A Weekend In My Life: Workin’ It Wednesday

One of my favorite posts on this blog to look back on is one of the most recent (even though that was more than a year ago!) because it tells all about a day in my life. I love rereading that post because it takes me back to that time in my life. I have yet to do another day in the life post, but I should because no two days are ever the same and I have a new job now! That post is in the making…but for now, I’ll share a recent weekend in my life and link up with Erika and Shay. Fair warning: I extended my weekend into Monday because I had family in town, and also ate out for almost every meal which is very atypical!

– Friday –

My Fridays begin at 5 PM, and I usually like to have dinner plans. Waking up early for work makes it hard for me to want to be out super late! Plus I like enjoying the morning on Saturday. On this particular Friday, Joe and I were talking about going for a run on a new-to-him trail. He just moved to D.C. so pretty much everywhere we run is new to him! At the last minute, I had a change of heart and told him we should run to Shake Shack…because what’s better than running and dinner all in one?! From Arlington, you can run across the Key Bridge and through Georgetown down a nice little path before you have to hit the streets again.

By mile 3.5, I think Joe regretted his decision to run to dinner. But we made it and the fries and lemonade were SO worth it. Joe had the Chick’N Shack, and I had the ‘Shroom Burger…the cashier made sure to tell me it was a vegetarian burger. I knew that, but I guess some people who order get confused by the name! After dinner, we walked half a mile to Farragut Square. All summer, different outdoor areas host free movies on Friday and Saturday evenings. The only flaw in our plan to run to dinner was that we didn’t bring blankets or anything to sit on at the park!

I can never say no to Melissa McCarthy, so our film for the evening was a good one — Ghostbusters! I have already seen this in theaters, but it was so fun to be outside surrounded by a bunch of other people just enjoying summer. It was also fun to see people walking through the park who were unaware of what was going on…one guy on the phone said, “Hold on…I’m walking in front of a movie screen right now!” Another guy biked past with three boxes of pizza on the back of his bike! Ha! After about an hour, our legs were itchy from sweating while running and sitting with all the bugs in the grass, so we ducked over to a park bench and it was perfect! Once the movie was over, we took the Metro back to Arlington and called it a night.

– Saturday –

Saturday morning was for lounging around. I probably should have been running, but I ran a lot of miles last week, so I figure it worked out just fine. By lunch time, I was ready to get moving for the day, so Joe and I ate at Silver Diner. This is not your average diner — they are all about fresh, locally sourced food. They have delicious breakfast, but I was feeling the chopped Cobb salad on this day…I love the tangy ranch dressing, avocado, and the fact that it is chopped…duh. 🙂

My friend Sarah invited me to go to Stone Tower Winery with some friends, so I went on over to her house to get ready to go. Most wineries are about 45 minutes to an hour from Arlington, so we all piled in her friend Amy’s car and headed out. Side note: Amy drives my dream car. A white, four door Jeep Wrangler with a hard top. #bestillmyheart

On the drive out, Amy had the best idea…

Stop and eat some Chic-Fil-A. I can never say no to their chicken nuggets or their lemonade! Are you sensing a theme here? Lemonade is where it’s at all summer long for me. We also got these perfect cow hats to be put to use on Tuesday, which was Chic-Fil-A day. Who wouldn’t dress up like a cow to get a free entree?! Although I do have to be honest, on Tuesday I was cooking buffalo chicken dip to take to small group. Whoops!

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Stone Tower was absolutely beautiful. I have heard great things about the views at this winery, and I was seriously impressed! You pull up a long, windy drive to get to the property, and first enter a large barn where the wine tastings take place. There’s an outdoor area for families and dogs nearby, and then across the way is their event space, and another outdoor space for those 21 and above. We first did a wine tasting — for the flavors, yes, but also so we could spend more time in that barn!

The worker talking with us was so knowledgeable, and spoke about some of her other favorite wines and let us try those as well. The tasting menu includes 3 whites and 3 reds…I liked the very first white, Wild Boar Sauvignon Blanc, and the very last red, Estate Wind Swept Hill. And then I ordered a glass of rosé to enjoy outside, because of course I did.

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We had the best time sitting on the outdoor couches and talking about everything under the sun. A perfect girls’ day!

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After we made the drive home, I took a nap and ate a late dinner at Rockland’s BBQ since it’s about ten steps from my apartment. I don’t usually eat out during the week, nor do I usually eat every meal out on the weekend, so you’re looking at a very unusual time for sure. 🙂 The best item on the menu (in my opinion) at this restaurant is Rockland’s Pearl. It’s a bowl of mac and cheese, baked beans, chopped pork, and Rockland’s barbecue sauce. I’m sure the description doesn’t do it justice, so you should try it if you’re ever in the area!

