5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Alright Spring Break, I see you coming to an end. Slow down just a little, please! We have a solid three months of school left (June 23rd oy vey), so I’m enjoying this down time a little too much. 🙂 Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci this Friday to talk favorites!

-Warm Weather-

No night class, a 65 degree day in March, and running distance from the National Mall means one thing and one thing only. You must go for a run. 😉 I will never ever tire of running to the Lincoln and sitting on his steps. It’s my second favorite monument (Jefferson is first).

– My Friends –


On the topic of running…aren’t race expos the best? Everyone in the room loves running and there are so many goodies to collect! We had the best time in all of the photo booths, and this picture is one of my favorites. The Rock N Roll DC Expo seemed to understand just how picture obsessed our generation is. 😉 I am so glad I’ve connected with running friends in DC. If your local Lululemon has a running group and you’re a runner, you should GO!


I went to see The Sound of Music last night with my mom, her friend, and one of my best friends in Pittsburgh and it was an AMAZING performance! We ate at Peter Allen’s, an Italian restaurant near the venue, and then headed over to the Benedum Center for the show. There were people of all ages there and I found myself singing along during the show! The Von Trapp children were SO cute.

– Jake’s 17th Birthday and Promposal –

It’s been an exciting week in the life of Jake. First…

I filled Jake’s car with 120 balloons while he was sleeping the night before his birthday. On Monday night it suddenly occurred to me that I just needed to decorate his bedroom door, so I stopped for supplies on my way home from the gym. I came home to decorations galore courtesy of my mom so I had to redirect my thoughts…and that went to filling up his car. 🙂 It was SO fun and he was SO surprised! His cookie cake was also my favorite AND I put the 10 candles we could find in the shape of a ‘1’ and ‘7’ on the cake, so I was quite proud of myself. #thelittlethings

Then, it was time for the cutest promposal ever. (Sidenote: I was asked two years in a row via text message. So special. Hahaha)

Jake HAD to ask his girlfriend to prom in a cute way because apparently that’s how it works these days. Ha! If you can see it, she wrote “yes” next to the question mark! He brought her home after school on Thursday, they walked down the little heart path, he gave her roses, it was adorable and they were both so happy!

– Life As A Teacher –


The week before Spring Break was Science Week at school. I had to exert serious self-control as I let my students design their tri-fold boards. I was trying to micromanage every pair’s poster and it was not working. #duh Once I forced them to design their title and had them research/write facts, I decided they could just have the boards and create whatever they wanted to their heart’s content. Then everyone was much happier. 😉 It was my favorite to see how excited they were to present their posters to the sixth graders. There were some really awesome posters and presentations!

– My Little Sidekick –

Meet Amigo, the velcro dog. He has not left my side since I arrived home on Monday. Gotta love him. 😉 I was on the floor with free weights, modifying the exercise because I don’t have a bench, and he laid down and put his head on my stomach. Velcro!!! As you can see, I had to watch my step as I worked out because I never knew when I might trip over him. Hahaha


And a little humor for your Easter weekend. 😉 Reese’s eggs really are my favorite, although I don’t know that I’ve ever had a white chocolate one. I might have to remedy that problem ASAP.

Happy weekending to you! And happy Easter!

Friday FiveFriday Favorites

Awkward and Awesome [2.18.16]


-Picking at a bump on your chin that is actually a zit, looking at your finger, and noticing blood. WHY does this happen at age 24?!

-Walking into FOUR restaurants that each had a 2+ hour wait for brunch. I mean, it was Valentine’s Day in DC. But it was crazy! We found a random gem and were seated right away…on the outdoor heated patio. It initially felt warm but it was definitely a keep your jacket on kind of situation. Thank God for coffee!

-Forgetting my sunglasses were on top of my head after running around getting ready before student arrival. Apparently my hair and sunglasses were all tangled. It was true, I saw my reflection in the glass of the door. What was awkward was me saying, “Good morning!” And a student saying, “Someone woke up with bedhead…” SO POLITE! Hahaha

-When the person sitting behind you in night class is saying, “Oh yeah!”, “Uh huh…”, “That’s great!”, “Ooooh!” to every.single.thing the professor says. #stopthat

-Running out of junk food (which in my kitchen, means chocolate chips, tortilla chips, trail mix, and pretzels) and having to eat this…


I mean strawberries and greek yogurt are both delicious and I eat yogurt every day, so I don’t know why this snack was such a stretch for me… #iwantemptycarbs

-Thinking that you are sooo strong now because you have been lifting a lot and then trying Lauren’s workout and almost dying. My strength is awesome, my cardio is shot! Go read Post Grad In Progress’ Workout Wednesday post and prepare to sprint, lift weights, and sweat a whole lot. 🙂 Killer workout here!

