three favorites: february 19, 2018

February 19, 2018

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. L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in Cinnamon Toast. This is a gorgeous deep red color, and I love that it is more moisturizing, because the winter and having a cold have sapped me of moisture.

2. Queer Eye on Netflix. I am officially obsessed with the new iteration of Queer Eye. Usually, I am a sucker for any kind of makeover, but this show is so heartwarming that it is really exceptional. The Fab Five are so sweet, and it's so fun to watch them help others, whether in the kitchen, their personal life, or their appearance. I also have been watching the original on YouTube, which is frenetic and funny and generally amazing. 

3. Tea light candles. I love having an essential oil diffuser, but I have been missing candles and how cozy they make a room feel. Target had a large size box of unscented tea lights, and they are making my office and living room feel warm and lovely. 

small goals: february 2018

February 4, 2018

Oh my. The winter has been hard. It's hard to focus on anything when my toes are cold, and my skin is dry. Yes, there are much worse issues to have, but I've got to be honest that the small wintery things have got me down. But, with the start of February, I am feeling excited. This is the last true month of winter, and March will still be chilly in Minnesota, but it will get progressively lighter and warmer. There's hope. I'm going to restart my goal process because it's been a while since I posted my goals. Here we go.

1. Use the Streaks app for daily tasks. // There are a couple daily tasks that I want to integrate more fully into my routine. They include: taking my vitamins, walking my dog right after I get home from work, reading for 30 minutes a day for fun, using my bullet journal in the morning and afternoon, and clearing out my inbox.

2. Plan for Quarter 3.
// I want to have my summative assessments planned and accounted for, and then I want to plan two weeks ahead for all my classes. I am going to use Thursdays to plan for my weeks.

3. Cook at least two meals a week.
// I love making meals that provide great leftovers, and I need to get back in the habit of cooking even if I am tired. My meals for this week: and a Trader Joe's potato and leek soup mix that we got from my parents.

4. Stick to an envelope budget. // I've got an amount, and I am going to hold myself to this amount for my purchases. Here we go!

5. Go to yoga every Wednesday. // Whether it's cold, I'm tired, whatever, I should be going to yoga.

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, 2017

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. 

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