– Sunday –

This day started bright and early at church. I love my church and it will be one of the places I miss most if I ever move away from D.C. I have always served in children’s ministry, so I’ve been praying about working somewhere else in the church.

On this day,  I was shadowing those who work on the hospitality team. They serve coffee and donuts, welcome people in, pass out the weekly bulletin, take the offering, and just generally give everyone a happy face to find if they need something during service. I helped pass out programs, give directions, and take the offering. The 10:30 AM service is very low maintenance because you don’t have to set up or clean up since there are services before and after, so once I shadowed for a bit, I headed into church to hear the message for the week.

Since I entered a bit late, I sat by myself, and that was just fine since I was catching up on what was going on. 🙂 To be honest, I felt like I missed the most important parts at the beginning, so I listened to the podcast of the entire service again on Tuesday!

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After church, Joe and I headed to a nearby cafe to sit outside and wait for my mom and my aunt to arrive in town! I called my little brother, who had just gotten his college schedule via email, and Joe looked up stocks or some other very interesting thing like that. 😉

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Somehow, the GPS directed my mom and Aunt Sheila to the middle of nowhere Maryland instead of Capitol Hill. They found us eventually and we had lunch at Ted’s Bulletin! I love their homemade pop-tarts and just the general feel of the restaurant. It’s very old fashioned and there is always a black and white television show playing on nearby projectors. After lunch, we were ready to walk around and headed over to Eastern Market. During the summer, they have even more vendors than they do during the winter! We spent some time looking at local art and jewelry made by the most creative people.

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I had to show them Capitol Hill Books, which is a used bookstore in an old row house that has absolutely everything. The owner has non-fiction downstairs, fiction upstairs, and other genre titles on shelves…but beyond that, you have to do some serious searching! I love the prices here because they are always at least 50% off. His prices are written right inside the cover, so they’re easy to find! I found a hardback copy of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult for $12! And I also picked up Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (for $7!), because I have heard great things about both the book and the movie.

The heat was really getting to us by this point, so we headed back home! My Aunt Sheila is visiting my family in Pittsburgh and has never been to my place in D.C., so it was fun to show her around my favorite parts of town. We lounged on the balcony for a few hours, then grilled burgers and corn on the cob for dinner at Joe’s apartment. I have grills at my apartment, but they look like they belong on a campsite so I’m not a big fan. 😉 We fell asleep early because I had to work for part of the day on Monday.

– Monday –

I took a half day so that I could spend time with my mom and aunt before they left town. It was a quick trip for them, but Pittsburgh is only about 3.5 hours away. They had plans to visit Lakeshore Learning because my mom is a kindergarten teacher who absolutely loves her job so shopping for school stuff midsummer is her favorite task. 🙂 I rode the metro to work and then started my walk across the bridge…

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…and ran into a whole group of tourists at 7:xx AM. WHY were they up this early and where were they going?! I can promise there are no interesting sights right on the edge of the Key Bridge. Ha!

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Monday was a busy morning with two video calls, catching up on emails, and starting other tasks for the week. The most exciting thing to happen: my iPad and wireless headphones came in! I used some professional development funds to purchase these items, and I also signed up for an online class that starts in August, so I am excited to use my iPad for this. I have the 10.5 inch iPad Pro and it honestly feels thinner than my iPhone 7! The headphones are i.am+ Buttons by Apple and I LOVE them because they came with approximately 293480 ear buds to size them to your ear and they don’t fall out. Ear buds with those rubber pieces on the end will never stay in my ear, so I am happy!

At lunch time, I left for the day and walked my mom and aunt around Georgetown’s campus (I work here if you are a new reader!). We visited the school store and bought lots of things we don’t need. 🙂 Then we ate lunch on M Street at Clyde’s. A little salad/sandwich/soup lunch followed by cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake, because you just have to. I honestly never tried a cupcake here until I started working at the university even though I come to this part of town all the time! I enjoy their competitor Baked and Wired more…the cupcakes are bigger. 😉

Then it was a quick drive around town to see some last nights, including what’s down at National Harbor. I love their waterfront and we quickly sought shade because it was so hot on this day! We took turns posing with their many statues, got iced tea at Starbucks, and walked along the water before finding a candy shop and calling it a day. They left around 5 PM and my weekend was officially over!