-Printing an assignment due by day’s end at 10 PM. That was my first mistake. My second…the toner on my printer was all jacked up. The third…I then had to scan its grayish quality to my instructor. It printed in the most grayscale tone I have ever seen. #oops #youcanstillreadit #iswear

-Having enough time to read an entire book in one day. #allthesnowdays I saw the preview for this movie in theaters this past weekend, and I knew I had to read the book after that! I have seen this title on so many “must read” lists in the past year, but it never really struck me until I saw the movie preview. It was SO good (obviously) and I can’t wait to see how the movie compares. They never do, but book & movie comparisons are my favorite. 🙂



-President’s Day off followed by a snow day. I love a good 4 day weekend! And I love being at grad school on time for class two weeks in a row. YAY!

-Running into Giant to pick up a prescription and finding COOKIE BUTTER! The gem of all gems! It was like a moment from Gossip Girl. I was walking through the produce section and then “SPOTTED: Cookie Butter!” I first found this at Trader Joe’s and they tend to sell certain things that you can’t find anywhere else. It might be dangerous that I don’t have to make a special trip there anymore…

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-When the student in your class who certainly could benefit from meditation is found sitting on his desk Indian style with his eyes shut…meditating. I literally asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m meditating, Miss McGraw!” It was dismissal, they were supposed to stand next to their desks when they were ready to pack up, he was oddly quiet…could I really be mad he was sitting on his desk?! Ha!

-Pictures of my family…Jake and my mom went to an early dinner at Noodles & Co. the other night and he was being crazy! Most likely she said, “Hey, I’m texting Kylie. Smile!” And he did this. Hahaha


The weirdest part about not living in the same town (or state) as my family is we can’t meet up for random dinners out or shopping trips. My evil plan is to get Jake to go to college in DC…then my mom will retire down here…then Alex and my Dad will have no choice but to follow. Muahaha

-Valentine’s Day mail! From my mom, my aunt, and my college roommate. My mom sent me a random box with assorted items, so I opened one each day all week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Here are some of the goodies she sent my way!


In true sappy older sister fashion, my favorite “gifts” were the two notes from my brothers. 😉 They are hanging on my ribbon board now!

-A free workout at Union Market on Valentine’s Day with my friends! It was a HIIT-style workout that included free juice and Kombucha at the end. What could be better?!


-Awesome is a raising awareness for childhood cancer. Awesome is also running a 140 mile relay through central PA in the cold temps that winter brings! Caroline (above, in the center) went to Penn State and if you know anything about that university, you know how dedicated their students are to THON each year. She participated and danced in the marathon when she was in college, and now this year, she is running with The Hope Express! This means that with a team, she is running 140 miles through central PA as a tribute to the Four Diamonds kids. While I unfortunately know many people who have suffered with cancer, I don’t have any relatives that have had childhood cancer. I cannot even imagine what those families go through and I am so proud of Caroline for raising awareness for such a great cause!

-Casually seeing such sights on your evening commute & 4 mile run…

I am very thankful for where I live. And I am very thankful for making it back to my Wednesday night running group! It is a small group through my church and these people and this group were so important to me when I first moved here. They were my first friends…they were awesome. I missed every single run in the fall and I am NOT letting that happen this year! It was so great to come back to a group of people so happy to see me. 🙂

What is awkward and awesome in your life this week?!


Awkward and Awesome [2/5/16]

You’ve been warned: the part of my brain that thinks about being a teacher was behind most of this post. 😉 If you haven’t read any of Morgan’s posts yet, you must go to her blog! Her Awkward and Awesome posts are hilarious and she is the one who gave me the idea, after all. Happy Friday!


-Being assigned a project in night class on Monday night…being told to work independently or work with a group…and being that weird girl who goes and lays on the pillows in the corner of the library to work alone. #sorrynotsorry #idomyownwork

-My bed broke while I was laying in it. That was fun. It was me and my mom and my two dogs, but still! That thing should hold some weight haha! I was in Pittsburgh last week because we had 23432980 snow days here in DC, so at least it’s not the bed I sleep in every night but…books had to hold me up. The wood rail was starting to split because it was missing a screw. Apparently, the furniture people put it together with 7 of its 8 screws five years ago when we moved and I got new furniture…and we found out that fun fact when I COLLAPSED last weekend. #slightlydramatic #butreally Props to my uncle and his toolbox for coming to fix it on Sunday morning! My mom, my brother, and I all had NO luck trying to be handy. Hence the books. 😉

-When the brother who doesn’t mind taking pictures with you suddenly gets too cool at his volleyball tournament. BRO, I BOUGHT YOU A BREAKFAST BURRITO. YOU OWE ME A SMILE! I look terrible anyway, so it wasn’t a total loss. 😉IMG_4823

-Getting to work on Tuesday and crying 20 minutes after I arrived to my mentor because I have so little time, so much to do. Anyone remember the Mary Kate and Ashley show with that theme song?!

