Currently [October 2017]

Currently reading:

If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey
I’m on the launch team for this title! The book comes out in January and I am so excited to share more about it. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, but I am reading it on my Kindle right now and I love hearing Jamie’s story of fully embracing her relationship with the Lord. It’s also fun to “hear” her voice…since I listen to her podcast every week, reading her book feels like talking to her! 🙂

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
I read A Hundred Summers last fall and it was my favorite book of the year. I haven’t really loved another Williams’ book until this one! I’m savoring the last few chapters.

Currently indulging in:

Scarf weather! Two 60* days in a row this week. I’ll be wearing all the fall clothes until the humidity comes back!

Currently working on:

I just finished an online class on the platform edX and I feel accomplished! It was about Instructional Design, which largely relates to my job, and I loved learning and sharing with my coworkers. Plus, I had to create an online portfolio, so that was fun. 🙂

Currently craving:

An apple fritter. I went to a pumpkin & apple farm yesterday and refrained from purchasing the apple fritter mix in their market. Then, this morning, my mom sent me a picture of an apple fritter she was eating…and now I’m wondering if I can refrain from walking to Saxby’s for my favorite donut.

Currently eating:

Vanilla Shakeology with cookie butter, banana, cinnamon, and ice. This is actually shake #2 of the morning because I poured cumin instead of cinnamon into the first one. #monday

Currently feeling:

Happy! And ready to take on the tasks of the week. Although I wouldn’t mind staying in bed and having another weekend day.

Currently thankful for:

The girls in my small group and our adventure to Homestead Farm yesterday!

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Currently dreaming about:

A fall or winter weekend trip to New York City. I’ve gone each year for the last few years and I’m already dreaming about Central Park and the Radio City Rockettes. 🙂

Currently obsessed with:

Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice hot tea!

Currently listening to: 

Milky Chance. I like a lot of calm, indie music playing in my headphones unless I’m working out!

Currently drinking:

Hazelnut coffee with a scoop of collagen peptides. Maybe this will make my eyelashes grow nice and long. 😉

Currently excited for:

Tomorrow, Joe and I are going to D.C. Improv after work to see ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast live. We plan to wear Steelers jerseys and get boo-ed by everyone who doesn’t know what’s good for them. Ha!

This coming weekend is the Marine Corps Marathon & 10K. I’m excited to race the 10K and then chase my crazy friends around the marathon course!

Currently praying for:

My friend Alicia, who just started an after school reading program at her school and is in need of picture books and chapter books. I’m praying that God provides for her and her students!

Currently wondering:

The less serious: how much longer I will go without getting my nails done.
More serious, holiday related: how to carve my pumpkin next weekend. 🙂

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MIMM: This and That

Nothing like a Monday where you’re counting down the days until literally everything. The Rock N Roll Half Marathon, my mom’s visit, a quick trip to Atlantic City, visiting my best friend in Rochester, NY, Spring Break, Easter…I could go on.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for a Monday of a 5 day week by a teacher who feels like she hasn’t been in school all winter. As much as the long (read: normal length) weeks are going to hurt, we are all going to be better for it. I love a good snow day but it’s hard to get into a routine when the routine is constantly interrupted!

This weekend started off just marvelously  with my favorite Spin class at Zengo Cycle. The instructor was meh, the music was eh, but I love that studio and the atmosphere of a group exercise class so it was exactly what I needed! Then I was a terrible Whole Foods shopper because I started to make a plate of food from their salad bar and my friend suggested we walk across the street to The Cheesecake Factory instead. So I did what any good citizen would do. I pretended to look at the blueberries, ditched my half-filled takeout box, and went to The Cheesecake Factory. Oops!!!