 

Hello, it’s me…

It’s been almost a year since I wrote on this little space of the Internet, and as I’m sure you can imagine if you look back over the last year of your own life, nothing is the same, but everything is awesome. Life’s funny like that.

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Today I’m linking up with Mel, Shay and Sheaffer for their What’s Up Wednesday series!

I finished my first year of teaching, got a new job, graduated with my Master’s degree, started dating my boyfriend Joe, and traveled to Atlantic City, Wildwood, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Cancun, and New Orleans since we last talked. But here I’m just talking about the last month, thank goodness. 🙂

What I’m eating this week:

Have you had Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower? I’m not going to say it tastes like chicken, but that sauce is so yummy! I served it with some frozen veggies because that’s what my freezer is currently overflowing with, and it was a quick easy meal!

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I’ve also been munching on these Starburst ice cream flavored jelly beans. Flavors like strawberry, orange sherbet, red raspberry, and lemon sorbet. I earned this jar on Easter by guessing how many jelly beans were inside…I think I guessed 187 and there were 357! No one was anywhere close. I wonder how many are left now. 😉 

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What I’m reminiscing about:

I’m reminiscing about elementary school since my Mom is in her final countdown until the end of the year and I remember doing just that! They celebrate the last 26 days of school in her kindergarten class with an alphabet countdown and today is “E” day. They wear things that start with “E”, participate in “E” activities, and eat an “E” snack. One of her students is wearing an Easter dress to celebrate. 🙂 I remember on X day, my Dad was getting me dressed for school and used duct tape to put an X on my back. X isn’t the easiest day to dress for. Ha!

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I’m also reminiscing about my not-so-baby brother. He just turned 18 and he is in his final countdown until the end of the year too…because he is GRADUATING! I can’t even wait to see him walk in his ceremony.

What I’m loving:

Morning workouts, hot tea, and my One Year Bible. I got out of the routine of working out in the morning and I forgot how much I LOVE it! I feel so accomplished going to work with one thing checked off my list already, and I love feeling “free” when the work day is done.

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What I’m dreading:

What I’m working on:

What I’m excited about:

So much is on the horizon! I’ve taken on more responsibility at work and even though that makes my head spin, I’m truly excited about it. Next month, I’ll watch my friend run her first full marathon, go to Rochester, NY to visit my best friend from childhood, and head back to the beach for Memorial Day Weekend! 4 days after Memorial Day Jake will graduate from high school and then we’ll have his graduation party later in the month. I also can’t wait to go back to Wildwood, NJ for our family vacation. I’m in a beach state of mind these days!

What I’m watching/reading:

Joe and I were watching Mad Men on Netflix, and now it’s a toss up between House of Cards and Breaking Bad. We are still deciding which one will be next! I also just finished watching 13 Reasons Why. It was heartbreaking, disturbing, and moving all at the same time. I want to read that book next! I’m also still so in love with Grey’s Anatomy. Scandal has not been my favorite this season.

Current books: Paris for One & Other Stories by JoJo Moyes and The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower. I read The Residence last year, but a book club I’m in is reading the book now, and it definitely deserves to be re-read!

What I’m listening to:

I have a very random taste in music and I love throwbacks. My most recently added songs are “Kiss By A Rose” by Seal and “Moves” by Big Sean. So yeah.

What I’m wearing:

Lucky Brand jeans on repeat.

What I’m doing this weekend:

What else is new:

I was finally reunited with both of my brothers during the Easter holiday and it was the best. Lemon raspberry cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory has real fruit in it and does not disappoint. 🙂 And Old Town is just as charming as I always thought it was. If you are looking for a good brunch, my friends and I just ate at Chart House this past weekend and enjoyed unlimited trips to the salad bar and 99 cent mimosas along with our meals. Also, you can’t go wrong with the crab and asparagus omelette. 🙂

Favorite spring shoe:

I have white and gray Converse Shoreline shoes that I wear with almost every outfit, including dresses. They are comfy and so cute!

What’s new with you?

What’s Up?! [May]

Hi, friends! How are you on this fine Wednesday? I haven’t forgotten about this little corner of the Internet, and I hope to start a more consistent posting schedule come June. Stay tuned! In the meantime…

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Let’s link up with Mel, Andrea, and Sheaffer to talk about what’s up!

What I’m eating this week:

I suppose I should be embarrassed at my lack of cooking skills, but it’s way too easy to microwave a bag of vegetables and bake two black bean burgers for dinner. Going strong on day 3 over here. Ha! Switching up the vegetables at least keeps me guessing?!