-A student asked if I was a Democrat or a Republican. I told him I vote for the person who makes the best choices, because I’m obviously not going to put my political views on the table for a 7 year old. He told me he’s a Democrat, his parents are Republicans, and I’m not allowed to vote for Donald Trump because he will kick people out of our country. #outofthemouthsofbabes

-That moment when you feel like your mother. My mom really likes containers. She’s a teacher and she has approximately 27 cups for pens, pencils, and markers on her desk. We also have lots of containers in our house for all the random objects like mail, dog toys, magazines, papers in the office…you know, all that normal stuff. But can you blame the woman? HomeGoods and The Container Store make buying cute little boxes a breeze. Long story short, my students finished the container of animal crackers that I had in my classroom for snack and instead of tossing the plastic container, I put it in the closet for future use. Then I got home and saw these baskets on top of the trash can…and I almost took them. They’re kind of pretty, aren’t they? I could use them for stuff, right?! After the crazy thoughts occurred, I walked inside and left the baskets behind. 😉


-“Your pet’s #2 is our #1!” A real company here in northern Virginia. Moving on…




-This is happiness.IMG_4957

-My mom’s homemade soup for lunch every day this week AND I still have enough to last me through the weekend. #hallelujah

-A teacher workday today to catch up on all the things I cried about. 😉 But honestly, praise the Lord for 8 hours to get organized all day long today. #gradingisfun #saidnoteacherever

-This conversation:
Me: “So if you have a capital letter at the beginning of this sentence, what do you need at the end?”
Student: *thinks of a period* “Oh, lawl.”
Me: “What did you say?”
Student: “Lawl, Miss McGraw. Like LOL.”

-7 year olds don’t know what the pound key is, or what a number sign is for that matter. I abbreviated the word “number” the other day when I was writing on the easel and put this –> # instead. They wanted to know why I wrote a hashtag. Sigh. There is also a handshake these days called Hashtag. They take their pointer finger and middle finger together and like swipe the other person’s same two fingers?!?! It’s weird. They say, “Hashtag, yeah hashtag.” I guess their four fingers together MAKE the hashtag?! I have no idea. I’m old. Apparently.

-$160 running shoes on sale for $90 because they were an online return. Which I totally don’t understand why that means the price is so much less BUT I LOVE IT. They had a size 10 in the store and they fit, but I prefer an 11 to run in and luckily they had some in the warehouse which they shipped to me FOR FREE! So awesome.

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-You can’t deny Colby’s cuteness.IMG_4809

-Traffic might be a nightmare to and from grad school since I moved, but I do love that place. #derpimaterp




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

What’s In My Bag [Day 15]

  Tuesday, September 15: What’s in your bag? Pick up your purse and peruse its contents, then share with us!

Now that school has started, my purse from Monday to Friday is my bag for work. I just add my wallet, my keys, and my phone to the bag with everything I need for work and I am all set to go! I shared what’s in my REAL bag in a post earlier this summer. Read all about my purse here!


I can’t decide if today was the best day to share with you or not. 😉 Usually I bring my work laptop and charger home with me, but I realized this weekend that if I am truly doing work at home, I am doing it on my personal laptop and emailing it to my work account. So the bag was much lighter this morning haha! But now it looks like there isn’t much in there!


I have sooo many Vera Bradley bags and those are the ones that I always use for my work bag. They are big, they have a ton of pockets, and the material is able to be washed, which I love because I am a germaphobe and I wash everything that touches my students. Hahaha

This particular bag was a free gift at Sally’s Beauty! My mom and I went into our local store so she could buy a new curling iron and when we were checking out, the cashier informed us we were going to get a free gift. I immediately knew I wanted this bag! The ironic part is that as we were walking into the store, I saw this bag in the window and told my mom how much I liked it. Little did I know it would be mine;)


