Monday, October 27, 2014

Student Teaching: Second Placement, Week 1

Last Monday I went to a brand new school to go work with second grade. I have to say, the class couldn't be more different from my last one. Both great, just in very different ways. These second graders need a lot of guidance when dealing with their emotions, and I am going to miss the focus and attention the fourth graders always gave. That said, I have really missed second grade. I love that I don't have to learn any crazy techniques I never learned as a kid to teach math class, and grammar concepts are actually useful. Even more, I love how interactive the lessons are naturally.

I also love that this district is nearby, and starts much later than my last district, so I have nearly an hour and a half longer in the morning to get things done. It really is a thing of beauty. I find myself with SO much more energy in the mornings, feeling more prepared for my lessons, and at the end of the day I am home by 4. Granted, when I go home, there is work to be done...but it is the kind of work I CAN do at home.

So far, I am pretty happy. I took over teaching Math on Friday, am starting taking over Intervention today, and will take over Science on Wednesday. It is crazy that I have been there one week, and in another week I might be teaching all day already. It is even crazier that I actually feel really confident in doing so. I still can't wait to finish, and apply for real work, but I have a feeling the next 6 weeks will fly!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tea Drink Down and Cup of The Day

So I am failing pretty badly at the tea no-buy. I am "down" to 58 samples and 63 tins. And when I began I had less. Even though I am drinking a ton. Is it my fault that there were 5 French teas at Marshall's that are typically very hard to get ahold of in the US? And that a few people were offering unbelievable sample sets for super cheap moneys on Steepster?

Whatever. I still hold that it is a good problem to have. And actually, I am making really decent headway on the iced tea collection - it definitely all fits in it's half of the cabinet now. But thanks to the Golden Tips Tea Subscription, I have a TON of hot tea to drink. Luckily, the weather is getting cooler.

Last night I drank a Teavana Rooibos Chai. It has lemongrass in it and makes me feel like I am drinking dessert even though I usually only put a single drop of agave in it. Mmm.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ipsy: October 2014

Another great month from Ipsy, mostly due to the diversity of the products. They are usually pretty good about that, and there is only one I plan to give away.

The bag is a gorgeous fall color, a cool teal, but it has that on-the-side zipper thing that to me is harder to work with. I find I fit less into these types of bags, but no biggie. I will use it, or put it in my give-away pile. Most normal people don't have a bajillion little makeup bags and love getting them for free.

Jesse's Girl Baked Eyeshadow in Graphite Frost - Full sized, value: $3.99
Some inexpensive drugstore products are amazing. Over half of my lippies are from the drugstore, and I routinely pass over more expensive products for drugstore formulas and shades. For me, this one wasn't it. It is a gray color with a light light pink veining color, which pulls a cool toned gray on me. It is beautiful and shimmery, but I have a similar color already and when I went to rub the swatch on my hand it was very sheer. Perfect for a lot of friends I know who prefer more subtle colors. This is why I always freshly wash my hands before touching a product for the first case it is the only time!

Indie Lee Brightening Face Wash - 0.5oz value: $4.00
I haven't used this yet, but I've found most cleansers are usually pretty good. This one gets good reviews so I stuck it in my travel bag where I keep all the tiny products for when I pet sit. I avoid opening products I don't intend to use up right away so the ingredients don't go bad, so I am saving this one for now.

Noyah Lipstick in Deeply In Mauve - 0.15g - estimated value ~$5.00
I couldn't find the grams for a full size lipstick, which retails for $18.00, but this is a fairly substantial sample sized lipstick. It is also the standout of this entire bag. It is all natural, the color is this mauvey brown as the name would suggest, making it perfect for fall. Above all else, it is the creamiest lipstick I might have ever tried. It has a lot of waxes in the ingredients list, and it is very much a creamy lipstick with a creamy feel. The color payoff is absolutely outstanding - I will be investigating these in full size for sure.

Ecru New York Acacia Protein BB Cream for hair - 1oz - value: $12.00
This is technically a small "full size" version as this is available to purchase in this size from the Ecru website, though if you get the large size it is $7.14 per ounce. I kind of hate how sizing works when it comes to that. I use natural haircare for the most part, but will be putting that aside to give this a try. It has a lot of natural ingredients and while I don't buy into the whole "BB" craze (just get one from Asia - the US ones suck), particularly for hair, I will certainly give this a try for travel.

Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin- 0.67oz - value: $6.56
This is another that is available in the small size, but per ounce is worth $3.30 when you buy a larger tube. And despite having to do a little hunting, another tube is a MUST. Like the lipstick, this product is remarkable. It smells heavenly, has natural ingredients, but as you rub it in feels almost like water. I have NEVER used a hand cream that was effective and rubbed in completely within three minutes.

This bag was exceptional - I usually am excited to try the products, but in two cases, I was exposed to new brands that have awesome products that are so great I will be repurchasing full sizes at some point. It actually isn't the most high-impact bag in terms of value, but still well worth my ten bucks.

Paid: $10.00
Value: $23.43- $31.55

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Harvest Festival and Norah Jones

I have been having such an awesome week off, I nearly didn't realize that it was over half over! I can hardly believe I will be going to a new school on Monday, with a whole new group of kids (second graders) and a new cooperating teacher (who I've heard is awesome, a classmate had her last year). I have been making the most of my week off for sure.

On Saturday, a friend came to visit and we went to Harvest Festival in Bethlehem. It is my favorite festival of the year, though this one was a hair lackluster due to the spitting rain the whole afternoon. However, we still had a lot of fun. Got to taste a lot of great beer, eat some tasty roasted corn, shop a few of the vendors, and catch up. We had lunner at Bethlehem Brew Works after, and I had a delicious burger while I made sure I was good to drive us home. We spent time with Katie that evening chatting the night away, and it was a great start to break.

On Sunday we did a couple really cool things. We went to The Colony Meadery to use a LivingSocial deal on a tasting and a tour. I had mead once, purchased from the Renn Faire and consumed in a single sitting after breaking up with a boyfriend the next day. Not amazing memories. But after trekking around in an area of Allentown I have never before been to (and see no reason to go to again unless returning to this meadery), we found the place in a little industrial complex.

The place is plain, and could use a little more decor to give it some warmth, but the mead is fabulous. The owners are both really knowledgeable, and it seems like mead is the new cider. And given how much I love hard cider, I am excited for this new trend. I particularly loved the Earl Grey, Kiwi Strawberry, and the Mint Lime. Real produce gives it all a super fresh flavor, and I got the Kiwi Strawberry (Pikwant Field is the official name) and Mint Lime (Do-Me-Doh) to take home. I can totally see going down to pick up even more pretty soon. There is a distillery and a brewery going into the same complex soon, so it will be a fun afternoon destination!

 Later Sunday evening, I checked a tic off my bucket list and fulfilled a longstanding dream to see Norah Jones perform. Luckily, Katie had sent me a link earlier in the week to Puss-N-Boots coming to Artsquest Cafe here in Bethlehem, a group Norah Jones is a part of. It is very country, but three women harmonizing is basically my favorite, and I went to see them having only ever heard one song and it was great. The opening act was horrific, and I think I might run if I ever see an overweight middle aged man wearing satin ever again, but Puss N Boots made up for it big time.

To see the video I took, click here to go to youtube.

And the next morning, my mom came to visit for a few days, and Elisabeth and I had an awesome pancake and bacon breakfast.

Now, I am spending the rest of my week resting, mentally preparing for the next 7 week stint, and working on a couple silly projects I have to do for school that I have put off for a long time. I still have a long weekend left to go, but I am happy to report that even if all my work doesn't get done, and my place doesn't get cleaned quite as much as I'd like, I really made the most of my break and will start the second half of student teaching recharged and refreshed mentally and physically.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Life Update and Weight Loss Check In

As of yesterday, my first placement is over. I am SO sad to leave that classroom and that cooperating teacher, and I can't believe it was only 7 weeks. We had a surprise party for me at the end of the day which was truly a surprise, complete with a cake baked by one of the kids, brownies, cupcakes, candy, and a huge basket full of things to help me in my future classroom. Each kid brought in something, and I have never in my life been so proud to own 40 highlighters. Now it is time for a week of resetting and relaxing before starting a new school, in second grade,

(Excuse my student teaching prep mess and my crock pot serving as a stand, things got a little nuts with prep for the inventions unit for science)

I also missed my monthly weight check in on here because life got so nuts, but I did weigh myself, and was happy to see that overall, I have lost weight despite the emotional eating on some of my rougher days. I now weigh 308 pounds, which is pretty much on track for my ultimate 295 goal by the end of the year. I definitely need to reset my eating habits, as the more exhausted I got in my placement the fewer veggies and fruits I was eating.