I ordered chicken enchiladas for my meal and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go since I definitely wasn’t at a Mexican restaurant, but they were spicy and SO delicious! You could literally try a different plate every time you go to The Cheesecake Factory and never get the same thing for like 5 years, so add enchiladas to your list. 😉

My friend and I met up with one of my coworkers and his friends for drinks in DC and we went to the most fun bar ever. Everyone that I’ve talked to since knows exactly where Nellie’s is, so it must be legit. Ha! They had great drinks, fun music, and lots of people who love to dance so it was a blast. 🙂

On Saturday, Kristen and I took a day trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It’s about an hour drive from Arlington, but there was zero traffic and it’s a straight shot so it was an easy drive. Of course the pretty picture of the water was posted to my Snapchat and I never saved it, so you’re stuck with this instead. 😉 We shopped, bought candy, and browsed the huge Barnes and Noble. They had the newest Joanne Fluke book and I was sooo excited. My Grandma really loved reading murder mysteries and I was always a plain Jane with my books, reading stories of people exactly like me. Somehow got me into this series and we used to read them together. Now every time a new one comes out, I think of her!

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Next to the word marvelous in the dictionary is THIS PICTURE. I mean, come on. So cute. Stef is the friend that I am going to visit in NY in two weeks and her parents just sold their house. She was finding so many random things while going through some boxes of her stuff at their house this weekend and I LOVE this picture of me, her, and my brother Jake. It would be nice to recreate this picture, but Jake would definitely block my entire person if he tried to stand in front of me like this now. Hahaha

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My Sunday morning was just lovely because I fell asleep at 7 PM on Saturday night. Ha! I woke up and made myself eat dinner but then I went straight back to bed at 9. I was actually wide awake at 5:30 on Sunday morning but I was NOT about to let that hour happen on a weekend day so I dozed until the clock read an acceptable hour AKA 7:30 AM. I watched old episodes of Fixer Upper, made oatmeal and banana pancakes, and lounged until it was time to get ready for church.

My friends and I ate lunch at Eastern Market and I ordered an asparagus omelette, but I still managed to get syrup in the speaker of my phone. I was reaching across the table like the polite lady I am and I knocked somebody’s little cup of syrup over. I immediately started cleaning my phone as soon as it happened, but that stuff is SO sticky and just impossible to get off. My mother suggested rice, I’m thinking it’s a lost cause. Womp.

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I found my favorite snack at the grocery store…I’m wondering how long it’s going to last this week. 😉 I also parked next to a huge SUV that had three men in suits sitting inside of it. From the look of the car, I assumed they were Secret Service, so I peeked at their license plates while I was putting my cart away and they noticed me creeping past their car. Oops! Then when I got in my car and tried to pretend I was normal, I noticed another one of the same big black SUV’s with more men in suits sitting on the other side of the car next to me. I was sandwiched in between Secret Service! If it was one car, I would say they were shopping at the grocery store, but because there were two, I feel like they were watching for someone…only in DC.

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On the bright side of Monday, I have approximately 2394739 Hershey’s kisses left in my classroom because I numbered and hid 100 kisses for the 100th day of school on Friday. I wasn’t sure how many were in a bag, so I bought more than enough. I only hid 100 so we have lots of extra! The kids had a blast hunting for them and then they were extra quiet during our reading time at the end of the day. 😉

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Today, your challenge is to find something today that makes you as excited as Amigo is when it’s time to come inside. He really hates the cold. Hahaha

DIY Makeup Remover

I can’t figure out a label for my clothing style (Comfy chic? Workout ready?), I don’t have a favorite makeup product (actually, yes I do…it’s whichever one my aunt buys for me), and it takes me 30 minutes or less to get ready for wherever I am going (including showering and drying my hair). I guess you could say I am a very low maintenance person in the beauty department, though I am attempting to put in a little more effort as I get older. For example, my aunt was horrified that I don’t use a daily moisturizer (I do wash my face…apparently that’s not enough), so we picked one out last week at the store. However, after my long weekend in Pittsburgh, I arrived back in DC to a text message from my mom letting me know I left my makeup bag in her bathroom. Ah! I have been surviving this week on a combination of whatever I have in my bathroom here, but I need to go out and get mascara PRONTO.

