Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm Getting Married!!!

I've always known I wanted to get married and be someone's wife. When I met Dan, I knew pretty fast that I wanted to be HIS wife. Here's my precious love story about how the man of my dreams proposed.

Dan and I have been together for almost nine months. From the start, something was different about my relationship with him. I had dated before, sure, but I had never felt like THIS. I had never told someone I loved them, but within the first month of our relationship, I found myself returning the words, "I love you!" and meaning them with all my heart.

Knowing that I loved Dan and he loved me, I didn't really doubt we were going to get married. The timing, on the other hand, was a big question for me. I had no idea when, where, or how Dan would propose. He knew a few things about my dreams though. He knew I wanted to be surprised and that I wanted pictures. He came through!

Last Thursday night, on December 5, 2013, Dan and I decided to take a walk. The walk was actually my idea, not his, so I suspected nothing. We decided to walk along the pedestrian bridge next to the causeway. It was a gorgeous night and we stopped often to look at the city lights and talk. When we reached the top of the bridge, Dan stopped and started looking across the water. I stood in front of him and wrapped his arms around my shoulders and we looked for manatees in the water. At the perfect moment, I got distracted by something in the water and turned to say something to Dan and bumped my head on his chin, messing up the twist in my hair. I stepped away to put the bobby pins back in place, completely distracted, and when I turned around Dan was no longer standing. He was on one knee holding a little box with a gorgeous ring!

I screamed and gasped and covered my mouth and all at once noticed someone was snapping pictures while Dan was saying sweet amazing words I can't even remember! But when he said, "I want to spend my life with you. Will you marry me?" I said, "Yes, of course!!!" and kissed him like crazy.

And that, my friends, is my wonderful engagement story!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

All in Moderation

Fitness is all about moderation. We all know that -- in our heads. Actually translating that into our lives is a little trickier. When I was in college, I got into running. I mean I was running every day or I felt like I was going to burst! I felt powerful and slim, but when I tried to add toning exercises at that time, I realized I still wasn't strong. Fast-forward a year later and I hardly ever run. Instead, I've taken to lifting weights with my boyfriend. Leaving cardio for weight-training, I can safely say I've gone from one extreme to the other. I now feel stronger and more capable than ever, but I don't feel slim anymore.

Before I go on, let me clarify what I mean here. Weight lifting has certainly not made me bulk up. And as far as its calorie burning qualities go, studies have shown that lifting heavy weights has an incredible after-burn that can even compete with exercises like running. However, lifting weights isn't giving me the light, lean feeling that running did. This week, I'm going to try something I've never been good with: moderation.

I fully intend to keep lifting weights. It's a fun, healthy way to spend time with my man, plus weighted bar squats do amazing things for your quads and glutes. But in addition to lifting weights, I'm going to go on at least two 3 mile runs. If you're like how I was back in college, all cardio all the time, maybe it's time for you to give weights a try. Here is my current arm work out, although I'd like to have those weight numbers go up soon. Let me know what you think!

Until next time!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Trying to write a book is amazing. I'm suddenly acutely aware of my own writing weaknesses. Here is what NaNoWriMo has taught me so far:

1. I only write what I know.
2. Writing in third person feels unnatural to me.
3. If you've ever hurt me, you're probably in my book.
4. I enjoy writing scenes. Putting together a plot? Not so much.
5. Perfectionism doesn't really help the first draft process.

Back to working on my word count!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Call me crazy, give it a second and you will, but I just signed up for National Novel Writing Month! Dan, my wonderful boyfriend, keeps telling me I should write a book. When he does, I always sigh and say, "I'd like day."

We were at Starbucks this weekend and as we waited for our drinks I wandered over to the local events bulletin board. Right there in front of me was a poster for NaNoWriMo and it might as well have said, "THIS IS FOR YOU! STOP MAKING EXCUSES!" So I give up. I'm going to write a novel even if it's terrible and confusing and pathetic. I've been reading the book, No Plot, No Problem! by the creator of NaNoWriMo. He is convinced, as am I, that the most difficult thing about writing is just doing it! He argues that by having a deadline, people are forced to write instead of being "one day" novelists who just keep waiting for the time to be right.

Although I will probably never let anyone read the 50,000 word excuse for a novel at the end of this, I'm excited for the satisfaction of just doing it. Maybe this event will help me overcome the fear of writing something awful.

Wish me luck!

Until next time, Stephanie

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fashion. Finally.

