My Life’s Mixtape

I probably had way too much fun writing this post. You probably aren’t half as interested in the reasons behind these songs as I am. But, I love this prompt! Andrea over at Momfessionals has everyone talking about what songs would make up the mixtape to their lives. What would your songs be?! I wouldn’t call myself a super musically inclined person, but I always have some kind of music playing and certain songs give me chills and throw me back to certain times in life.

As a kid, Raffi was official car listening music! I’m talking in my car seat and I know I could hear Raffi playing in the car. Baby Beluga, anyone?

Of course at this time I also remember some of my parents music, too. Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen are all my Dad. And I swear I can feel the breeze of the convertible top down when I hear the song Last Dance With Mary Jane. 🙂 I remember my mom’s country music playing too, like Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson and Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under by Shania Twain. In retrospect, neither of those two country songs are lyrically appropriate, but I had no idea what I was singing. Ha!

Wee Sing in Sillyville was one of my FAVORITE movies. This was partly because sing-a-long videos are awesome and partly because this movie included a sister and a brother and their basset hound, which was just like my family at the time. 😉

maxresdefault.jpg

The two siblings are magically transported into a coloring book where they meet up with Sillywhim and she takes them through the “pages”. This family was my favorite. I used to make my brother set up my baby dolls on all of these chairs so that it looked like this cast of characters sitting on their front porch. Bitty Booty Baby and Risseldy Rosseldy have a special place in my heart. 🙂

The first cassette tape I owned (after Raffi) was The Spice Girls. Wannabe was, and still is, a classic. I remember going to my best friend’s house when I was 5 and listening to the tape the very first day she got it. I was Baby Spice, she was Posh Spice, and three of our other friends were the Ginger, Scary, and Sporty.

spice girls

We had choreographed dances for EVERY song. Except for number 9 on the back of the tape which we always fast forwarded through because we weren’t allowed to listen to it. It’s the song Naked, and we legitimately thought it was pronounced “Knacked” until we were like 10 years old. Hahaha

Later in elementary school, it was all about NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. Coming in close are LFO, BBMak, and OTown. I love that Britney and Christina broke through the boy band madness of this time. 🙂 I Want It That Way was such a hit that even my mom would sing along in the car! Britney really was my girl, though. I danced to her song Lucky in my school’s talent show and for my 100th day of school project, I made a poster with 100 pictures of her face. #notweirdatall

I had some growing pains in sixth grade. If I show you my class memory book, it says that my favorite band is The Beatles and my favorite song is My Band by D12. Yes, my teacher really let those two choices go to the printer. Ha! I guess I really thought I needed to pick an actual band and not a singer…so we can thank my Dad for introducing me to a legit band. 😉 My Band is SO inappropriate so let it be known that I was listening to the clean version as a 12 year old. #butstill #sowrong

7th grade brought my first MP3 player and a love for LimeWire. I don’t know if anyone explained to me that I was actually stealing music. #oops My MP3 player held 70 songs or a certain number of minutes of music, so if you had longer songs, it held even less. The good old days. 🙂 SOS by Rhianna was my JAM and I would always play it at the same time on the bus every day because it would end just as soon as we pulled into the parking lot at school. Seriously, that is my memory when I hear this song! In 8th grade, I babysat for a younger elementary student for a few hours after school and I would RUSH into their house when I got off the bus because Goodies by Ciara was making its way to #1 on the VH1 music charts. Hahaha

High school was a random mix of Christian rock, alternative music, and the wonderful mix of rap and pop. 🙂 I loved DC Talk’s song Jesus Freak and anything and everything Relient K and All Time Low. Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf was my official “I know how to drive” song. I used to play that song at top volume when I would drive my brother to soccer practice and myself to dance class. I just felt so cool. 😉 Jake will still sing along to that song with me because I’m pretty sure I burned it into his brain ha!

mad-j.jpg

I got ready for my first real date to the song 4 Minutes by Madonna and Justin Timberlake. Like, it might have been playing when he texted me to tell me that he had just arrived at my house. The vivid memories are real!

Lady Gaga broke onto the scene during my junior year of high school and my friends and I loved her. We still do! Poker Face = sitting in traffic on the way to the doctor on the other side of Pittsburgh. Born This Way = playing on my computer when I purchased ridiculously expensive tickets to Lady Gaga’s concert for me and my best friend. LoveGame = driving with my prom date to take pictures at our friend’s house. Telephone = MY JAM! You can still find me dancing around to Telephone to this day. Her music videos are always beyond weird but I remember it was a big deal when they were released and we would all be dying to watch them!

0905101749.jpg

 I used to listen to I’m Goin’ In by Lil Wayne (SUCH bad lyrics) and My Life Be Like by Grits on the bus to cross country meets. Everyone has their “pump me up” playlist, right?! I actually used My Life Be Like for a project in college where we had to analyze song lyrics in theology class. That one isn’t so bad. 😉 Britney Spears made her comeback and 3 was the most fun song to listen to when my friends and I were driving around!

College. Oh my. I seem very narrow minded in my music choices, and rap seems to be what wins. BUT! I started teaching Spinning during college so I listened to all kinds of music. One thing I can say about this time in life is I learned to like entire albums of music as opposed to the one single that everyone else knew. Know what I mean?