One beauty tip that I have tried lately is using coconut oil to as eye makeup remover. Let me tell you, you don’t need that much oil and it works like a charm! I typically use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and I make the same towel last for a few days, using a different corner each time I remove my makeup. Though they are only about $6-$7, using a product that I already have at home, like coconut oil, is a great alternative! After a slew of eye issues that included a sinus infection, a scratched cornea, and forgetting to open a new set of contacts, my eyes were all red and I was in my glasses for a few weeks. I blamed the coconut oil for my eye issues, but I’m not so sure it was the culprit. I’m putting that theory to the test with this new makeup remover that my mom and I made! So far, so good. 🙂

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What You’ll Need

3 T coconut oil (melted)
1 T baby bath wash
2 cups water
1/4 t tea tree oil
1 pack cotton rounds
1 Mason jar

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We doubled our ingredients to make two Mason jars worth of makeup remover.

What You’ll Do

1. In a glass dish, melt coconut oil by microwave.
We did not melt our coconut oil and it was difficult to make it separate and mix with our other liquid ingredients.

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2. Combine coconut oil, baby bath wash, and water in glass dish. Stir.
3. Add tea tree oil. Stir.
This optional ingredient makes the makeup remover have a fresh smell!

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4. Put enough cotton rounds in your Mason jar to fill it about halfway. Add some of your liquid mixture to the Mason jar. Push down on the cotton rounds to help them soak up some of the liquid.
5. Continue adding cotton rounds and liquid, pushing down on the rounds each time, until the jar is full.

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What You Should Know

We found all of our ingredients at Target, even the random tea tree oil. As I mentioned, we did not melt our coconut oil and the consistency of our remover is much different than it should be! It does the trick, but I already want to make it again the right way. 🙂 Also, we doubled our ingredients so that we could both have a Mason jar, so your liquid will be much less should you put this together for yourself!

Original inspiration found here.

Awkward and Awesome

You know those moments in life that occur and you are just left speechless or hear yourself thinking a simple, “Oh.”?! These moments are usually followed by a quick text to my mom or my best friend explaining my awkward life so today I decided to share some of those moments with you. Morgan at The True Life of MKH started writing “Awkward and Awesome” posts and I love reading about the kind of behind the scenes moments of her week this way! Of course, some of these random moments have also turned into some of my favorite things, too. 🙂

-Awkward-

-Taking boxes down to the recycling room in a white t-shirt with no bra and a towel on my head. I ask for these encounters, honestly.
-Meeting Lauren for breakfast and finding out that the place I suggested is closed every Monday… #ididmyresearch #clearly
-Rearranging my desk area in my classroom and finding student belongings that they insisted were real and I insisted were lost. Such as someone’s Elsa pencil box and a family picture for a school project…
-When your coach tells you to take a video of part of your workout so you can see how well you are actually doing and you look like this…

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Moments before, Autumn Calabrese had said “drive your knee straight up to your chest!” I don’t think this is what she had in mind ha! And landing softly? Not happening.

-That face coworkers make when you have a fit that the KCup you just brewed in the faculty room is a cappuccino KCup which means it has calories. I don’t count calories, but I also don’t like to drink them in my coffee ha! #blackcoffeeordie
-DC got one inch of snow on Wednesday night and the traffic map looked like this until well past midnight. Every single road was gridlocked and there were SO many accidents. Apparently, city officials didn’t expect the roads to need treated and everything turned to ice! It took my roommate’s boyfriend 3.5 hours to go 6 miles. Crazy!

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-Awesome-

-Snow out my window. Finally!

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See the part that is cleared? That’s not a road. The road is covered with snow. That nice clear little pathway is the sidewalk to the Metro. THAT is the definition of a #DCProblem ha!
-Money back from Wegman’s after I checked out because I signed up for a Shopper’s Card. That place is thebomb.com.
-A three day one day student work week thanks to MLK Jr. Day and a teacher work day. Edited to add –> and two snow days! I literally taught children on Wednesday and that’s all. Oy! We are expecting 18-28 inches starting tomorrow. Once it starts, it won’t stop for 36 hours apparently! #blizzardwatch
-Attending a new-to-me yoga class with one of my coworkers. I usually take hot yoga classes, but this one was in a regular studio and it was super intense!
-Downloading the Cafe Rio app. The faster I get to 100 points, the faster I get a $10 credit!
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And that’s about it! Now, it’s your turn to tell me about the awkward and awesome things that happened to you this week! I expect to be trapped at home all weekend, so I need some reading material. 😉 Happy Friday!