Lanyard + ID + key: I can’t go anywhere without these three things! My ID is required for walking around the building, there is a fob on the back that opens doors when my class and I are outside, and the key opens my classroom door!
Gatorade MiO: Mango Peach! Sometimes you just need a little flavor in your water.
Headphones: For heading to the gym or out for a run after work. My ears are open all day listening to the little munchkins;)
Post-It notes + pen + highlighter: Necessities! I love these pens here!
Pumpkin Flax Kashi bar: I don’t usually buy Kashi bars for a snack, but this one was free in the teacher’s lounge and the flavor sounded good. I’ll report back with my taste test!
Headband: Because some days my hair just needs to be out of my face.
Hand sanitizer: I spend my days with 23 7-year-olds. Enough said.
Coffee cup: One cup in the morning and one cup on my break at 1:50! Bless the Keurig in the teacher’s lounge.
Chevron plan book: I wasn’t sure how I would keep lesson plans before the year started and I found this book in the Target dollar section. I have written a few reminders in it, but for the most part, my plans are in an online lesson book where my colleagues and I can send each other resources! It is much more efficient. 🙂
Chevron notebook: I’m a new teacher. I know nothing. Therefore, I write down all the things.
Conscious Classroom Management book: A speaker came to new teacher induction and this is his book. My school places a big focus on procedures and routines in the classroom and this book gives you ideas that are effective without being boring!
Erin Condren planner: The happiest thing I ever did buy. It has my life in it, from workouts to grocery lists to homework for grad school to what I need to print absolutely 100% tomorrow morning before children enter the room. Hahaha

Remind me to add lipstick to this bag! I have so many colors but I always fall in love with one at a time and then I only want to use that one. Ask me where my current favorite is. I have no idea! I need to find it or get another favorite because lipstick just makes you look put together. 🙂

What’s in YOUR bag?!

Currently [Day 12]

Saturday, September 12: What are you currently up to?




…and PDFs of education journal articles for my graduate class. Do you see why I like reading blogs so much?! Because they are so much more fun! I really do enjoy the reading that I have to do for my job and for school, but you must understand the need for mindless reading too, right?!


Tourist in my own town. Last weekend, I went for a run, which is normal, but I didn’t plan the route, which is definitely not normal. I ended up at the Marine Corps Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the end of the National Mall by Lincoln to get a drink from the many water fountains, and in Georgetown.


Behind me, you can see three in a row: Iwo Jima, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol Building.





Big Brother & Extreme Weight Loss! I never watch either of them in real time but they are my favorites! Of course, I am also excited for Scandal to start up again too. 🙂


Not to let my job consume me. I actually dreamed about all 23 of my students last night. Sigh. I woke up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and I was giving myself a mental pep talk like, “I am NOT going back to sleep and dreaming about those children!” And then I did. Ahhh! Oh, fun fact: for a few moments when I wasn’t dreaming about my kids, I had a dream that me, Sarah at Picky Runner, and Jamie at IDon’tEatThat were all running a half marathon together. Ha!


I just made this…


…and put marinara sauce and mozzarella on top. The lazy way to make an Italian meal. 😉


Entirely too much candy corn.


And my Dad is not helping my addiction by sending me care packages that look like this. Hahaha


Light blue Powerade Zero. Aka mixed berry flavor. I have been so bad at hydrating lately!


My brothers, both of my parents, and Kristen. The usual. 😉


Teacher stuff because #cantstopwontstop and fall stuff because #basicwhitegirl.


Not much of anything lately! I think I’m pretty funny;) so when I do tweet, you should follow along. Follow me here!


To spectate at the Nation’s Tri tomorrow! I don’t think I could handle a triathlon as I still hold my nose when I go swimming, but it will be fun to see so many others conquer the triathlon goal all the way through DC!


This cooler, rainy DC day. Don’t worry, the humidity is still 96%. #dying Still, if you aren’t outside to run, it feels nice because it’s only 74*! I have candles burning, my laundry is all done (though not yet folded), and I’m on my couch with a big blanket!


Comcast. Last week, our TV didn’t work for a good 36 hours. I tried everything and then I called and made an appointment for a technician to come out. They didn’t come when they were supposed to, the TV randomly started working again by itself, and now this week, the remote doesn’t work. We can’t win. Hahaha


That it is really hard to get simple errands done, like going to the post office or the bank, during the work week!


That these grapes are overrated. They are good, but definitely still taste like a regular ol’ grape!



Like this. Hahaha


Me after the first day of school…and every other day of school. 😉


I can get some blog posts scheduled for this week!


To my roommate washing dishes and the song “Roots” by Imagine Dragons.


The successful end to my first week of teaching!


Seasonal beer from Citizen Burger


“Apple Pumpkin” from Yankee Candle!



Here you will find part of my wishlist since I haven’t had my first pay day yet. 😉

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BlardiganPlaid Shirt Dress

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  Fringe BootiesConverse


The Lord (and my principal) for casual dress days!


Wednesday was “Workout Wednesday” and yes friends, that means all the teachers showed up in running shoes and comfy…oh, I mean “workout”…clothes.


And Friday is Spirit Day. We are the Mighty Red Birds, but I don’t have an official school shirt yet, so I just rocked the color red. 🙂


Ordering food for dinner. And I never do that! Also skipping my workout. I usually don’t do that either!