Freshman year was all about Eminem’s new album, Recovery. I know every lyric to every song to this day! I also know every lyric to the freestyle he released right before this CD while I was still in high school…I would drive out of the high school parking lot with Despicable blasting at top volume!

Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa were rising to fame and as a native Pittsburgher, I felt it was my duty to support them…? Really, my brother liked them and when we started sharing a car, we had to find an artist we could both listen to without wanting to kill each other. And in the end, I liked those two artists too. 🙂 I can also see, hear, practically feel move-in day, orientation week, and almost every freshman year memory thereafter when I hear the song I Like It by Enrique Iglesias. It’s such a fun song for me!

After I memorized Eminem’s album freshman year, I memorized Drake’s Take Care album sophomore year. I also played the song Strange Clouds on EVERY drive from my parents’ house back to Duquesne. But I only pressed play on this song right before the tunnels so it would be blasting loud as ever when the city skyline came into view. 🙂 My boyfriend in college loved Chris Daughtry and we went to his concert in Pittsburgh, so I have a lot of memories listening to this guy too.

Junior year I discovered Lana del Rey…her voice is kind of soothing. And Summertime Sadness made it to the radio, so it MUST be a good song! I was definitely into soothing music this year for a variety of reasons, but it led me to Michael Buble, and no one can be mad about adding him to their life’s mixtape. It’s A Beautiful Day reminds me of walking across campus…and his Christmas CD is also to die for.

Senior year of college…Wake Me Up by Avicii (because it’s multipurpose…run to it, dance to it, jam in the car to it) and Pop That by French Montana (because every bar we went to played this song). Oh the songs that take you back. 🙂

Grad school = first move away from home = many drives back home as I adjusted. Enter these entire albums…every song, every lyric. Perfect for long drives because for me, the songs fit every mood. Happy, sad, at peace, excited, lonely, you name it, it works!

Swimming and No Light are two of my favorites!

My mixtape these days cannot yet be defined. I’m loving Adele, some EDM music, and some classical music. I’ll have to let you know in a few years what sticks. 😉

More Than 5 on Friday

I’m in a bit of a frenzy right now because I have approximately -5 Christmas presents and the big day is SOON! I was going to be one of “those” people who was finished shopping in November but LOL it’s December 11 and so far, I have two little “extras” to put on top of my Dad and Jake’s gifts. Except here’s the thing…there’s no where to put their “extra” because there’s no actual gift yet. AH! Two things on my brain while I’ve Christmas shopped this year and come up empty handed: no one needs anything AND I refuse to buy a shirt or sweater for the sake of buying someone a present. NO. It has to be cool! *insert stress and buying zero things*

IMG_3080

Amigo and Colby went to see Santa this past weekend with my mom. These pictures are my favorite. As is the story of Colby being real chill and Amigo barking at Santa. Hahaha! Does that mean he is automatically on the naughty list? Colby is usually afraid of things he doesn’t understand (think balloons, large construction vehicles, etc.) so I’m surprised he didn’t bark at the big red man, too!

IMG_2927

A really cool thing that happened this week is the DC Capital Striders used my Instagram picture in their post about a Holiday Lights Run! How cool is that?! See their post and my picture here.

Other favorite things include:

IMG_3086

Staring at a Christmas tree all lit up in the dark.

IMG_3087

These friends.

A work dress code that allows me to literally get away with wearing leggings 5/5 days if I really want to…gray on the left, black on the right. 😉 I’m no outfit repeater!

A layered Hershey’s birthday cake from my coworkers and a mini Oakmonter from Kristen!

IMG_3128

This bike. ❤

IMG_3131.jpg

Decorating cookies for my birthday with my students!

IMG_3136

This AMAZING candy corn themed gift from a student! Who knew apple pie candy corn was a thing?! In case you were wondering, it’s kind of strange. 😉

This amazing box of goodies from my family! There’s no shortage of dessert or snacks in my apartment this week. I have a good candy stash for a while now!

IMG_3150

And this image I saw on Instagram. Hahaha! My friends and I entered the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler under the name “Team Queso”. We can so relate to this picture!

Have the best weekend! I’m off to do more Christmas-y things, starting with a run through the National Zoo to see all their lights. Tis the season!

***

Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

fridayfavoritesfriday-favorite-link-up-botton-life-in-leggingsFALL 15 oh hey friday bebas_zpsa1ybqy7g

Friday Favorites

Thankful Things

It’s the month of thanks and the season of giving…so why not change up those Friday Favorites to reflect that? It’s favorite things gone thankful things. 🙂

thankful+quote

First on the list of things I’m thankful for today…doctors who work on Thanksgiving. I went for a run yesterday and while I was running, I felt something in my eye. When I reached up to rub it away, I poked myself in the eye with my nail. It hurt in the moment, but I brushed it off pretty quickly and kept running. As the day went on, my eye got more and more red…it got more and more watery…and it got more and more painful. It felt like a burning sensation. Diagnosis: I scratched my cornea. A quick Urgent Care visit later, I had eye drops and a recommendation to take Advil to help the pain because…surprise! The eye drops don’t help the pain at all. They just keep you from getting another infection while your eye is scratched. In any case, I am super thankful for that doctor who spent their Thanksgiving at work and I am super thankful for my family who put up with my cranky mood for a few hours yesterday afternoon. 😉