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What’s Hap-Pinning [1]

Pinterest and I go through seasons of life where we are either best friends or mere acquaintances. Sometimes, I can’t help myself and I pin all the things, but other times as I scroll I find myself almost feeling bored! I’m currently in a #pinallthethings season of life, so here’s what on my boards.

You can follow me on Pinterest here!

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Link up with your hap-pinning post here! 🙂

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I’ve been making more time to read, because let’s face it, I have the time. I simply am just not making time for an activity I actually really love. How fun is this book chair?! It was in a Buzzfeed article that listed all of the crazy things you should buy if money were no object, which was probably a popular article with the Powerball jackpot getting so big! Any winners out there?! I know a few $4 winners! 😉

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I’m also dreaming of spring, which brings blooming cherry blossom trees to DC. It’s been so warm that I can’t help but think ahead to sunnier, longer days! The weathermen claim a humongous snowstorm is coming this weekend, but you know how those reports go. So much talk and then nothing happens! We are talking feet of snow, not mere inches, so hopefully they are correct in their predictions. 🙂

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I haven’t been running much because I want to build muscle and get stronger. Do I want to be a body builder? Not in the slightest. However, I talk the talk in regards to strength training while running and I never actually do it. Right now, I’m taking a few weeks to focus solely on weight training with a few random runs and then I’ll pick my running schedule back up so I can get ready for a March half marathon. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ve been doing Hammer and Chisel workouts. I love the diversity of the program, in both choice and length of workouts, but the above image that I pinned is exactly the kind of strength training I like to do when I’m looking for a quick and easy workout on my own. I will definitely be doing this workout (with a medicine ball or dumbbells)!

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The majority of people assume that elementary teachers have all the time in the world to do creative projects and color with their students. In reality, I struggle to feel like I’ve taught everything I’m supposed to, so creative projects often fall to the wayside. This is no one’s fault except my own, because there are little pockets in the day where I could make it happen. I did just that during the month of November when we made a tree with leaves expressing what we were thankful for at school. I like this similar “craft” for the month of February! It takes all the attention away from people that you love (because second graders think that’s gross) and focuses instead on things that you love about school! If I write about this on the Internet, that means I actually have to do it, right?! 😉

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I mentioned yesterday that I want to take a lot of weekend trips in 2016…this is a random pin of the Navy Pier in Chicago that I just added to one of my boards. There are so many places in the U.S. that I still haven’t visited and though I have big dreams to travel abroad as well, I want to get out there and see the world that is right in my own backyard!

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The message at church this week was all about resetting the relationships in your life. I think relationships have a lot to do with our happiness! We obviously enter new friendships and relationships with good intentions, so our pastor was talking about the importance of revisiting the relationships that you already have in your life and being intentional with your time (and your friend’s and/or significant other’s). Sometimes you and someone that you are close to grow apart, and that’s okay. I tend to worry about what other people think of me, so that does affect my level of happiness because I want to make other people happy. I know this about myself, and often after getting down on myself about something, I literally tell myself that I need to stop thinking about it and move on so I can be happy. Ha!

I also liked this piece about being a good friend from church last week: in Mark 2, Jesus heals a paralyzed man, but only after four of that man’s friends carry him to the house where Jesus is preaching and dig a hole in the roof to get their friend inside. The point of this story was to remind us that we all depend on people in our lives for certain things…but we also need to BE that dependable person for someone else. Who’s mat are you carrying in life?! I’m working on surrounding myself with people who carry me…but also depend on me for support too.

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I have worked hard my whole entire life to be a teacher and I love it so far. As with any new endeavor, there is a big learning curve both on and off the job. Sometimes I like articles like these, and other times it sounds like millenials whining about how the grass is always greener…BUT this was a pretty accurate read. Enjoy 🙂

What’s “hap-pinning” with you?!