For someone who wants to be a fashion blogger, I sure have waited a long time to post any outfits! This week, I was able to catch 3 out of 5 outfits. Not too shabby! Ignore my morning face and take in the primary color theme (note the yellow shoes in the last picture.) Enjoy!
Thanks for humoring me!
Until next time,

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Night

I know I should be doing something like living on a Friday night, but I'm actually really excited to share my boring life with you right now. I'm not out with my boyfriend (he's at work).
(That's him! Cutie, right?)

Nor am I partying with my friends (tired teachers don't like to party), I'm sitting at my kitchen table with about 9 books and my work laptop, writing lesson plans. And they're good ones!

You see, public school curriculum stinks. Think about it: we use books that have been around for decades and contain mediocre short stories that never make it outside of that textbook. Then we, the teachers, are instructed by the book to point out things like, "Look at how the main character reacts to having her favorite tree cut down. How would you feel?" to a group of kids who don't have enough trees in their neighborhood to have a favorite. So I say, as have many teachers before me, "forget it! I'll make my own curriculum!"

(disclaimer: I'm not required by the school to teach from the curriculum, so it's okay that I'm doing this. Also, if you like your own school's curriculum, dandy, I'm not bashing all of them as a rule.)

Beginning next week, my 7th grade language arts students will be reading The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. If you've never read this book, it's excellent! The book is historical fiction and is about a teenage boy who was adopted by the Lenni Lenape Indians but is now being returned to his white parents. The book is easy enough to read, but contains deep real-life topics, rich language, and thought-provoking questions. I've been gathering ideas online and have rested on several projects that work with the book including reflection pages, quote analyzing charts, and small group discussions. I'm going to go ahead and link the page introducing the expectations to the students. If you're also a teacher and would like to borrow this idea, go for it! That's what this is all about.

Here's what the students will receive on the first day of the unit! Minus all the exciting fonts because Google Docs said no.

Now, back to my exciting night!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Liar with a Good Excuse

It's true; I lied. Remember forever ago when I promised to post pictures of my teacher outfits? Clearly that never happened, but I promise I have several good reasons.
1. I look best at the start of the day before my clothes wrinkle...which also happens to be the time of day I don't have a photographer.
2. I took a nap after work every day last week.
3. Every day has been a bad hair day. I know. Crazy.

Please forgive me for being a liar. Thank you!

Subject change: hot yoga! Today I was thinking to myself, "Stephanie, you need to stop napping and start working out again." I looked on my gym's website and was unimpressed by the class selection, and then it hit me: hot yoga! That's what I feel like doing! That's the stretch I need to relieve teacher-neck (a chronically sore neck from looking down at books, papers, and tiny 7th graders)! I decided to call my favorite Hot Yoga studio just to see if there were any specials not listed online. Sure enough, when I explained my situation to the owner, she offered me a discounted monthly rate since I'm a teacher! So starting today, I'm back in the game. Maybe I'll even post an outfit this week to celebrate!

Until next time!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Almost Ready!

This week was in-service at school. For those of you who don't speak teacher, in-service is all the training, orientation, grade level meetings, and classroom preparation that goes on before students arrive. For me, this time also included hunting down curriculum, teacher editions, and textbooks I'll be needing. My most memorable moment this week was coming in Thursday morning and finding a HUGE pile of papers, binders, and about 8 boxes of books on my formerly empty table. Two hours and ten sneezes later, I had the dusty pile neatly organized in my storage closet. Good times.

I ended up doing everything except lesson plans this week, so that's how I spent my Saturday. I'm pleased to say that after 4 hours of typing, flipping pages, and using Google, I am finally set for Monday with ice breakers, lesson plans, rules and procedures. The fun part is that I won't actually know my class schedule until I arrive at school on Monday. Tomorrow I plan on taking pictures of my outfits for this week, but for now I'd like to share a couple pictures from my in-service experience. Enjoy!

This first picture is the curriculum someone dropped on my table while I was away. Please keep in mind that these are 3-inch binders busting open. What a surprise!

Next we have a sign that I made for my policies. I hate coming up with rules and thought this was cute and pretty much on target with what I want my children to understand.

Bet you can't guess what this next picture is...

That's all I've got for now!
Time to relax with some iced tea and Say Yes to the Dress. #guiltypleasure.
Until tomorrow,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Personal Health and Fitness

Although this post isn't about fashion, I feel like I should tell you that I'm currently wearing ballet flats and socks. Don't worry, I agree with you that this is not okay! I'm hoping that by following this handy tip I found on Pinterest (break in new ballet flats with socks and a hair dryer) that when I wear these shoes to school, I won't come back with bloody feet.