640_Adele_25_Cover.jpg

I am thankful for artists who make albums with songs that I love so much that I don’t skip any of them. A few are Florence + the Machine and Lana del Rey. I’ve always liked Adele, but she went right back to the top of my “LOVE” list when her album came out this past week. I bought the extended version at Target so I could hear the 3 extra songs (duh) and I have basically played it on a loop ever since I purchased it. On Monday, I was listening to it on my phone during my planning period at school and I forgot to turn it off before my students returned. While I was teaching, they were bouncing off the walls, but I could still hear someone whispering no matter how I redirected them. I finally got annoyed enough to say, “WHO is whispering?! PLEASE STOP!” And someone sitting on the carpet near my desk was like, “Miss McGraw…it’s not us…it’s your phone.” Hahaha #Adeleiswhispering #teacherfail

k2-_fa36bb73-3e87-4d20-a520-0778f017b222.v1

I am thankful for the Pinterest hack of using coconut oil to remove your eye makeup. I usually use Neutrogena face wipes to take my makeup off and I really feel like I need them. Even when I wash my face, there is still makeup on my eyes. Last week, I ran out of my usual Neutrogena wipes and at first, I wasn’t bothered. After a few days of extra makeup on my eyes, I knew I had to go to the store to buy them, but I never remembered to stop on my way home from work and so it became a vicious cycle! My friend recommended that I use coconut oil and listen…at first, I was very weirded out by the whole process because I cook with coconut oil so putting it on my eyes felt very strange. Now, I am a believer. It takes the makeup off my face so much better than anything else I have ever used and I really think it’s doing a little bit of moisturizing, too! If you have coconut oil in your kitchen, you should give it a try. 🙂

I am thankful for a fun last few days of school before Thanksgiving Break! The countdown was REAL. Students and teachers alike were itching to get out for the holiday, but we created a good balance of learning and fun activities to survive. 🙂 Monday started with one of my students bringing me an apple and Tuesday was a flurry of end of the unit quizzes, but I was able to squeeze in a fun video of Kid President’s Thankful Things and time to make a Thankful Tree for the hallway! They all wrote down things they are thankful for at school. This was a struggle for some, but we brainstormed and in the end, a lot of them wrote down the names of teachers and friends in the class, so that was nice to see and read! Now let’s talk about the mandarin oranges pretending to be a pumpkin. That was my great teacher idea for Halloween. Well, the day before Halloween, we had pajama day and an early dismissal. Needless to say, I did not remember to hand out the snack. So it went home on Tuesday with a note about why I am thankful for them. 😉 Teacher win or teacher fail? I can’t decide! And Wednesday, I left the little people with a substitute teacher while I flew back to Pittsburgh.

12239673_1007194582635830_6411315455636783996_n

#enoughsaid

IMG_2789

Finally, I’m thankful for these three! This is our standard holiday cousin pose. I have no idea how it started, but it’s tradition! We used to line up in age order and also just happen to be in height order, but that doesn’t work anymore! The two boys on the left are my brothers Jake (16) and Alex (21) and then my cousin Nick (20) is right behind me. We were missing our fifth amigo, CJ! CJ is the same age as me but he was in Ohio having Thanksgiving with his girlfriend’s family. Luckily, those two came home for dinner, so I crashed their dinner around the time they were having wine and dessert to visit! All in all, it was a great Thanksgiving, even with a red, burning eye. 😉

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family and maybe got a few good deals today! I snuck away to the mall for an hour with my youngest brother before his volleyball practice this afternoon and though we were there for a short time, I managed to get three pairs of leggings for myself because 1) major sale and 2) priorities. Ha! Have a great weekend!

***

Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

fridayfavoritesfriday-favorite-link-up-botton-life-in-leggingsFALL 15 oh hey friday bebas_zpsa1ybqy7g

Friday Favorites

Favorite Things Gone Thankful Things

It’s the month of thanks and the season of giving…so why not change up those Friday Favorites to reflect that? I’m so excited to be writing again after so many weeks of falling off the blogging radar. I am, first, most thankful for every one of you who reads this blog. I would still write even if my parents were the only ones who read my posts, but I love that others enjoy my writing, too!

 IMG_3141-thankful

I am thankful for big comfy sweaters. Nobody likes an early Monday morning, but everyone loves a cute outfit. 😉

IMG_2485 IMG_2487

My mom was in town twice last month so of course we did our fair share of shopping. She picked this out for me when we were shopping at Marshall’s. I love the different patterns and I love the POCKETS!

IMG_2486

Just the best little sweater there ever was.

I am thankful for running friends turned real life friends.

IMG_2458

Moving to a new city where you know zero people is not the easiest thing in the world. This I learned when I moved to DC last fall for grad school. Little by little, I started to find my place here. I went to as many events as possible hoping that maybe I would make some friends. Church helped a lot, but so did reaching out to acquaintances I knew in the area. Kristen and I graduated a few years apart at Duquesne so we became really good friends, and then this summer, we started going to Lululemon’s running club on Monday night. There, we met the rest of these pretty faces…and then we realized we actually really liked each other and could make plans outside of run club haha!

IMG_2460

It’s nice to make real friendships with people. It is so easy to meet others and feel like you have a forced friendship just because you are in the same place doing the same thing. That is not the case with this group! We truly enjoy each other’s company and look forward to our workouts together each week! Last weekend, we all went to Nationals Park for a beer, wine, and cider festival. It was so fun to just be outside enjoying the wonderful fall weather!