Thankfully, this week of break will help. I have my final portfolio to work on, attempting to add half of the contents from my first placement, my video story of my experience so far for school, an apartment in dire need of cleaning, a fridge in need of some restocking, and some fun to be had along the way. I have a friend coming for the weekend to go to a fall festival and a concert, and we are likely going to camp for a night as well.

Life is pretty good, and while student teaching has been rough, I will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel throughout my next experience.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Glossybox: September 2014

I am a huge fan of Glossybox. It costs twice as much as Ipsy, but the things you get tend to be well worth the 20 bucks. And this box was no different.

Benefit They're Real Mascara - Value ~$7.50
I have used this mascara before and I really like it. I like how the rubbery bristled brushes really separate my lashes, as my left eye is prone to clumpage. I know, weird, it is only the one eye. I have so many mascara samples and drugstore ones to try, I rarely buy mascara. I can usually make the little samples last a full two months, which is about the shelf life of a single mascara anyway.

Vichy Liftactive Night - Value ~$16.50
I have gotten Vichy lotions from Glossybox before. I enjoyed them, but haven't fallen in love. Perhaps this is the one?

Bvlgari Au Vert Conditioner - Value ~$16.50
I am excited at the prospect of perfumed conditioner, as hair is one of the places that holds scent the best throughout the day.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Black Dahlia - Value $18
I am jazzed and totally freaked out because I've been wanting to try the lip tars, but this nearly-black berry shade is not something I would normally ever wear. That said, it will give me a good idea as to whether I like the formula, and the tars are meant to be mixed, so if I got other colors in the future, having something to darken them up is not a bad thing. Or perhaps I will go very vampy this fall.

Essie Nail Polish in She's Pampered - Value $8.50
I love reds. I have soooo many reds. But none exactly like this one...

Overall: Awesome box, will be keeping everything. Paid: $21. Value: ~$69. Well worth it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ipsy: September 2014

This is a bit late, but it was a great month, so I felt I had to share.

First, the bag is awesome. It is a steely gray with the zipper on top. I love when the zipper is on top, it means I can fit more inside.

Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask - ~$5 value
This seems to be natural, which is the way I try to go with my hair care these days, and I can't wait to give this a try. My curly hair drinks up deep conditioners.

Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Smooth Criminal Powder - Full size $12
This tiny jar might last me forever. I don't have a plain translucent setting powder, and this one is travel perfect. I am a big fan of the Be A Bombshell line in general, and am happy to receive this.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Color and Top Coat in Redgy - Full size $15.
I love red, and I love how these subscription plans let me try the latest and greatest. I have never tried gel polish, and have heard mixed reviews. I am looking forward to giving this set a go.

Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct - Full size $19
This seems like it is great, but I am not a huge gloss wearer these days. This does seem like a lovely, wearable shade, so I don't want to wear it twice and contaminate it with my germs when I could rehome it.

Pacifica Natural Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Fringe - ~$5 value.
This greenish shade is right up my alley. I adore Pacifica body products but have had some mixed feelings on the makeup line, as everything so far has been sheer and doesn't have good staying power. I hope this eyeliner breaks the trend.

Overall: Excellent bag. I think everything in here has potential, and only one thing is going right into the give away pile. And even then, I appreciate these bags for adding to the give aways, as it is like investing in Christmas and birthday presents all year round. Overall estimated value: about $56. Paid $10. Can't beat that.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gilmore Girls and Cup of the Day

My quality of life just got several notches higher.

My favorite show of all time, Gilmore Girls, is now on Netflix to watch instantly. I remember when it came on, I was the same age as Rory. And even now so many years later it is my go-to show to pick me up when I am sad, or make me even happier when I am happy.

Plus, wearing my Luke's sweatshirt helps me identify awesome people when they recognize where the logo is from.

My happy place is much easier to reach now. :-)

It is the first real day of fall, it barely hit 60 degrees today. I put on a sweatshirt to go outside for the first time in over six months. Today I am drinking a Tealux oolong called Gui Hua that has Osmanthus flowers in it and it tastes so amazing.
Sugary, peachy, and floral all in one. Super super awesome.

Here's to fall.