small goals: november, 2017

November 5, 2017

November is here. I found that October took me by surprise, and I never found time to write down my goals. I got sick. I got tired. But, I also refined my routines, and pulled through. I am feeling organized, and like I can take on the rest of the fall. I completed 4/5 of my September goals. Here's an update on how they went:

1. Stick to a quarterly budget. // Nope. I really struggled to even determine an amount to spend. I did however manage to continue only buying secondhand clothing. I am enjoying thrift shopping more, and feeling the anxiety of looking online at items I can't afford dissipating.

2. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes. // It took me until the middle of the quarter, but I have drafted a calendar for my AP and ninth grade classes. At this point, that's about as good as it gets.

3. Attend barre class at least once a week. // Hooray! I accomplished this. I feel like my Sundays have been refined, and are really working for me. I wake up and grade at a coffee shop from about 8:30-11:30, and then I go to barre from 12:00-1:00. I feel so much more productive and healthy. It's been really nice.

4. Use my bullet journal daily. // Although I did not do this every day, I feel that I can cross it off because I used my bullet journal most days. I map out my week, and make to-do lists. I could get better at checking it daily right when I get home from work, but it is working for me right now.

5. Prep my lunch, outfit, and my work bag every night. // Again, although I have not managed to do this everyday, I have managed to do it most days. Packing my lunch has been especially valuable as a time saver, and as a healthy habit.

My hopes for November include finally tackling my budgeting habits, and focusing in on my routines related to work during the week, not just on Sundays.

1. Email parents of students who have lower grades every week, instead of sporadically. // I am thinking that I could do this on Thursdays when I have caught up with my grading, and before the weekend so that parents can motivate their students over the weekends.

2. Plan for Quarter 2. // I learned from trying to plan for Quarter 1 that I can't try to plan a full quarter down to the day at the start of the quarter. Weeks are too flexible, and I found it daunting to know what to do for my AP Language class, which I am teaching for the first time this year. However, I want to have all my unit summative assessments planned and ready for each of my preps. Yep, that's the goal.

3. Establish a grading day midweek. // I have found great satisfaction in grading outside of my house on Sundays, and I think that adding a day to grade during the week will be beneficial. I would like to grade outside my house one day a week, and I am thinking Tuesdays should work. Now the question is, where? Possibly a library. Possibly a coffee shop.

4. Stick to an envelope budget. // Although I had hoped to set a budget, I failed miserably. I am going to set an envelope budget for myself for the end of October, and all of November. Here we go. Hopefully it works out.

5. Read at least two books before the end of November. // I am almost all of the way through Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and can rustle up another by by the end of November.

What are your goals for this month? 

small goals: september 2017

September 3, 2017

was an intense month. I went on vacation and then went back to work preparing for the school year. I am actually pretty proud of what I got done, and did more than I thought I had. Plus, the goals that aren't done can carry into September. 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 August goals:

1. Only purchase clothes and accessories that are secondhand or vintage.   //  Yes! I found all of the fall additions for my wardrobe from local thrift stores. It felt great to locate things I was planning to pay full price for earlier in the summer. 

2. Stick to a quarterly budget.   //  Nope. The start of the school year is not the time to be trying to stick to a generalized budget. I bought a Keurig for my classroom, among a ton of other actual class supplies. I think that because I am so set up, though, budgeting will be easier from here on out. 

3. Start a Donors Choose campaign for my classroom.   //  Yes! I started a campaign, and got it funded! It was a set of YA novels that represent diverse backgrounds and experiences. I felt so proud when it got funded, and I should get the books by the second week of school. 

4. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes.   // This is the one thing I avoided. I have two weeks ready for all my sections, but need to knuckle down and have these calendars ready. 

5. Complete at least one DIY project.   // Yes! I completed the evil eye pillow. Also, I did so much watercoloring on vacation. I am a downright artsy person. 

Okay, September, here we go. I love the fall, and the excitement of the start of school. Summer is great, but I find that I have too much time to get into my own head. September never leaves me time for that. Here are my goals for September:

1. Stick to a quarterly budget.   //  I am looking to limit my spending in September, as I've got basically everything I need for the fall. I am going to evaluate what I am spending money on, and cut out some extra expenses that are unnecessary

2. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes.   // I am working on these right now. Again, they don't need to be perfect, they just need to be done. 

3. Attend barre class at least once a week.  // I've started going to barre classes, and I really love them. The combination of ballet, yoga, and pilates is right up my alley. If I can manage one class a week, I am going to feel great. 

4. Use my bullet journal daily.   //  I really like using the bullet journal format, and I want to integrate it more into my everyday routines. The plan is to check my lists everyday when I get home from work at the very minimum, with checking in the mornings on weekends. We'll see how it goes. 

5. Prep my lunch, outfit, and my work bag every night.   //   It's kind of simple, but strangely difficult to do. I am committed to making sure that all of my stuff is prepped everyday for going into work. It's going to save me time in the mornings, and help me to feel ready for each day. 

What are your goals for September?

three favorites: august 20, 2016

August 20, 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. 

1. Coty's Vanilla Musk. This is a dead ringer for Atelier Cologne's Vanille Insensee. It has a whiff of citrus, but is mostly a hit of vanilla and musk. It doesn't last super long on skin, but lasts well sprayed on fabrics. I have been putting this on before going to sleep, and this scent was especially nice in the heat of Bonaire during my two week vacation.

2. Speaking of vacations, it's pretty basic, but getting away from home, trying new restaurants, and poking my head in another country's drugstores are great for my soul. I spent two weeks in Bonaire, which is a municipality of the Netherlands that lies north of Venezuela. The trip was not perfect, but being in the ocean scuba diving, and getting to explore the downtown were really fun. If you are ever there, check out Mezze, La Cantina Cerveceria, and Cactus Blue for food, and definitely pick up a Golden Rose matte lip pencil from the drugstore across from the main pier (they are dupes for the NARS velvet matte lip pencils and are five dollars each). 

3. The game Splendor. I don't have the patience to count points too hard, but I love to play this game, which has the players act as jewel merchants during the Renaissance who are trying to garner the favor of a noble. There is a really tactile aspect to it, as players must collect jewel chips to affords mines which allow them to gain points. It plays two to four people at a time. I would highly recommend it. Just don't play my husband. He always wins. 

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?

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