I am thankful for delicious recipes found in blog land.

DSC_4103

Here you will see a picture I stole from Hungry Runner Girl…but that’s because I loved my soup too much to take a picture. 😉 Chicken cream cheese chili in the crockpot. Doesn’t get much tastier or easier than that! I may or may not have had this for lunch and as a snack almost every day this week. You can be the judge of that. HRG got this recipe from a friend and has since updated the ingredient list a bit. If you plan on making this, add a can of tomato soup! It makes it taste even better!

I am thankful for unseasonably warm weather in November.

 IMG_2400

I suppose that sentiment should be followed by a “knock on wood”! When cold weather comes, I will literally curl up in a ball and cry. I love snow. It is magical. And I’m a teacher, so give me #allthesnowdays and #allthe2hourdelays but I despise being cold. It makes me almost as cranky as being hangry. Ha! I’m like a bear. I almost need to hibernate. 🙂

IMG_2416

Last Friday was funny. The sky and clouds looked like a combination of “about to rain” and “sun doesn’t want to set”. You certainly won’t find me complaining about the sun setting slowly even though we’ve set the clocks back…

IMG_2436

…or the fact that it will occasionally still be in the 70s even though I feel like winter should be right around the corner. My mom has driven to work in 33* weather with the seat heaters on all week. Pittsburgh, I love you big, but your 33* November mornings certainly do not make me want to rush home. 😉

IMG_2465

Although this did happen last weekend…I didn’t check the weather before heading out for my run and I wore shorts and a tank top. I ran the fastest I have in weeks because I was trying to get back home! #alwayscold #allthetime

I am thankful for hilarious coworkers.

fd9cdfdf576faf1e512d8b5b0d7c26b1

Our team leader sent this minion picture to us yesterday before school. We all had subs in our classrooms in the afternoon so that we could attend meetings and plan for the rest of the semester. While that time is always more than appreciated, it is also a very tedious task to plan for months at a time, so there was no shortage of snacks and inappropriate jokes. We are a rowdy bunch! The math coach that was working with us was laughing so hard because we get our work done, but we certainly have fun, too. I don’t take it for granted that the five of us work so well together. For my first year of teaching, I couldn’t have better support!

***

Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

fridayfavoritesfriday-favorite-link-up-botton-life-in-leggingsFALL 15 oh hey friday bebas_zpsa1ybqy7g

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites: I’m Baaaack

Well, I fell off the face of the Earth this week. Except not really. This week, I was glued to my couch. I had a terrible sinus infection that moved into my chest and I had a fever. #goodtimes

IMG_2008

Being sick when you’re an adult is no fun at all. I felt like a baby! Ha! Last week, I lost my voice and thought I just had a really bad cold…but after working all week and going to the gym all week, my body shut down. Still, I was like, oh a fever, no big deal…and I didn’t take my sorry self to the doctor until Monday, which thankfully was a day off from school. I love Christopher Columbus. 😉 My doctor put me on two antibiotics and told me to take Tuesday off work. Now let’s just throw it out there that teachers in general do not like to miss school because it’s more work than actually GOING to school…but for a first year teacher, especially after a long weekend. Sigh. I was still feeling so sick that I had to listen to her! So my week has been nice and short, although I’m never upset to see another Friday come around! Especially since I have been giving standardized tests every day this week. LIFE IS FUN!

IMG_1941

I have been a coffee drinker for only two years now, and I always say that I don’t have a favorite kind of coffee and I don’t “need” coffee. Well, I think I have now decided my favorite flavor is actually Hazelnut and my occasional morning headache would beg to differ with the idea that I don’t “need” this warm beverage. 🙂

FullSizeRender

Ice cream is my favorite…this Pumpkin Pie flavor has graham cracker in it. I was sold. It is not too “pumpkin-y”, but it is perfectly delicious. 🙂

IMG_1933

I got new leggings at Lululemon. They were on clearance and I’m a fitness instructor so double discount for me! #win These are my favorite because I LOVE this green color, they sit in a great place on my waist, and they have pockets. Oh, yes. I have been looking for a pair with pockets like these and I was so excited to finally find them! Then of course I saw a coworker wearing workout leggings with similar pockets today and she bought hers at Target. Of course!

IMG_1937

Surprise pocket!

IMG_1939

The little things are my favorite. Like noticing sidewalk art on my way to a Spin class…

IMG_1950

…reading chalkboard handwriting at a new-to-me coffee shop…

IMG_1927

…and eating Quest bars from friends. 🙂 Have you tried the Pumpkin Pie flavor yet? It is a coated bar, so it is definitely different than any other Quest bar I have had before!

IMG_2018

I love when I think I’m a baby genius when in fact, my idea is not so great. A caramel apple with Reese’s Pieces is my favorite kind of candy apple. I bought it at the pumpkin patch last weekend and it was sitting in my kitchen looking ready to be snacked on, so instead of holding it by the stick and taking a big ol’ bite, I decided to slice it nicely! What a great idea!

IMG_2019

No. The apple cutter broke (it’s 4 years old anyway) and the apple wasn’t even that good. #derp 

IMG_2015

This was on Facebook and it made me literally laugh out loud because it is so true. Happy Friday!