To decorate for fall!


My roommate decorated and moved the majority of furniture into our apartment because she moved in a month before I did. I was hoping she wouldn’t mind a few fall touches on the fireplace since she chose the other pieces and luckily, she loved it. 🙂 Now that this picture is uploaded, it’s bothering me that it is slightly crooked…


Cleaning my apartment! Such fun. 😉

What are you up to?

Friday Favorites

Ya know, there’s just nothing better than the Friday before a long weekend. My favorite day of the week is actually Thursday, but Friday miiiiight be taking its place this week. Thursday was quite the long (but accomplished) day! I attempted to eat dinner on my patio after being inside all day but it was SO hot. Somehow I ended up in bed. At 6:30. With my dinner. So there’s that.

You should know I did get up to go running at 8 PM. It was either that or fall into a dead sleep and I ate way too much candy corn yesterday for that to happen. 😉 In other news, my leg is feeling better, so I’m a happy girl!

Let’s talk fall food. I know you are thinking that I am going to mention something healthy, but alas, I am not. My favorite fall-inspired eats this week were:


Pumpkin spice creamer AND…


…peanut butter cup candy corn. So wrong. So very wrong. But so right. 😉 Sometimes a girl just needs a little sugar rush on the drive home from work, am I right?!

Life is all about balance, so I balanced out those sugar rushes with my version of a Cobb salad.


I packed spinach and shredded carrots in five containers on Sunday night. I wrapped cucumbers in plastic wrap and threw those in each of the five containers, too. In the morning, I would put turkey breast, shredded cheese, and a hard boiled egg on top. A delicious lunch this week. 🙂 Although it did make an appearance for dinner one night. My school has been great about providing lunch for us during in-service and clerical days! On Monday, the PTA ordered food from a local Italian restaurant and on Thursday, a local church that we partner with brought ALL homemade food. Chicken breast, salad, pesto pasta, cut up fruit, and desserts GALORE. Costco kale salad made an appearance on the table, but we can just forget that one wasn’t made at home. 😉 This was my very favorite lunch. The pastor was a master chef as he grilled all the chicken and made two cheesecakes! I can speak to the fact that his chicken was delicious, but I did not try his cheesecake. I tried a bourbon brownie and a toffee bar. #allthedesserts #yesplease


Besides the delicious salads I’ve made for myself and the lunches provided for me at work, I ate my favorite easy meal…turkey, spinach, and cheese wraps with cut up peppers and Jalapeño Greek Yogurt Dip. Listen, these wraps are from Trader Joe’s and they are SO good. But Trader Joe’s knows what they are doing because the Jalapeño dip is also amazing! I wanted to buy something other than hummus and this seemed to fit the bill. It reminds me of queso, but it is obviously a thinner consistency. It is so good! You must try it!


On a completely unrelated note, this Snapchat made me laugh out loud. It’s kind of hard to see, but I tried to make the picture bigger! Anyways, the sign says, “Jess Homecoming?” The “Prom-posals” and fancy Homecoming requests became popular after I left high school because I was asked to the majority of dances via text message. Hahaha! Senior year, three of my guy friends asked me and two of my girlfriends to Homecoming with sparklers which was so fun! But nothing to the extent of our names on a sign. I hope this girl said yes!

Things that made me really happy this week:


The moon was RED on Monday night and I was working out in DC so I got to see it up close and personal! Sort of. As we were leaving the Lincoln Memorial, we looked down the Mall and I mentioned that I thought I saw fireworks. After walking a little closer and trying to figure out what we were looking at, we heard a Segway tour guide tell his tourists that they would have plenty of time to take pictures of the red moon later that night. Then I had to Google “red moon”. Then I took lots of pictures. 🙂


My mom sent me this adorable picture of Colby “telling” Amigo a secret! Amigo is having surgery this morning to have a spot removed on his chest. I’m praying for an easy surgery and good news about the results of the tests. The vet wants to test to make sure it’s not cancer. My mom said he has been acting pretty normal, so we are hoping for the best!


The staff all received this gift bag full of “treats” as our welcome back to school. There was a notebook, a pen, sunglasses, colored index cards, a coil bracelet, a slinky, and a bottle of water, all representing different things that will inspire us this year. Think colored notecards = diversity, coil bracelet = never ending learning, etc. 🙂IMG_0887

 I was sitting with the first grade team and my second grade teammates and we were quite the handful. The slinky representing flexibility became a toy mid-afternoon when our attention was wavering (yes, we were those people!), but I just thought it was so thoughtful for the principal and assistant principal to do this for all of us!