What I’m reminiscing about:

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Last year at this time I was prepping for my first teaching interview! Oh how much life changes in a year. 🙂

What I’m loving:

In no particular order, Season 1 of Fixer Upper on Netflix, Toasted Marshmallow ice cream, 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts, and 80 degree days. Praise Jesus for sunshine and warm weather so my students can run!!!

What I’m dreading:

What I’m working on:

What I’m excited about:

Finishing my first year of teaching! It is a roller coaster of every emotion possible and I’m excited to have this experience under my belt and move forward somewhat more established!

Also, grad school is almost over. I have to teach summer school during the month of July and then I will have my Master’s! I can’t believe it and at the same time, I am so ready to be done. Now everyone wants to know when I’ll go back for my doctorate. I can’t talk about that yet. Hahaha

What I’m watching/reading:

I finished Looking for Lovely by Annie Downs and I loved it! I didn’t love it as much as I loved her other book “Let’s All Be Brave”, but I love her writing because it sounds like she is talking to me. She’s very relatable if you are looking for a Christian read from the point of view of a talkative, honest, 30-something!

I’m also the annoying person who reads multiple things at one time so I’m also in the middle of “Killing Lincoln” (Bill O’Reilly) and “The One and Only” (Emily Giffin). I just started “All The Light We Cannot See” because the WW2 time period fascinates me and even though it’s a long book, the chapters are about 4-5 pages each so you can easily pick it up, add something to the story in your brain, and then set it down and do something else!

What I’m listening to:

I like these songs on their own, but the Spin teacher in me loves their remixes too. 🙂

Colors (Audien Remix) – Halsey
Renegades (Stash Konig Remix) – X Ambassadors
Spectrum (Say My Name) – Florence + the Machine & Calvin Harris

Adele’s recent album has also made a comeback in the CD player in my car and I’ve been listening to Jason Aldean because his music makes me so excited for summer!

What I’m wearing:

The bloggiest of all blog worthy outfits. 😉 I ordered Le Tote for the first time because my friend sent me a free month and I loved wearing this patterned shirt with things I already owned, like my white pants and wedges! I liked the clothes that I recieved and Le Tote’s customer service was great but I like shopping too much to commit to an every month order from them. If you are interested in a free month, though, let me know because I have a few more emails I can send! (<– not sponsored, just something everyone gets upon signing up).

Nordstrom Rack hit it OUT of the park this past weekend with sales. Their prices are discounted from regular Nordstrom prices to begin with, but then when things are on sale…I took 32 items to the dressing room. Just saying. I wasn’t trying to be all name-brandy, but that’s just kind of how it ended up. Some of my tops are random brands. Anyways, I was most excited about a Barefoot Dreams robe for $19 (retail $99), True Religion jeggings for $60 (retail $158), and this in-your-face bright fuzzy North Face for $29! Best Saturday night ever. And I recommend you go to your local Nordstrom Rack ASAP!

What I’m doing this weekend:

I might go and stay.

What I’m looking forward to next month:

Fewer rainy days! A girl can dream. And I don’t have anything huge on the calendar yet…I’m not going on vacation until August, so hopefully I’ll just do lots of fun outdoor things here in DC!

What else is new:

I auditioned to teach Spin at one of my favorite studios around here and it was WAY different than any interview I’ve ever gone through for Spin before. Needless to say, I did not get the job but I’m going to pursue other gyms in the meantime and try at that studio again the fall. 🙂

5 miles was my go-to, favorite distance in college. I ran 6 miles yesterday and it was hard, friends. I just want running to be easy again, but that’s not going to come with all of my complaining and none of the work. I want 5-6 miles to feel good by the end of summer and then I’ll start training for the Army 10-miler! I signed up with my friends this morning. I think my up and down running over the past year is the reason for all my random injuries and complaints about how hard it is, so here I am putting ClassPass on hold and getting back on the trails. Yay for summer and running 🙂

What’s new with you?

Day In The Life

I LOVE day in the life posts. They are my very favorite to read on my favorite blogs, so I guess you could say I’m kind of nosey. It’s also the reason I like survey posts because they ask random questions and you get to find out random tidbits about someone. I always forget to take pictures of my own day, but I want to remember the days of my first year of teaching…so here is a random Wednesday in the life of me!

April 20, 2016

It’s 6:50 AM and I’m up for the day. I usually hit Snooze, so I was proud of myself. 😉

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As soon as I stepped into the bathroom to put my contacts in, my roommate came flying back into the apartment because her car wouldn’t start…so off I went to the garage to get my car and my jumper cables.