***

Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

fridayfavoritesfriday-favorite-link-up-botton-life-in-leggingsFALL 15 oh hey friday bebas_zpsa1ybqy7g

Friday Favorites

Rainy Fall Friday Favorites

What are your favorites on this fine Friday?

IMG_1637

My friends. My health. The ability to run and race and have a great Saturday with these gals. Also, happy about a new background on my iPhone. 😉

IMG_1748

When my mom and I do the same thing at the same time: here, bake. Pumpkin spice cookies in DC, apricot and cranberry biscotti in Pittsburgh. Also, she is coming to DC for the weekend and will be here at approximately 8:30 PM tonight. FAVORITE!

IMG_1693

This lovely little sign that I picked up at Clarendon Day last weekend. A gallery wall is in the works for my room and of course this piece will have a home on that wall. My favorite activity and my favorite place. 🙂

IMG_1719

Workout Wednesday. There is no better pick-me-up on a Wednesday than being allowed to wear workout clothes to work!

IMG_1724

On that note…my coworkers and my mentor. I’ve officially survived my first month of teaching and I’m taking them all thank you cards and cookies today. You think you know what you are getting into with teaching, you really do…but here’s a fun fact: you really really really do not! Hahaha

IMG_1746

Tea and cookie time. I was trying to plan my meals better this week so I didn’t “need” a snack every night, but this doesn’t count. 😉

IMG_1759

Mail from new blogger friends! This is the worst picture ever as I opened this package right after I worked out. I also look bald. A short ponytail will do that to a girl. I will style the scarf better and post about it next week. For now, all you need to know is that the pattern is beautiful and all around the edges are…TASSLES. Yes, I died. Yes, I love it. Thank you, Blake!

IMG_1732

When Timehop reminds me of my favorite year of college ever with my favorite friends. #senioryear #timeflies

IMG_1733

Getting home from work by 5 PM and having time to read a book and bake cookies. On Monday, I had a meeting after school until 7 and on Tuesday, I had to go to UMD for my graduate class. Needless to say, I was super excited to drive right to my apartment after work on Wednesday! Also, I could live on the meal combination of a sweet potato and an omelette forever and ever.

IMG_1705

These disposable cups from Target. They are cute, they come with cup sleeves, and I don’t have to wash them because HELLO throw them right away! One of my students asked why I had so many different mugs. Another wanted to know why I was drinking coffee at 3 PM. #onedaytheywillknow

IMG_1757

This Snapchat filter. I love that they know that it is seriously raining cats and dogs! It has been raining since Tuesday and yesterday, we finally had our first day of indoor recess. I don’t want to talk about it. Hahaha BUT if Hurricane Joaquin hits the coast, it’s supposed to hit Sunday night, so everyone is already talking about how school will be cancelled on Monday. We can dream, right?

Have the best weekend! 🙂

***

Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

fridayfavorites
friday-favorite-link-up-botton-life-in-leggingsFALL 15 oh hey friday bebas_zpsa1ybqy7g
Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites [Back At It]

Friday morning…e54a3d8c6f3345c5890607e5e772059a

…versus Friday afternoon. Hahaha

pumpgirl

We all know my favorite day of the week is Thursday, but here we are again on a Friday and I’m finally linking up with some of my favorite blogs again after a few weeks without a favorites post!

– ONE –

IMG_1547 IMG_1604

I’ve been waking up to the most ridiculous sunrises! I wake up around 6:30 AM on most weekdays and I am still amazed every time I look out the window. 🙂 The newswoman on Good Day DC even mentioned it yesterday morning when she was reporting! The picture on the left is from Monday morning and the picture on the right is from Thursday morning. My roommate and I had to bring our porch furniture in because all of the balconies at our building are being refinished and repainted, so I have been missing the sunsets because I’m all cozied up on the couch by then!

Speaking of my roommate, she has put me in charge of watering her orchid for the next little while here while she is travelling.

IMG_1611

One of her best friends from childhood gave her this orchid when we moved in to our apartment this summer. She is so proud of herself for keeping it alive for this long because apparently she can never keep plants haha! Her mom even made a comment when she was here visiting recently. This thing CANNOT die on my watch! I even set a reminder on my phone so I don’t forget to water the orchid daily!

– TWO –

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Pope Francis is in the U.S. I think it is so cool how excited everyone is and how it seems to be bringing so many people together! DC is hard to navigate on a random, quiet Sunday afternoon, so to have someone so special in town was a big deal! I was selfishly kind of nervous about the Pope’s arrival because I have class in Maryland on Tuesday afternoon and I thought the commute was going to be horrendous. There was actually less traffic than there is on a normal day because everyone was trying to stay off the roads. I was driving and noticed that there didn’t seem to be many drivers on the other side of the highway…because several police cars had parked sideways to block the cars from entering! I sent a silent prayer of thanks that I was driving in the opposite direction!

IMG_1572

Lots of people in DC were off on one or both days that the Pope was in town because of the number of people who were supposed to be here and the road closures and such. I was not one of those lucky few because I teach right across the state line in Virginia…but the DC Snapchat story and lots of news coverage made me feel like I was at the parade on Wednesday! As you can see above, I was having fun with the Snapchat filter. 🙂

– THREE –

You know that I would live in workout clothes if I could, and while I do dress professionally for work, there are lots of “spirit” days that let me dress down, which I love! Let’s start with Wednesdays: they are affectionately known as “workout Wednesday”. The teachers wear their workout clothes in an effort to be more motivated to either stay after school and workout together or go to the gym right after school.