I won this vase at lunch the other day. I never win anything. 😉 There were center pieces at each table made with various school supplies. Some had crayons, some had pencils, and some were painted mason jars with pencils as the flowers. They had flower toppers on the pencils so it really looked like a bouquet! Anyways, we were all handed a ticket when we got to the cafeteria and they called numbers after we ate lunch. It was kind of first come, first serve. When your number was called, you could choose from any of the centerpieces that were left. I really wanted this crayon vase and my number was called pretty early, but I still jumped up like a fool and screamed, “Oh! Me! Me! I need the crayons!” Ha!


My aunt made my 5 Minute Pumpkin Oatmeal recipe! She is a faithful blog reader and usually sends me a text after she reads my post in the morning, so I was super excited to see that she not only read my post, but also decided I had a good idea! Haha


This group text is me and my friends from college. Me, Johna, Lindsey, Niko, and John. I left them all in Pittsburgh when I moved to DC, but Lindsey just moved here for a teaching job too so now I have one of my friends back. 😉 I have no idea how this shoe picture tradition started, but one day, when someone was bored at work, they sent a picture of the shoes they were wearing and asked what we were wearing that day. Now, we will randomly still do this once every few days! Niko was wearing awesome shoes the other day. I mean, look at that pattern!

John was in his comfy shoes and I was wearing sandals from Marshalls that I swear got compliments from at least four other teachers! They are just simple brown and black sandals that were probably $19.99 and everyone wanted to know where they were from! The best purchases are always like that. 🙂


Finally, running at night. Running itself is exciting for me right now. Luckily, I never feel alone or scared because there are a ton of people eating at outdoor restaurants, walking home from work, or ALSO out running when I run at this time. My favorite.


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

3 Checks Off The Summer List + Other Exciting News

Goooooooood morning!


Link up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika and talk favorites with us! Happy Friday 🙂

Favorite moment:


This sunset that I captured on Sunday night. I did absolutely nothing on Sunday except everything I wanted to do and it was much needed after a busy week! So to look out the window and see this…the little things are the big things, am I right?

Favorite purchase:


You need these Old Navy PJ shorts. You’re welcome for the selfie of me in my pajamas;) I got the “Key Largo” and “Lavender” color and I might just have to go back and buy the black because they are so comfy! Plus they’re on sale and an extra 15% off. Find them HERE. 🙂

Favorite life event:


I am officially a second grade teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. This is my classroom. 🙂 It’s HUGE (and also being packed up by the teacher moving out of the room…don’t mind the mess;)! I am almost done with classes for my Master’s degree so it was just the right time to start applying for jobs. The application process is time consuming, the interview process is nerve wracking, but the job offer…it’s worth it. Sometimes you just have a feeling when you walk into a place or you talk to certain people…and I have talked to a few different people in the last few weeks, but on Monday, I finally found MY people. I’ve known that I wanted to be a teacher for a long time so I’m excited to start teaching the kiddos this fall. 🙂

Favorite person to run with:


Meet Kristen. We’re both Pittsburgh girls (we went to Duquesne together) and now we both live in DC! She also teaches in Fairfax County so that’s fun:) Our favorite thing to do on Friday night is go to new fitness classes and new studios. I’m not joking. For probably two months this winter, my mom would text me on Friday night and say, “Where are you and Kristen working out tonight?” Ha! Now that she’s on summer break we have all the time in the world to do fun things and we tried out some new running groups this week! Monday night, we went to Lululemon’s free running club in Clarendon. Running down the hill to Georgetown felt amazing…running up the hill back to the store, not so much. Hence our beautiful faces;) Wednesday night, we did a bit of a trail run with my friends from church. Then, Friday morning, we finally tried a November Project workout! I can’t wait to go back to that one!

Favorite new dessert:


So I met Kristen’s friends at Lululemon’s running club and they wanted to get Pinkberry after our run.
2. It was an early birthday celebration for someone, so that was fun. 🙂
3. I’ve never been to Pinkberry and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Friends, this is not your average frozen yogurt. It tastes so much better than everything I’ve tried before!
4. This has nothing to do with this picture but I slyly took a photo of my food the other day and my friend said, “Is that a picture for your blog?” And here I thought I was being so sneaky and smooth… #bloggerproblems

There were many new adventures this week…keep up with my summer bucket list here!

So tell me…what are some of your favorites this week?!

Uptown Funk

School is not my jam right now. I am in graduate school at the University of Maryland and I am working on a Master’s in Reading Education…so people look at me kind of funny when I say I’m sick of school. Because due to my major, I will likely be in school forever. 😉 However, there is a big difference between being IN school and teaching school…I went straight from undergrad to grad school. I think I’m ready to teach!