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Her car has been having issues and the battery was actually dying while we were trying to jump it (the headlights kept dimming until they were totally off), so she called AAA and I came back upstairs to put my makeup on and get ready.

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Wednesdays at my school are “Workout Wednesday”. Our principal’s philosophy is if we are already in our workout clothes, we will be more likely to go to the gym after the school day ends. The guidance counselor gets the kids involved by doing some kind of workout with them on the morning announcements each week and I enjoy wearing yoga pants. 😉

It’s actually very hard to get dressed on this day because I don’t want to look like a hot mess! The sweatshirt and running shoes weren’t doing it for me, so I changed into a wrap and flats and suddenly got 5 compliments from coworkers who liked my outfit and wanted to know why I wasn’t in workout clothes. Hahaha

I throw my lunch together while I make coffee and then I’m out the door. I used to leave by 7:30 AM, now I’m usually walking into the kitchen at that time. #oops

Listen to my current jams (Let It Be Known and On My Way) and love my life as I notice the other side of the highway. 😉 I have a reverse commute so I am leaving DC when everyone else is driving in for work. I never sit in traffic (at least on the way to work) unless it’s Friday afternoon.

I do sit in traffic when I pass the Catholic school down the street from my school because it’s their drop off time, but I’m always in my classroom between 8 and 8:15 AM.

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Turn on my laptop, check emails, and then make sure everything is copied for the day.

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My coworker gave me the idea to do my Morning Message and attendance check-in on the Smart Board. My students have to come in, move their character, put their belongings away, read the message, and do the morning work assigned at the bottom. It keeps them busy in the ten minutes that exist between arrival and the bell signaling the beginning of the day. And my classroom is not always that dark…I just leave the lights off for as long as possible in the morning. It keeps me calm. Hahaha

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The bell rings at 9:10 and we get started. We have Morning Meeting on the carpet, then I teach a whole group reading lesson, and then I teach small groups in reading while the rest of the students go to different stations around the room. On this particular Wednesday, we had Morning Meeting and then we headed off to the cafeteria to see the 4th graders Wax Museum. They were all dressed as a different famous American and on each of their posters, there was a circle that said “Press Here”. Only then did that 4th grader turn around and start talking to you. The rest of the time, they were a statue! It was so cool.

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When we came back, I had rearranged our schedule a bit and the students had some silent reading time. I also graded a few personal narratives. Then I combined my reading and writing lesson and we worked on writing poems! Some of them love it, some of them hate it. But that’s usually how it goes with poetry!

The definition of #teacherproblems. Outside for recess duty and my morning cup of coffee is still half full! I teach math for an hour when we go back inside. While we begin class together doing a “Number Talk”, the rest of the time the students are at stations and I teach small groups the same lesson in a few different ways. They learn so much better this way because they are more focused and I can tell if they actually get the concept.

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Then we eat lunch, and on this day, I ate in my classroom with a student. Our school gives “Cardinal Cash” for good behavior and in my classroom, you must earn 10 pieces before you choose a reward. Most of them ask to bring in an electronic device or a toy of some sort, but this girl wanted to eat with me. 🙂 Because we eat lunch so late, this is my first true “break” of the day, so I only offer the option to eat lunch with me once a week/when I’m in a good mood. Hahaha

When I pick them up from lunch, we come back to the classroom for a short block of time. Some students go to another classroom for support or enrichment in certain subjects, while the other students in the classroom are reading, writing, or playing a math game. I teach a small group of students from another second grade class and right now we are doing double digit addition and subtraction with regrouping.

Next, I have an hour of planning time. My students head off to specials (think library, gym, etc.) and I listen to music, grade and organize papers, and basically get a whole bunch of things done! Once a week, I plan with my team during this hour, and once a month, we meet to discuss other relevant topics, but most days this hour is mine to plan as I please. On this day, I was eating Hershey’s kisses and listening to music on YouTube –>  Work From Home = weird but catchy.

I usually run around and talk to my coworkers during this time (because hello, adult conversation) and then I get ready for my students’ return. They have 10 minutes of quiet time as part of our school’s Responsive Classroom approach and then we start our science and social studies block. Right now, we are learning about the migration of Monarch butterflies, so on this day we talked about where monarchs are in their migration (approaching Texas, if you’re curious;), watched a BrainPOP Jr. video about animal classification and then they did a cut/paste/sort activity in their science journals.