IMG_1275

This was my face (and outfit) for the first workout Wednesday. It was literally the second day of school and this is how I showed up! Don’t worry, everyone was dressed in a similar fashion. 😉 Wednesday is literally the perfect day of the week to have something like this because usually you are OVER IT (whatever “it” is) by midweek and you could use a day like this to keep your spirits up. This week, I added a scarf to my workout Wednesday outfit and I just felt so COZY! Nothing could mess with me! Then, every Friday is the real spirit day. Everyone wears jeans and a school shirt or just a plain red shirt (our school color). So every week, I really only have to plan 3 cute and put together outfits because the other days I get to be comfy! This week was extra special because on Thursday, everyone wore their favorite sports jersey to school. Food Services has a campaign about eating breakfast every day, and I have no idea what that has to do with wearing a jersey, but I happily obliged!

IMG_1608

Of course, I was looking in my closet last night wondering what dress pants best matched my Steelers jersey, and then I showed up today and everyone was in jeans. Sigh. I will learn. 😉

– FOUR –

IMG_1601

I’ve had some really great runs recently with the cooler temperatures we have had! Remember that marathon I was training for? I will tell you more about that next week! In the meantime, I have been keeping my distances moderate and I have been getting a little bit of speed back, which is exciting. I am running a 10K on Saturday morning and I am trying not to overdo it with running this week, which leaves me feeling like I have no idea what to do when it’s time to workout. Enter: Beachbody OnDemand. I am actually a Beachbody coach, so that is how I learned about this program, but basically all you have to do is sign up for a free TeamBeachbody account and then quarterly, you are billed $38. What you get? A huge variety of workout videos that you can do anywhere you have wifi or an Internet connection. I have done both 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme, so I own those workout DVDs, but OnDemand lets me try other workouts like Insanity or P90X that I don’t own, which I love! My coach lives in Pittsburgh and she is a Master Trainer, which means she trains others who are getting certified to teach live classes. She actually trained me to teach PiYo! Anyways, the Master Trainers sometimes get invited to record workouts that are OnDemand, so I did her P90X workout last night. It was so fun to feel like I was working out “with” her! When I was half-assing the bicycle crunches and she said, “Pretend like I’m on your living room floor with you!”, it was EXTRA motivating because I pictured myself at the gym with her yelling at me through her microphone! Haha!

– FIVE –

The little things that make me happy:

IMG_1553

On the first day of school, this student brought me an apple from her trip to the apple farm, and this week, she brought me flowers she had planted in her yard! Hahaha

IMG_1536

My best friend from childhood, Stefanie, sent me this picture on Snapchat last weekend. She is wearing a velvet dress, I have Dalmatians on my sweater, and we are hanging out with Chuck E. Cheese. Good Lord!

IMG_1497

I feel like the inside of my cupholders always get so dirty, so when I found these patterned cup holder thingies (yes, I just said that), I decided they were perfect because I could just take that out to wash instead of scrubbing the whole cup holder! Then, as I snapped this picture, I realized how dirty the entire middle console of my car is. My apologies. Haha!

IMG_1555

This is not me attempting to start a political conversation AT ALL…this is just funny. I love Ellen Degeneres’ Instagram! The caption says, “Look! It’s a tiny Trump.” 😉 #crazyhairdontcare

FullSizeRender

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. Go to Wegmans or another big grocery store, because I haven’t seen these flavors at Target or any smaller grocery stores yet…but YES! SO GOOD! Taste review: I had candy corn last year and obviously I loved it. Pumpkin spice is only good when you get the kernels dripped in white chocolate, and not all of them are!

Have the best weekend, friends! Thanks for reading. 🙂 I’ll be back next week with a full week of blogging. Yay!

***

Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

fridayfavorites
friday-favorite-link-up-botton-life-in-leggingsvalentineohheyfriday_zps0d5af58211Friday Favorites

Latest Obsession

September 17: Just for fun, your latest obsession. What can you not get enough of these days?

Today, I’m thinking out loud about my latest obsession. II have a few obsessions. When I like something, I really like it, and I either eat/listen/wear/do these things all the time. I don’t really ever think I get to a point of “hating” any of my obsessions, I just find things I like better along the way. 🙂 It’s a natural change!

Obsession #1

Pentatonix Radio on Pandora

Have you heard of Pentatonix? They are an American a cappella group from Arlington, Texas. I think I first heard about them from Julie’s blog! Anyways, my youngest brother was a huge fan of the first Pitch Perfect movie. It seems like everyone caught the a cappella bug after that movie! I never thought that music was anything special, though I do have to admit it was catchy. When I finally added this station to my Pandora list, it quickly became one of my favorites. Pentatonix sings covers of mostly pop songs, though they do have some original music, too! There are other a cappella artists that pop up on this station from time to time too. This is just great background music for me. I listen to certain music at certain times of day and this is one station that I listen to in the morning or afternoon when I want to feel happy. 🙂 I actually play it during my planning period at school!

