Thursday, December 26, 2013

Not over!

Christmas day was perfect, but only a segment of this great month (which isn't over yet)!  I believe I have failed to mention here that my husband and I treated ourselves to bicycles in November so we've had fun playing with them and biking all over the city.  Last weekend we rode to one of our favorite neighborhoods and had a wonderful lunch, complete with rosé

I also celebrated my 29th birthday with a trip to Asheville, NC and a few gatherings with friends.  And even though my husband was out of town on the actual day (in Ireland, the lucky duck!) he still remembered to send me flowers which have brightened up a corner of my work desk ever since.

Despite the craziness of constant activities, I've tried to keep up with recipe experimentation, including this "falafel pie" which, although not the most beautiful visually, was really good and very easy to make (recipe here).

Christmas eve started out a bit bland with work, where I wore an outfit that, in hindsight, appears to be elf colors!

Afterwards we went to my parents house in the burbs where we straight up chillaxed.  After opening presents with them in the morning, we came home and opened our presents to each other which included some AWESOME stuff!

Shoes for biking (the burgundy pair) from Urban Outfitters

A bag for biking from Madewell

As well as a bike basket, new seat, and backpack for long trips.  Obviously this Christmas was dedicated to our new hobby!  Luckily we have many bike rides coming up in the next week so we can test everything out before student teaching starts for me and busy season starts for him.  Then we may have to wait a few months for free time!  

Till New Years, it is still Christmas in my book, so many more celebrations to come!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A breathe

Haaaaappy holidays!!!  Man, this is really just the best time of the year, hands down!!  Fall semester ended a few weeks ago with a bang and student teaching is fast approaching!

Thinking about student teaching has got me thinking about what I will wear to school five days a week.  Luckily the school that I will be at is pretty artistically oriented so it won't have to be as straight laced as other places.  Currently I don't have ANY kind of dress code though, so I've been brainstorming conservative outfits that still make me feel like "me."  Putting them up here is actually a great way to build up a little reference library!  Two recents:

There will be more to come!  I've also got a few work wardrobe staples on their way from J Crew so hopefully I will be set!

Today until the beginning of January is packed full of fun activities so I am trying to savor every moment!  I never want Christmas to ennnnd!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Quickly - outfits!

A few from lately

Trying out a new skirt length - needs a heel I think

Nineties revival - this is definitely a Laura Ashley dress

I felt a little bit like an art teacher here

Checking all the fall boxes - school girl skirt in gray, cozy turtleneck, boots with lots of buckles, jacket with "leather" detailing

Busy times, good times!

This semester continues to get nuttier and nuttier!  Churning out lesson plans nonstop, researching teaching strategies, video critique, observations, paperwork that doesn't end...Thanksgiving will be a welcome break!  I never stop being amazed at how quickly time passes.  One minute you are thinking that the next few months seems impossibly busy and then ~snap~ it's nearly over!

I started out this internship phase with the firm belief that it was a waste of time.  Get me to student teaching already!  But I have been reformed.  I now thank my lucky stars that I got a chance to ease my way in because, honestly, this teaching thing is tough!  But it is also more rewarding than I ever dreamed.  When a student gives me the exact answer I am looking for, proving his/her comprehension of the lesson I am teaching, a choir of angels starts singing in my head and I feel so totally and completely happy and "in my element."  Every step of this process is more challenging than anything I've done in my life so far and I love it.  I finally think I know what people mean when they say that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy - all the challenges just make the accomplishments even more exciting.

Even though both myself and my husband have been working like dogs lately, we still find time to have fun!

Fajitas and margaritas on a Friday night!

My sweet pup

Drinks and checking out wedding photos with my brother-in-law and his new wife

A peaceful Sunday morning preparing for the week ahead

This weekend marks our 6 month wedding anniversary - holy moly!!  We have a lot of fun plans, starting with a relaxing halloween-y night in this evening.  Working on our costumes, watching scary tv, eating veggie chili, and drinking spiked apple cider!  Early bedtime though because we are running a little 5k in the morning that is also halloween themed and starts in a cemetery!  Let the holiday seasons begin!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday, Friday

Maybe I will title every post I write on Friday the exact same thing because my brain is normally too frazzled by this point to think of anything better!  The wedding last weekend was phenomenal.  Evidence:

This is the reception space before it was over run with nearly 200 people dancing the night away.  You can't do much better than to have a real dinosaur skeleton presiding over your wedding reception!

Monday I taught a teacher-observed lesson and it went well!  The class was 11th grade world history and the topic was medieval Christianity.  I took a pretty safe route with a simple "do now," Prezi lecture with guided notes, and partner discussion activity.  Every time I get a chance to teach, it is always bitter sweet.  I love getting the practice and interacting with the kids.  LOVE IT!  The downside - it makes me want to have my own classroom already, dang it!  I'm already brainstorming ideas for something more interactive/fun for next time since I plan to do a lot of active, hands-on stuff when I am REALLY teaching.  

Last night my lovely husband suggested Ethiopian for dinner and it was so much fun...until we overstuffed ourselves and pretty much passed out in a food coma!

Today is a long work day, but the light at the end of the tunnel is date night!  I'm going straight from work to the High Museum and then to dinner next door!  When I left the house this morning, I didn't know I would be wearing this outfit alllll daaaaay loooong but I think it will successfully carry me from day to night.  Especially because the dress is covered in birds!

Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lesson Planning

I am set to have my first teaching observation on Monday so I am in the midst of preparation!  The topic is Christianity in the Medieval era, which I am really excited about.  A pre-test followed by a fun group activity is what I have in mind, I just need to get it all mapped out!