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My students have community supplies, which means no one keeps any school supplies in their desks except for folders, notebooks, and a box of crayons. Instead, there are several caddies on the top of each table (because there are 8 kids at a table). Inside, there are the appropriate number of pencils, erasers, scissors, and glue. Except there are NOT. EVER. ENOUGH. SUPPLIES. I swear every time we cut and glue, someone is complaining that they don’t have scissors and I am constantly opening new packs of glue sticks. On this Wednesday, I was OVER IT. I made sure all 23 students had scissors and glue and then when science was over, I made two classroom helpers go around and collect every pair of scissors and every stick of glue. They were so offended that I was taking the supplies, but HONESTLY WHERE DO THEY GO?! I’m getting angry talking about this again a week later lol. Hopefully this new system works. 😉

At 3:45, dismissal begins. A student brought me a cupcake during this time because it was their birthday. I licked the icing off and threw the rest of the cupcake away because I’m five years old. Then one of my coworkers had to go and ALSO have a birthday so I had a gluten free, dairy free brownie that was actually so good! Wegmans for the win.

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I’m usually starving when school is over (because I usually don’t have dessert during dismissal hahaha) so I drink my Shakeology when I get in the car at 4:15. Usually I am on my way to somewhere…I had two night classes this semester, and if I’m not doing that, I’m usually going to the gym…so this is a good time to drink my shake because it holds me over until dinner, which usually doesn’t happen until 7:30 or 8. #oops

On this day, I actually got to come home after work, and I arrived to a package from my mom! Some snacks, some teacher supplies, some books…just a few goodies. 🙂

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I was meeting Kristen to run at 6:00, so I decided to be a productive human and fold the pile of laundry next to my bed…conveniently placed on the side that I don’t sleep on so I didn’t have to see it. Ha!

The high school near us was having a track meet, so we went to a nearby trail that we knew had quite a decent flat, straight stretch to do sprints. We ran one mile to the trail and did 8 400m sprints with a 200m jog in between. This workout was actually SO hard. It was taking me about 1 minute, 50 seconds to 2 minutes to run the 400m and I could get like 1:10 into it before I hit a wall. Every. Single. Time. I wanted to do the workout, but my lungs hated me…so I worked on my mental and physical game big time with this run!

Kristen made me lay down on the trail after we were done, and we caught some other gems on her camera while we were walking around being silly. 🙂 We laughed at the thought of running one mile back home, so we walked. #imtrainingfornothing #idowhatiwant

Dinner and comfy clothes. Although I guess I can’t complain since I wore comfy clothes to school, but you can’t exactly rock a towel on your head and Ugg slippers in public…

FAVORITE TIME OF NIGHT. Bed and book reading or blog reading. Here, chai tea and signing up for Le Tote. I like to shop, so I don’t know if I’ll actually keep ordering from this service, but my friend Audrey sent me a free month, so I had to try it!

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Trying to cut out the night time snack, but #hangry. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, friends. My coworker got me hooked!

Then I’m out between 10:30 and 11.

A day in the life of me. 🙂

Out and About

How relaxing is this?!

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I haven’t been pressuring myself to work out every single day, so after a few days of relaxation this weekend, I knew on Sunday that I would be getting outside on my bike. My bike was a birthday gift from my parents, and while I have been able to get out for a few rides, I have a December birthday so this is really the first “season” I will be out and about on it! I planned to bike about 9.5 miles down the Mt. Vernon Trail to Old Town (and the waterfront) in Alexandria for a hopefully almost 20-mile ride.

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The ride out of Arlington wasn’t too crowded, but once I hit the trail, it was game on as I navigated around runners, other cyclists, tourists, and families walking with their kids. Since I am pretty new to the whole biking scene, I’ve realized I really don’t like the speed I gain while going downhill…and I’m easily alarmed by other people who are flying down a hill towards me. I’m easily alarmed in general, so this fear should surprise no one, but I need to get over it quickly because most other cyclists are fearless in their swerving around others!

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I didn’t quite know where I wanted to stop, but once I hit the riverfront trail, I pedaled along until I felt like taking a rest. I drank my shake, laid in the shade, and people watched as others had picnics, played games, and walked around with their families and friends. This was pretty much the last good thing that happened. Hahaha

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I wasn’t looking forward to the ride back because I was being lazy and just wanted to be done, but when you ride 9.5 miles away from home, what choice do you have but to ride back?! As I went back up the Mt. Vernon Trail, it felt like the ride was flying by, and I saw a fork in the trail that could take me in another direction. I recognized the name (Four Mile Run), so I headed that direction. I was no longer riding alongside a river, and this water was SUPER calm. There were two turtles hanging out on this branch, so that was kind of cool!

