my next step was, and if I would find myself in a school setting again. I ended up finding a job in a field that I love, and look back at that time as a huge turning point for me.

    I love reading your blog, and have tried several of your recipes and love them!! Keep your head up and continue with the positive thinking…..things will work out for you.

  37. says

    I honestly do believe that everything happens for a reason. Something better will come along where you’ll be even happier than before. Everyone falls into a rut unfortunately, but it’ll always make you a stronger person in the end. We will always be here for you :)
    Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) recently posted..Sweetest Thing

  38. Brenda says

    Courtney, I am so sorry! How long have you been teaching? I am a teacher in CT. Last year, in my fifth year at my school, they were talking about major budget cuts. There were 15 teachers under me and we were all being considered to cut. They ended up telling about 5 teachers that their position was going to be cut. Finally, on the last day of school, all 5 teachers were told that they were not going to lose their jobs afterall. This was after one of them found a job in Massachusetts. So, you never know, your job may be saved after all. Good luck!

    • Courtney says

      I’ve been taking temporary leaves since 2005, but got a probationary position 2 years ago.
      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Brenda! :)

  39. says

    coming from a family of teachers, so sorry to hear and I know it’s been a tough few years. even my mom who has been teaching for SO LONG is facing the same fears as you. i’ve seen the same thing happen at my sister’s school as the comment above so there is HOPE. and you’re right something else is meant to come next in your life and it will definitely be something better. :) just need hold on for the ride!! 😉
    courtney @ cupcakedynamite recently posted..spring preview

  40. Jessica says

    I am so sorry to hear that! You are very positive and I read your blog every day. I am a teacher,too, and so I can relate to budget cuts…..you seem like such a happy and nice person…I know you will make it through this!

  41. says

    That sucks. I work in the public school system also. It’s such a hard time of the year because great teachers are getting laid off. Don’t worry, you never know when another door will open for you.

  42. elysie says

    I wish you a lot of luck in this tough time. Stay positive and don’t give up hope on education. Keep your ears open for different opportunities – maybe not even in a classroom. There are a lot of alternative education opportunities that you might not have even heard about. Try to talk with people and network as much as possible.
    Good luck and I’ll be thinking about you!

  43. Katy says

    Your blog is truly amazing. I would definitely consider looking into spending more time on it & possibly making this (and baking cupcakes, sure!!) as a full time gig. You’ve got some serious talent, you are incredibly relate-able, and I’m sure you make some killer cupcakes.

    Sending warm wishes your way! This post was amazing.

  44. Ally says

    This is the first time I’ve ever read your blog. Found it through Julie at PBFingers. I am likely going to be in the same situation. It makes me sad because my hard work and creative/above avg. skills got me this job (Gifted and Talented teacher), only to lose it due to budget cuts. I’m thinking of you.

  45. Floey says

    <3 If you're a hard worker and good at what you do — whatever it may be, there will always be a place and purpose for you in this world <3 hugs and blessings to you!

  46. Nikki says


    I just started reading your blog and I’m already addicted. I relate to a lot of the things you write about… including the job thing. I’m a 5th grade teacher in Philadelphia and where I haven’t yet lost my job, it’s in jeopardy. Looking into as many districts, near or far, as possible and charter schools has helped ease the anxiety. I know it isn’t ideal but whatever works. Ya know?

    Thanks for sharing all you do!

  47. says

    Keep your chin up, Courtney! You know teachers are always having babies or retiring, so I’m sure a great opportunity will open up for you. End the year on a positive note so everyone in the education field knows you for your great attitude and strong work ethic. If all else fails, move down here to sunny FL and I’ll help you get a job in my school district! :)
    Molly Carter recently posted..Chocolate Fudge Toffee Cookies

  48. says

    I’m sure it will all work out and one day you will look back and understand how it all fit into the “puzzle”… but until then, I know it sucks! I work as an interventionist at an elementary school and they have yet to determine if the funding will be available to hire me back next year. I’m sitting here trying to wait patiently, but it’s killing me. If you look at it this way, with your amazing skill set and talent, you will most definitely find a million things to keep you busy next year! And eventually, the perfect job will open up for you :)


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