Today I've got a Canadian Tuxedo thing going on:

These jeans are old as heck and from Urban Outfitters.  They are actually very high waisted but I tone them down a bit for work/school.  Shirt is recent F21 and blazer + clogs are vintage.

I also used the best conditioner this morning!
L'oreal Damage-Erasing Balm!  It has a very rich texture, smells great, and left my hair super moisturized but not weighed down at all.  Truth be told, I only bought it because it was on sale at CVS - surprise winner!

My husband's brother is getting married on Saturday so we've got a big weekend ahead.  Lots of family in town and errands to run but I am looking forward to it!  Glad the week is already more than half over!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hair Cut Time

Well, that title is pretty self explanatory!  I chopped my hair off this past weekend and it felt GREAT!

It was far beyond the "too scraggly to look decent" stage and not getting better no matter how many deep conditioners, flat iron protecting sprays, or moroccan oil products I employed.  One morning after watching a shower of broken hairs land in the sink while brushing, I grabbed a pair of scissors and went to town on my frazzled ends.  Needless to say, I was in serious need of some professional help at that point and saw my hairdresser just a day or two later for a tiny bit of lightening on the ends and a few inches of length removed.  It was my biggest haircut in many years and I'm so happy I went through with it!  I feel freee!  

I haven't styled it myself yet, but am hoping I can get it to look somewhat like this, minus the bangs of course:

I love using the changing of the seasons as an excuse to make changes in my own life!  So invigorating!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall and Finding Balance (and a leather-like skirt)

So I keep hearing/reading that FALL IS HERE!!! even though we are expecting a high in Atlanta of like 90 degrees today.  REGARDLESS, since this summer has been rainy and mostly overcast and kind of disappointing, on to fall!  This is the season where I usually do my most shopping.  The reason for this being that the clothing and accessories that come out right about now tend to be the most practical for me all year round.  Sweaters and tights and colarred shirts 4 lyfe!  But seriously, I get so much more life out of these things.

Today, I am wearing an outfit that consists of items all purchased within the past week or so.  Yep, I'm definitely one of those people who gets new things and needs to wear them allatoncerightthissecond.

Here we have got a top from the jcrew outlet (more than I am usually willing to spend btw, but I am considering it a teacher attire investment piece), polka dot tights also from jcrew (hard to see), and, most importantly, a fake leather skirt from Target.  This skirt is important because I haven't completely made up my mind about it.  I like that it is a good fit and length for the classroom while also being interesting, but wonder if it is slightly unflattering due to the poofy shape.  More pros are that it is machine washable, inexpensive, and I have wanted a leather skirt for a while.  In all honesty, I'm probably keeping this - should be interesting to play around with outfit ideas.

I'm teaching my second official lesson for Practicum in about 2 weeks and I've been reading all the tips and tricks I can find in preparation.  My first one was somewhat impromtu and I choked a bit.  This time I want to be confident and relaxed.  I am finally at the point in my program where it is time to start assembling my own unique teaching style.  Through researching different methods and getting to know myself a bit more, I'm hopefully getting closer to that goal.  The proof will be in the pudding I suppose!

We had a bunch of people over on Sunday for pool time/football and did some grilling (veggie dogs for us!).  Using the leftovers, I made an excellent salad last night that was super easy and filling.  I just had the leftovers for lunch and they were fantastic.

Directions:  Prepare couscous using the tabbouleh preparation (subbing some of the water with lemon juice and olive oil).  Dump it in a big bowl with a bag of spinach, chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, chopped olives, some olive oil/balsamic dressing, and generous sprinkles of oregano, parsley, and crumbled feta (I used a ton of feta).  I made some very basic lentils on the side for a little more bulk, but you could also just add in a can of chickpeas.

Ta da!  Iced coffee on the side, of course!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday, Friday!

Today I am at my office job, waiting for 5 to hit so I can drink a pumpkin beer with my husband and watch live music with pals. I'm also stoked for some early morning outlet shopping tomorrow and hitting the "Girl with the Pearl Earring" exhibit at the High museum afterward.  Yay for weekends!

Here's a quick snap of me in "professional" clothes - I am more than ready to start busting out the fall gear!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's Been Awhile!

Well, as it turns out, when you start graduate school, some things get put on the back burner.  Things such as:

1.  Writing in this blog.  Such enthusiasm right out of the gate and theeen...a few semesters later I am remembering that I even started it.  Back in business!

2.  Magazine reading.  Seriously, I have a 3 ft. high stack of unread magazines that continues to grow month by month.  Come December, I am determined to catch up!

3.  TV watching.  A few of the unfinished tv series I've started that I have yet to finish:  American Horror Story, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black (haven't technically started this but I have been talking about doing it for-e-ver).

4.  Thrifting.  I need to devote a Saturday to this soon.  I haven't been super excited about a thrift store haul in way too long.

All that being said, some really great things have happened/are soon to happen:

1.  I got married!!!  I mean, hard to top that!  The planning made me batty at times but the wedding itself as well as married life have just been amazing.  It's an adventure I didn't know if I would ever attempt but I love it so much and couldn't be happier with my little family!

2.  I am in the second to last semester of my program!  I truly can't believe how fast time has flown.  I vividly remember the (many years) path toward doing this and all the contemplation and internal struggles.  Before I applied, I was comfortable at my little office job but very much unfulfilled.  Now I am crazy busy, feel stressed and/or terrified on a daily basis, and often wonder if I can get it all done BUT I am on a path towards achieving a major career goal and that is a fantastic feeling.  The closer it gets, the more I just want to have my own classroom already!

Excited to be back in this space!