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This trail isn’t straight through the woods…eventually you run into some residential areas and then the trail picks back up again. It was at this time that I started making ALL of the wrong turns. I knew one very specific way to get home, but for some reason my adventurous self decided to go another way, and I ended up getting SO stuck in Pentagon City. There are a lot of busy roads and highways surrounding that area, and the one particular way that I knew to get back home now seemed so far away. After sitting down on the side of the road and feeling sorry for myself, contemplating calling an Uber or taking the Metro, and walking up a HUGE hill with my bike next to me, I finally hopped on and got to work. At this point, I had gone in a complete circle and wasted almost an hour, so I was very annoyed with myself. I knew that I was going to pass my mentor’s house and I was PRAYING that she and her husband weren’t sitting on the porch, but of course, they were. Ha! I pulled into their driveway, scared the heck out of their dog, and they gave me just the motivation I needed to get the last 3 miles home.

And then a rabbit ran in front of my bike.

I kid you not.

Easily startled, remember?

The rabbit and I both survived and I won’t be biking for at least 3 weeks. One week off for every hour I was gone. Hahaha

What did you do this weekend?!

***

ww

MiMM

Thinking Out Loud: This April

Hi friends! Happy #thinkingoutloud Thursday! It’s been a while, but I’m still alive and well over here. I know you were worried. 😉 School and work haven’t been extra crazy, but I’m nearing “the end” of a lot of different things right now (my first year of teaching, grad school, a reading class I’m required to take for work, etc.) and in between all the normal things, I’ve just been busy trying to relax.

This means that I’ve looked up from my phone while riding in the passenger seat of a car and spotted a beautiful rainbow AND I’ve read three books for fun. YES, THREE! And yes, I highlight nonfiction books. This is a quirk that I inherited from my aunt, and it still makes me roll my eyes as I said I would never do it, but I like quotes and highlighting my favorite parts just works for me. 🙂 My aunt and I differ in that she will go back and reread her highlighted sections at a later date, where as I will actually reread the entire book.

Other random happenings since we last talked…

I spent an entire Saturday cleaning out my bedroom. I’ve only lived in the building that I’m in now for 9 months, and somehow I was able to get rid of 7 bags of clothes. There were also 3 bags of garbage and 1 bag for donation. It was a project and a half! I attempted to sell the 7 bags of decent clothes to Plato’s Closet and I walked out with $117. #win

I also went to the local market in my pajama pants because it was a quick 5 second trip to buy chips, it was 10 PM at night, and as a fairly new resident of this area, I’m convinced I know no one. I was 95% sure a guy I went to college with was in the store at the same time as me and I almost DIED. It wasn’t him, and since then I have run into at least 4 different people I know in the most random of places, so I guess this really is my home now and I should start wearing real clothes. Hahaha

It snowed, the Capitol Building’s scaffolding has FINALLY started to come down, and then it went right back up to 80 degrees. At the old, old age of 24, I’ve realized I have spring allergies and I am DYING!

I’ve decided that being able to walk to the grocery store for my weekly trip is awesome and I’ve also decided that pasta (and other carbs) are not the devil reincarnated, hence my big bowl of pasta salad for lunch one week.

Then there was the time I came to the realization that I am a very scatterbrained person and I’m not okay with it. My team tells me that after my first year of teaching, I will develop organization systems and it will all be okay. My current excuse for why my desk is allowed to be messy when my students’ desks have to be clean is I have to keep track of ALL of their papers and they only have to keep track of their own. I also survived my first field trip as a teacher (barely…I may or may not have forgotten the admission stickers) and I gave a bunch of “check ins” before the end of the quarter. Mention the word “test” and they have a holy fit. Hahaha

I’ve purchased #allthethings from TJ Maxx including these very cheap K-cups (to make every evening instead of eating a snack…I’ll let you know how this goes) and the always hilarious book box that now sits on my bedroom desk…”Stuff I’ll Never Read”. I giggle every time I look at it. Hahaha

I tried Chicken and Pancakes and attended a free SoulCycle class! I’ve made a lot of great friends at my job, and a few weeks ago, it was my mentor’s husband’s birthday. Count me in for brunch! I’ve seen Chicken and Waffles on many a brunch menu, but never dared try the dish. Tupelo Honey, where we ate, served it with pancakes, which I have to imagine is just as good! Toppings included powdered sugar, pecans, bacon, and syrup. #shouldvewornyogapants #oops Later that night, I met some of my friends at SoulCycle. A mutual friend from college was doing an event there with Zico Coconut Water, and I happily attended as I’ve never been to the 14th Street studio or tried coconut water. 🙂

We celebrated Kristen’s birthday by running and eating dinner at District Taco because every birthday requires sweat and queso (first you sweat, then you eat)!