Right now at church, we are talking through a series of sermons called “Trip Around the Sun”. My pastor just wrote a book with the same name. 🙂 In talking about our trips around the sun, Pastor Mark has been talking about our experiences. Because our experiences are what make up all the years of our lives. Apparently, someone did a survey on a group of fifty people who were about 85 years old or older and they asked them what they would do differently if they could do their lives over. They said:

1. Risk more.
2. Reflect more.
3. Do more to leave behind (in regards to their legacy).

Today I am reflecting because I am oh-so-cranky about my blessings instead of appreciating them.

What I have been thinking all weekend:
“I can’t believe I still have a project and a final. I have never been in school this long in my life. Duquesne always ended in April. This is dumb. I don’t care.”

P.S. I felt completely stupid typing that out. It’s like when you say something out loud and you think, woah, that is ridiculous. Yeah. That just happened. But that is what I have been thinking…

What I should be thinking:
I am financially and academically blessed to be able to attend the school that I do. I have a job(s), I have amazing professors, I like my classmates, I have friends, I live in an amazing city…

Pastor Mark was talking about a sunset that he saw last weekend at the lake…the sun was setting on one side, the moon was rising on another…and it was one of the most awesome moments he’s ever seen. So he got us thinking. Not that we have to watch every sunset, moon rise, day break, etc…just thinking: how often are we looking down instead of literally (or figuratively) looking up and experiencing what’s around us?

I am taking “looking down” as “not appreciating”. 😉

Recently I have been getting very caught up in the big picture, which in my case is finishing school and getting a “real” job. I currently have three part time jobs. But I am so concerned with having a real job and “finally having money.” That’s what I keep saying. I’m not really even sure what I mean by that. But, that is not the point of a job, especially my future job. I am meant to teach children, not meant to worry about how much money I am putting in the bank each week.

“Don’t accumulate possessions. Accumulate experiences.”

I’m in the middle of an experience right now. It’s called graduate school. And it’s not my forever, but it IS my right now. And God put me here for a reason. So I’m going to pray on it…and reflect on it…and LOVE it. Because our trips around the sun are made up of the little moments and I’m in the middle of the little moments right now. Professional Development Project, I’m looking at you. 😉

So I am going to find the good in every last assignment, every final test, every last interaction with a professor or classmate…because nobody likes a downer. I’m choosing the positive.


– How have you been feeling lately? Happy, silly, frustrated, sleepy, excited?
– How do you break yourself out of a funk?

If you’re interested, you can watch yesterday’s sermon HERE or listen to the podcast HERE.

Friday Favorites: End of the Semester Moments

It’s been a good week. I’ve had a constant feeling of thankfulness for where I am and what I am doing in life right now. Thanks be to God for His sense of direction and timing because I sure as heck don’t know what I’m doing. 😉


Time to talk favorites with Andrea, Erika, and Narci! My camera roll is one of the most random things you could ever look at. I take pictures of the STRANGEST things…all to document the silly little everyday things I love. Because that’s what life is all about, right?

– ONE –


The end of the semester is near…and the end of my patience is also near. Ha! All of my assigned readings have been making me roll my eyes so I have been reading while I’m on the bike or elliptical at the gym because then I feel productive! I’m 4/5 for morning workouts this week…morning workouts are my favorite. They make the whole day better! But I have a SoulCycle class with my friend on the agenda for this evening, so the workout will have to wait today!

– TWO –


Some people have the Super Bowl, I have Marathon Monday. I loved watching and tracking some of my favorite bloggers AND some people I know in real life as they ran the Boston Marathon! You know that running is my favorite and I felt like every runner’s number one fan as I live streamed the race. It is such an exciting event and weekend and I so hope I make it there one day!



I “lost” (and then found) my debit card in my bag two weeks ago and my new card FINALLY came in the mail…a favorite moment for sure. But then I went and “lost” something else. My laptop was gone for all of twelve hours and for 11 1/2 of those hours, I didn’t even know it was missing. Can I get an amen for nice people who lock your computer up somewhere safe when you leave it at the gym?! I taught PiYo on Tuesday night and as I talked to people in my class after class, the next instructor came in and got her music set up. I guess hearing her music and talking to people in my class distracted me enough to pack up and leave without the laptop?! Oh my. A laptop is not just something you lose…unless your name is Kylie McGraw. Hello, nice to meet you.

– FOUR –


I went to a fitness fundraiser recently and I took some free samples as I made my way to the different booths there…I love Shakeology for all of its vitamins and its chocolate flavor…and I love peanut butter Quest protein powder because it’s thick and the flavor is AMAZING. So it should come as no surprise that I took a sample of protein called “Chocolate Cookie”. Clearly, dessert in shake form is my fav. 🙂 I only mixed it with water and I really swear it tasted like a cookie!

