three favorites: august 13, 2017

August 13, 2017

My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

Well, I find myself sitting in the humid air of Bonaire and one week into a two week scuba vacation. It's good to get away. Although, I have started having back to school nightmares. Yes, teachers have them, too. I am going to soak up the sun and ocean breeze while I can. Here are some of the things I am loving this week.

1. The JCrew Signet bag. I bought this on eBay after looking for about a month for this bag in "festival red" without much luck. It popped up, and I was compelled to snag it. I am so glad that I did. The red is a welcome addition to my vacation outfits, and is roomy enough for my wallet, extra lipstick, sunscreen, sunglasses, phone, and my husband's phone and wallet. It's great for traveling, as it has a zipper that can even be locked.

2. As the eclipse approaches, I thought about Annie Dillard's essay, Total Eclipse, which describes the horror of watching the sun disappear. It's a great read. "We had, it seems, loved the planet and loved our lives, but could no longer remember the way of them. We got the light wrong. In he sky was something that should not be there. In the black sky was a ring of light. It was a thin ring, an old, thin silver wedding band, an old, worn ring. It was an old wedding band in the sky, or a morsel of bone. There were stars. It was all over." -Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

3. Watercolor paints. I have started a couple small postcard sized water color paper and I am pretty content with how they are turning out. Painting what I see while scuba diving using watery pigment feels correct, and it's fun see something close to what I experience underwater bloom on the paper. I got my set from IKEA, and love that the paints sit on top of a storage space for paper and brushes. 

small goals: august 2017

August 1, 2017

Well, July has come and gone, and I was kind of productive. Kind of. But, I am feeling okay, and also I am feeling like I am developing some good productivity habits for the school year. If you want to join a link up and share your goals with others, you can check out Writes Like a Girl. So, here's how I did with my July goals:

1. No new clothes or makeup for the month.   // Success! It got a little dicey towards the end as I was realllllly close to buying a lipstick, especially after all the hype from national lipstick day. But, I made it! I think that by getting back into sewing, I was able to soothe my need for new clothes by creating something. More on that in a second. 

2. Run at least once a week.   // Not really. I ran once, missed a week, then ran again. I think that if I plan to run in the morning on Saturdays, and actually have a day chosen, this may be more successful.

3. Start a Donors Choose campaign for my classroom.   // Nope. I have been putting this off for a year, so I shouldn't be too shocked that this proved to be difficult to initiate. I had trouble restarting my profile, and got hung up on needing a profile picture, which as of now is still blank because the website won't allow me to upload a photo. I am going to get this up and running, though. So, I will move this goal into August.

4. Read at least two books about teaching.   // Yes! I finished "It Won't Be Easy" and "Whistling Vivaldi" and both were great. 

5. Finish two DIY projects.   // Success! I made a DIY linen spray using this tutorial. My clothes now smell like vanilla and cedar, and this is especially great for clothes only worn once for a light work out that I don't want to wash just yet.  I also finished my nerdy "valar morghulis" cross stitch, which is framed in yellow roses. I am going to say that this cross stitch is in honor of Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones, the Queen of Thornes. 

August is going to be a time full of relaxing, and busy with preparation. I am looking forward to it, but it has the urgency of the ending of summer, and the beginning of a new school year. Hopefully I can manage to prepare enough that I can relax. Here are my August goals:

1. Only purchase clothes and accessories that are secondhand or vintage.   // I am really excited for this goal! After successfully slowing my buying habits, I want to intentionally seek out secondhand pieces to start offsetting my fast fashion purchases, and educate myself more about sustainable fashion. 

2. Stick to a quarterly budget.   // I would like to set a quarterly budget for myself and then stick to it. I need to do a bit more thinking about what that amount will be, but I would like to limit my personal purchases to a seasonal budget that allows me to be more intentional about when, and what, I buy. 

3. Start a Donors Choose campaign for my classroom.   // Here is my migrated goal from July. I emailed Donors Choose about where I got stuck in the process, and hopefully they can help me out so that I can move forward. I would love to get this done as soon as possible. 

4. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes.   // I have a start for both ninth and eleventh grade. I just need to complete these calendars so that I can breathe easier. Plus, I am telling myself that if they are drafts they do not need to be perfect. I repeat, they do not need to be perfect. They just need to be done. 

5. Complete at least one DIY project.   // I think I can finish more than one project, but I want to be realistic with how much time I functionally have in August. So, one project. Things that could be finished: an embroidered evil eye pillow or an off the shoulder shirt sewn from scratch that I have all the materials for. Crafting has been such a lovely opportunity for me to sort through old materials, and get excited about being creative!

What are your goals for August?

three favorites: july 23, 2017

July 23, 2017

1. Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach. I really like the texture of this under eye correcter. The formula is pigmented, and manages to help my under eye concealer stick, without being cakey. If I need a pick me up for tired eyes, this is it.

2. Dirty Chais. I discovered that two of my favorite things- coffee and chai tea- can be combined to create a dirty chai. Usually it's made with espresso, but I am trying to save some money, honey. So, I am mixing some strong dark coffee, iced chai tea, and whole milk in equal parts. It's great.

3. Watching my dog sleep during the day. My Siberian Husky, Arya, likes to rotate around the living room and nap. Moving from the couch to the rug to the hardwood floor to the tiles in the entry way, she breathes deeply and occasionally has the heart rending dog dreams that make her paws twitch. Watching her gives me those little heart flutters.

reading: the bat and cockroaches

July 21, 2017 Minnesota, USA

Okay. My husband once said that I am an expert in murder. That's not true. However, there is something that draws me to murder mysteries of any kind. Miss Marple? I'm there. My Favorite Murder? Great. Criminal Minds? Sure, but I'll be paranoid for a week.

This week, I finished the second Harry Hole novel by Jo Nesbo called Cockroaches. I am of two minds about the first two novels in the series that feature a damaged Norwegian Detective. My first feeling is that I was bored. My second feeling is that I finished the books, and was surprised by both endings.

I'll be honest, I don't take in murder mysteries to try to solve the mysteries before the on screen or on page detectives. These stories appeal to me because they are truthful about the potential for humans to be both truly terrible and truly heroic. Harry Hole doesn't really fall into either of these two categories. He stumbles into his cases, and their solutions, often putting those around him in danger.

The Bat, the first novel, is set in Australia, and Cockroaches, the second novel, is set in Thailand. Harry Hole so far has left a wake of dead romantic interests and wounded partners in his wake. Those I am not all that interested in. However, I have heard that the series gets good after the first two books, so I will give the third book a chance.

I did, however, really enjoy the book, Blood on Snow, by Jo Nesbo. You can read my review here.

styling: gold mini dress

July 19, 2017

Atmosphere glasses from EyeBuyDirect / thrifted bandana, gold mini dress, and shoes / Target hoop earrings (similar) / Banana Republic military jacket / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition

Oh man, this jacket was such a good purchase. It serves me well through summer, fall, and spring. Here, I have styled it with a gold mini dress that I found at Goodwill. This look is pretty indicative of what I have been wearing this summer: bandanas, dresses, and hoop earrings.

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