And most recently, I spent the day exploring D.C. with Amanda. I saw The Hope Diamond (and other pretty gems!) for the first time and I found a new secret spot that feels very outdoorsy in the middle of the city.

I’m thinking that next week I might step back into the blog scene…I have a few ideas in mind, so keep an eye out. 😉 Tell me…what’s new with you?!

What’s Up?! [March]

Hi, friends! It’s the second day back to school post-Spring Break and everyone is feelin’ it. What’s up with you this Wednesday?

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What I’m eating this week:

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I’m soooo excited to be eating these Red Pepper Hummus wraps this week! 12g protein, 9g carbs?! I’m always one to check the label for protein (because hello, it fills me up!) and as a former calorie counter, carbs scared the hell out of me for many years. So yes, I am looking forward to my wraps for lunch every day this week. With leftover Honeybaked Ham from Easter. 🙂

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I’m trying to become a tea drinker. Coffee is better. And that trail mix is to DIE for (and also already all gone).

 

What I’m reminiscing about:

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Watching Jake play volleyball! I got to see one scrimmage and one tournament while I was home and it was so much fun. He loves to play and we love to watch! That’s the face of a boy who finally won a game. 😉 He usually plays up front (technically “middle”???) but he served at the tournament and that was awesome, too!

What I’m loving:

 

Doing Easter-y things with my family…

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Climbing cherry blossom trees…

And obsessing about every tree with flowers, cherry blossoms or not.

What I’m dreading:

This semester won’t last forever. I think I can, I think I can.

What I’m working on:

I need to get organized. This is no longer an item on my to do list…it’s a need. Which is why you’ll find me at work on a Monday when I could have worked from home, yet you’ll find makeup all over my bedroom and dishes in the sink in my kitchen. I am still making my bed every day, and I’m caught up on laundry this week, so it’s the little things…

What I’m excited about:

At the beginning of August I will officially be done with ALL of my classes. I will no longer be a student and I am SO, SO EXCITED! I am the very first person to tell you that I love school, but I’m ready to be doooooone (for now;)!

What I’m watching/reading:

I got so many new books at Half Price Books while I was home! And I also got a book in my Easter basket, which is the one I’ve started reading. “For The Love” by Jen Hatmaker. I am sooo excited about it!

And as for what I’m watching…

Fixer Upper #canibejoannagaines
Dancing With The Stars #teamantonio #gosteelers
Grey’s Anatomy #meredithsnewboyfriendishot
Scandal #jakeiscreepy

What I’m listening to:

Bang My Head – David Guetta feat. Sia & Fetty Wap –> MY JAM
No – Meghan Trainor
Drink You Away – Justin Timberlake
Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers
Ophelia – The Lumineers

What I’m wearing:
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Skinny jeans and running shoes. JK. 😉 I was going for a 30 minute walk with my dogs and didn’t feel like changing. #fashiondont

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More slouchy pants! Don’t mind my face. This was after work and I was being ridiculous ha! This style made it into my February WUW post, but as I mentioned, those pants were on their last leg, so I picked up this pair at Steinmart this weekend. I like a loud pattern, what can I say? I’m known for wearing loud leggings at running group, so I might as well wear loud pants to work, too. 🙂

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And as long as we’re talking about loud patterns…high-waisted snakeskin dress pants on clearance, you da real MVP.

 

What I’m doing this weekend:

The Cherry Blossom 10-miler is this weekend and I’m spectating! My friends and I entered the lottery as a group, but we weren’t chosen. There’s a huge bib swap, but people were selling their bibs for literally two and three times the original entry price. No way!

What I’m looking forward to next month:

Currently, I’m not all that jazzed about April except for the fact that it will be warm and sunny all month…thank the dear Lord for that whole “spring forward” thing with the clocks. I’ll go on my first field trip as a teacher, attend a baby shower, and start working with kids who are coming to the summer reading program at UMD.

What else is new:

Bonus: What is your favorite Spring Cleaning tip?

This is what you will find me doing this weekend –> Pick up garbage bag. Fill garbage bag. Repeat. But really, try it! I plan on going through everything…my desk, my closet, the bench at the end of the bed…seriously, if I haven’t looked at an “important” piece of paper in 6 months or worn something recently, it’s going in the garbage bag and getting donated or tossed. Have no mercy, friends! It’s time to freshen up our lives!