Here’s one of Pentatonix’s songs if you aren’t familiar! I realize they look crazy. Listen anyway. 🙂

Obsession #2

Candy Corn

IMG_1295

I love candy corn. This, you must have figured out by now. It’s only in stores for what…three months of the year?! Let me have my fun! I really didn’t discover my love for candy corn until 2012. Yes, I remember the exact year. There are so many pictures floating around social media that say candy corn is disgusting and tastes like wax, but I could not disagree more. It’s the perfect sugary snack! I’m a fan of the classic flavor, but I have also previously tried S’mores and candy corn with peanuts. When I first tried S’mores, I wasn’t impressed. It still isn’t my favorite, but I did give it a chance again when I got the above care package from my Dad. It made it’s way back onto my “will eat” list. I cannot seem to find candy corn with peanuts in stores, although I know I have bought it in previous years! It is something I could so easily make myself. If you like candy corn, you must try this combination. Just put some candy corn and peanuts in a little bowl and you have the PERFECT salty/sweet snack! I think it was Jamie who mentioned how much she likes the candy corn pumpkins, and again, thanks to my Dad, now I get to see what I think about that! I think they are on par with S’mores. They are on my “will eat” list, but I would prefer regular ol’ candy corn any day. 😉

Obsession #3

Target Sandals

IMG_0279 IMG_0316

I like to pretend I have Birkenstocks and they look like this. They were $24.99 at Target and the best $24.99 I ever spent. I originally bought the white pair and I loved them so much all summer that when I saw my size on clearance in August, I bought another white pair even though the first pair isn’t ruined yet. 😉 I also HAD to pick up the brown pair because DUH! If you remember, my friends and I like to do this weird thing where we send each other pictures of what shoes we are wearing that day, so that explains why I have these two pictures floating around…

IMG_0386

Amigo, on the other hand, isn’t such a huge fan of the sandals. Or maybe he is? He somehow finagled his tennis ball so that it ended up in my sandal…and then proceeded to try to get it out for the next 10 minutes. Don’t feel bad for him, though, because this is his favorite game! He LOVES putting a ball or toy in a tight space and trying to get it out. He must like challenges. Hahaha

Obsession #4

Colby & Amigo

IMG_0745

I don’t have baby fever, I have puppy fever. Every time I see someone walking their dog or running with their dog, I “ooh” and “aah” and if it’s appropriate, I ask to pet the dog. I MISS MY DOGS SO MUCH! I am actually thinking of volunteering at an animal shelter just so I can get my dog fix;) My brother turned 21 on Monday and we were on FaceTime so I could see him open my present to him. My favorite part of FaceTime is not feeling included in family events, it is screaming “COLBY!” and “AMIGO!” so loud that they hear me and then hopefully see me on the iPhone/iPad/laptop. I am the most fun to FaceTime with. Hahaha

I would also tell you that I’m obsessed with lipstick lately, but as I mentioned in my post about my bag, I never know where said lipstick is. I would look to see which one is in my bag now and share that with you, but I already know there is nothing in my bag. It’s a partial obsession;)

What are you obsessed with lately?!

***
Linking up with Amanda @ Running With Spoons!

Seasons of Love [Blog-tember Challenge Day 8]

Tuesday, September 8: Tell us about your favorite season. Why is it your favorite and what does it say about you?

Linking up here.

It’s hard for me to say that one season is better than another. For me, I think there is something awesome that happens during every season…whether we are talking about a season defined by weather or a season of life.

Spring is literally a breath of fresh air after the long winter. In Pittsburgh, we don’t start seeing warm days until late April or early May. This makes you so appreciative of blooming flowers, sunshine, and wearing a light jacket instead of your bulky winter coat!

IMG_2793

Lots of moments in my life are defined with my running shoes.

IMG_2642

I love the traditions that come along with holidays in the Spring, like Easter. Egg dying and uplifting songs at church are my favorite!

Moving from Spring to Summer is almost effortless in Pittsburgh. Spring doesn’t actually really exist…we go from cold to hot with little to no transition! The weather in DC is a bit more typical of four seasons, but weather aside, summer comes with such excitement. My mom is a teacher so she was always home with my brothers and I in the summer and that was so special for us.

IMG_1896

We always looked forward to trips to amusement parks…and hey, we still do!

IMG_2131

You can do simple, yet fun things like go to carnivals, visit farmer’s markets, take long walks, and pick berries.

IMG_0618

And of course, I could spend the entire summer in Wildwood if it was possible. One of these days that dream will be a reality for me. 🙂 The ocean is just soothing. You cannot help but feel relaxed when you are on the beach! As you make it halfway through the year, it feels good to recharge with sun, sand, family, and friends.

IMG_4082

Then, there is the beloved fall. Fall is the beginning of the year for me. My brain works like a school calendar, which is beneficial because I am a teacher. 🙂 August and September are the months that I am winding down from summer and setting new goals for myself for the coming year.

IMG_4540

Just as I was so excited in summer to do #allthethings, come Fall, I am ready to make another bucket list. I want to go to apple festivals, visit the pumpkin patch, celebrate Halloween, and bake with seasonal flavors! I am also always ready for a change in wardrobe. Shorts and tank tops are comfortable, but I could live my life in pajamas, so I love the coziness factor that comes with scarves and boots and sweaters!