– FIVE –


Sandal weather is the bomb.com. And so are Michael Kors flip flops that are nice enough to wear to observations for my job;) Mine are old but you can find a similar pair here!

– SIX –


As seen on my run…the sunrise…and also a very angry goose who chased me down this path.


As seen on a walk…pretty flowers in front of a pretty house! I am loving getting outside and enjoying spring.



Favorite moment of the week: being a real DC resident and taking the Metro to the Nationals game on Wednesday night! I am feeling especially proud of myself for finally getting my own Metro card. I have only lived here for eight months…I figured it was time;) I like to drive everywhere just because I love to drive but it is not always the smartest idea in this city because there is traffic all of the time. Like even on Saturday at noon when I’m going to the mall. BUT I LOVE IT ANYWAY!



Activities that remind me of summer and warm weather…like going to baseball games…are definitely my favorite. It makes me so happy! I went to the Nationals vs. Cardinals game last night and I cheered for the Cardinals. In case you forgot, I am from Pittsburgh, not St. Louis. But these girls are Cardinals fans so I had to play along. 🙂


“We” won! The score was 7-5 and it was actually a really good game! I usually lose focus but I actually paid attention;) The wind was not my favorite because it made it feel SO much colder than it actually was! I may or may not have bought hot chocolate just to hold it. Ha! My favorite part of going to this game was seeing how it compared to going to a Pirates game at home. The stadium definitely wasn’t as packed as a Pirate game but the fans were loud and proud of their teams! There were actually a lot of Cardinals fans there last night. But let’s talk about one of my favorite moments at a Pirates game…it’s when the pierogis race around the field:


It’s a Pittsburgh thing. I don’t know. Apparently a lot of us are Polish. I actually am Polish so it makes sense to me. Ha! BUT, here in DC, there are no racing pierogis…


…there are racing Presidents instead. Hahaha! Every city has it’s quirks!

What have been some of your favorite moments this week? Leave a comment below or post on your blog and join the link up!

10 on 10: March 2015

When I lay in bed at night, I replay my day in my head. What went right? What went wrong? Did anything especially important happen? What am I doing tomorrow? I’m sure we all have our own form of personal reflection, and in those moments, we really do remember how we felt, where we went, what we wore, who we interacted with…but as the days go by, the details fade and you really only remember the big events. Last weekend, I was crossing days off my training chart a few days late and I could not for the life of me remember what workout I completed on Thursday. I couldn’t even remember what I did on Thursday! I knew that I had class in the evening and I came home to watch Scandal, but everything before that was blank. It was probably like any other day. Wake up, workout, eat food, do homework, go to work, go to class…but since nothing earth-shattering happened last Thursday (thank goodness), the details had faded.

I have been reading Mel’s blog for about a year and I love her posts of the tenth of each month when she shares random bits from her day! It’s the little moments that will be the most fun to look back on. I’m linking up with Rebekah to find beauty in the ordinary. 🙂

 Screen shot 2010-10-11 at 10.59.25 AM


Wearing florals because spring! I wanted to wear my nude flats but my feet have not adjusted to the flats life yet. I wore a new pair yesterday that are CRAZY comfy, but after being in boots all winter, my feet need to adjust. I do this with flip flops too. It’s weird and silly and requires me to ruin outfits such as these with Toms but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.


Not the prettiest picture…but worth remembering because I go through phases with meals. I don’t have a breakfast rotation…when I find something I like, I LIKE it. For a long time, I ate a scrambled egg with cheese on an Everything Bagel Thin and a Danimals drinkable yogurt (yes, I know I’m 23) for breakfast. Then I got creative and ate scrambled eggs with PB and banana. Next, the obsession was oatmeal with PB, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and banana. To add a little nutritional value back into my breakfast (read: protein), I started adding protein powder to my oats. The above photo shows you apple cinnamon oatmeal 🙂 Oats, milk, vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, and steamed apples. Current everyday breakfast.


The Vera bag of pain. You will find my laptop, my iPad, my books for class, my notebook for teaching at the gym, electronic device chargers, gym clothes, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I’m gone on Tuesday from 10 AM to 10 PM!


I like to study in a clean environment. My environment was clean, but my desk was not. In other news, I think I got a decent grade on my midterm. 😉


And even if I didn’t get a decent grade, at least my Dad believes in me. Hahaha


Don’t mess with me and my bag. And yoga mat. And umbrella.


It rained for approximately twelve hours today. BYE WINTER!


Walking in the rain. My favorite umbrella is missing. Target saved the day. Late. Wet. Rain boot didn’t do its job.


36 wonderful people came to PiYo class!


Frozen Shakeology and Pretty Little Liars with my roommate to end the day. 🙂