The thing I really want to talk about today is health and fitness. All through college I was told that the first year of teaching is the hardest because I would be sick all the time. Whenever I heard this I would want to roll my eyes because I was one of the healthiest people I knew! I never got sick! I never missed work! I would be the exception. Well, I was wrong. From December to June I was sick 70% of the time. If it wasn't a cold, it was strep. If it wasn't strep, I had allergies. And if you think about it, the reason is pretty clear. If you take an adult, even a healthy, young adult, and put her in a classroom with germy 7th graders, stale air, no sunlight, and limited access to water or bathroom breaks, obviously you'll end up with a sickly shell of a woman. Okay, that's a bit dramatic, but I really was sickly.

This week, I have been paying special attention to my health. I'm always mindful of my nutrition and exercise, but it's a lot easier to be that way during the summer when my schedule is governed by my extremely part-time job. Once school begins again, starting with in-service time next week, I will have to be much more diligent about making time to work out and eat right.

This week I have gone a little out of my comfort zone to research different workouts and find which will work for me. I lifted with my boyfriend and again with my brothers, I ran and did pilates, and I took a hot yoga class. I love lifting, but once I'm back on my teacher schedule, my gym buddies and I won't be able to work out together. So, in addition to being conscious about what I'm eating, I am counting on these three steps to keep me in work and out of the doctor's office.

1. Juicing
I have a Breville Juice Fountain which I received as a graduation gift (thanks mom!) and I couldn't be more thrilled with it! Juicing is a tasty way to fill your body with more essential vitamins and nutrients, but juicing can also be expensive and time consuming. My secret to getting the most out of juicing is to wash and prepare the fruits and vegetables ahead of time. Now, instead of needing to wash and cut everything, juice, and clean the machine (a 10-15 minutes process for all), I now reach into the fridge and pull out my prepared ingredients, making this a quicker task! Since I started doing this I have been juicing twice as often! Maybe my next post will be yummy juice recipes.

2. Tea
My mom introduced me to Maté tea and she swears by it! My mom honestly never gets sick and she's convinced that this tea is the reason why. It contains caffeine which is a bonus for me, but it also has antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and other wonderful things. Read about it here while you enjoy a glass!

3. Relaxing Exercise
Don't let my third point fool you; I'm not talking about taking a stroll once a week. When I am stressed, I find that going for a run outdoors or taking a hot yoga class can really zap calories while giving me somewhere to channel my energy.

If you have a health or fitness idea that you'd like to share, please comment below! I love to hear what other people do to stay in shape and feeling great!

Until next time!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

And so it begins...

The first thing you should know about me is I'm a list-maker. I begin almost every day with a list. That list could be a schedule including details from when I intend to wake up and eat breakfast to a list of goals for that particular day. This blog is to help me get away from that list from time to time.

Today's list was pretty detailed because August 1st is a wake-up call; hey you (it says), summer is almost over. To another adult, this might mean different traffic patterns and the ability to go to the store without seeing kids during the day. To me, a teacher, this means the same thing it did as a student: goodbye summer break! It also means that I need to start hammering out tangible plans for this school year.

This isn't really my first year teaching, but it is my first full year of teaching. I graduated in December with my BS in English Education and was immediately hired into a 7th grade intensive reading position. I took that on with much gusto and little idea of what I was doing. With lots of support, I was able to pick up the curriculum and survive that first year. However, I want this year to be completely different. I'd really like to start off with a classroom management plan in place and a good idea of what I'm doing rather than jumping in unprepared like I had to last time. That is why my list centered around "teacher work" today.

Let me just say that Pinterest is amazing. Whoever thought that up is clearly a genius! Pinterest is definitely what got me interested in fashion, simple yet gorgeous weddings, intricate hair styles, and now, teaching resources! Tomorrow's to-do list will include awesome projects like a Common Core Standard folder system, an absentee system, my supply table organization plan, and a few other classroom management ideas. For links to this cool stuff, check out my pinterest page here.

So, what can you expect from this blog? At first, probably just a journal of my first few days of school. After that, I'd really like to make this an encouragement by showing how I manage my time to be an effective teacher, fitness/ health enthusiast, fashion participator, and whatever else I choose to be. I want to hear your stories, interact with you, and hopefully provide a little comic relief from time to time. If you're a teacher and you have awesome ideas and resources, please share!

Thanks for reading! We'll talk again soon.