IMG_2066

And of course, I love the weather. I mentioned that in Pittsburgh, the weather tends to skip right over Spring and go right from cold to hot. DC makes no mistake about letting you know that it is summer. #hellohumidity The crisp fall air is REAL and it makes running so much more fun. 😉

IMG_2157

Is there anything happier than the holiday season? Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the Thanksgiving to New Years time of year is just the happiest time of year. Everyone is a little kinder, a little happier, and a little more excited about life. I love the traditions that come along with this season, too: the music, the snowstorms, the gingerbread house making, the family visits, the present wrapping…and of course, winter holds a special place in my heart because this is when I celebrate my birthday. 🙂

1546297_1614330815464192_4510953184271365998_n

Snow is fresh and clean and just magical. I get just as excited for the 10th snowfall as I do for the first. Although come March or April, I am moving on from snow and it does not always feel the same way;)

IMG_2653

I think the fact that I cannot choose one season as my favorite says a lot about me. I am thoughtful in my choices, though some may call me indecisive. The verdict here is that I like transitions. I like moving from one season to the next. I appreciate the season for what it is while I have it, and then I am ready and excited for what is to come. I would call myself an ambitious person, so I think this thought of moving forward appeals to me because as they say, “the best is yet to come”.

Five Summer Favorites

Today marks the last day of my first week of work as a teacher! I guess I can’t really celebrate yet…I haven’t actually met my kiddos or started teaching…but I have learned a lot and I am adding things to an ever-growing to-do list. So little time, so much to do. 😉 (Side note: does that phrase make you think of anything specific?! I start singing the theme song to Mary Kate and Ashley’s TV show So Little Time:))

I have a long list of things that I wanted to do this summer, and unfortunately, I have yet to complete a few of those items. Even so, I had an amazing (though busy) few months! Here are five highlights in honor of the DC Trifecta’s link up today. 🙂

– ONE –

Exploring Old Town Alexandria. One Saturday after I volunteered at church, I decided that I wanted to explore that part of town. Who was around? No one but me. So me, myself, and I went to brunch and walked the pretty streets of Old Town.

IMG_8430

I tried a new restaurant, which helped me check something off my summer to-do list…

IMG_8426

…I got coffee at a shop with the cutest menu ever…

IMG_8459

…and I sat by the water and took in the sights of people enjoying a summer day on their boat. Of course, I also went shopping. So really, it was an absolutely perfect day. 🙂

– TWO –

I was able to travel back to Pittsburgh for a few weekends in June to see Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift with my friends. We all had so much fun!

IMG_8159

I haven’t seen Kenny perform since I was really young, so his concert felt like one big throwback for me because he played all of his best hits.

IMG_8340

Taylor Swift truly is a performer. Her concert was amazing! The radio DJs occasionally make me hate Taylor a little bit because her songs are so very overplayed, BUT I do love her. And her songs. Just not when the radio tells me to listen to them. 🙂

Of course, I also love seeing my family…but my favorite thing that I did with them was not in Pittsburgh…

11754489_10207109309401168_3114577097471653101_o

No one loves the beach more than we do. 🙂

– THREE –

I started reading the Bible! I have gone to church my entire life and I was really involved as a teenager, but I don’t feel like I have a good understanding of the Bible. I know verses and stories, obviously, but I want to know more. I could have started by doing a Bible study of a certain chapter, but I really wanted to start at the beginning!

IMG_0119

Starting on May 1, I tried to read my Bible for 15 minutes every day. Honestly, it’s the perfect amount of time. The early books of the Bible are filled with so many names and family trees that it can be hard to read through sometimes! Also, if the names aren’t tripping me up, sometimes I just start having so many questions and thoughts about what I am reading that I need to process. So, my phone alarm beeps after 15 minutes and I can process what I’ve read and start fresh the next day. I really cannot say that I read for 15 minutes every.single.day. I will say that I did this for the month of May and June. During these months, if I “missed” a day, I made up for it the next day by reading for 15 more minutes at a different time of the day (ex: morning AND night). But then July rolled around and I was busy with online classes and going on vacation and moving and now I am SO behind that I cannot possibly even try to start making up for it. So, I’m just starting again. Forget the days I have missed, just keep reading. 🙂

– FOUR –

On that note, I moved to Arlington, Virginia to be closer to my job. I love, love, love my new apartment. Love.

IMG_0775

I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo with a living room, a kitchen, and a balcony. I LOVE that I can go outside! I have never had that luxury before…except of course at my parents’ house. 🙂 My new roommate, Carlin, is the same age as me but works in a very different profession than teaching…she works for an IT company in the suburbs. So far, we get along great!

– FIVE –

One day, while reading blogs, I came across the lovely Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC. This led to an invitation to brunch, which of course I was excited about because who doesn’t want to eat all the food after a Saturday morning long run!? Lots of DC bloggers got together to chat about all things running, food, and blog-related. It was such a great Saturday!

2015-08-08-12.57.02-1024x768

Fall is a-comin’ friends. I know it by the slowly disappearing humidity and the bags of candy corn in every store;) I have always loved this time of year. It’s more like a fresh start to me than the actual holiday of New Years! I run on school time. Summer was wonderful, but there is so much to look forward to. Set goals and get excited. Start the new year (or season) off on the right foot. 🙂

Happy Friday! Have the best weekend!

***

Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

fridayfavoritesfriday-favorite-link-up-botton-life-in-leggingsvalentineohheyfriday_zps0d5af58211Friday Favorites