BOOKS, Boulder, Healthy Lifestyle, Travel

Boulder baby!

Wow.  Where do I begin with my mini getaway to beautiful Boulder?  I kept going back and forth about booking this trip and I am so glad I did. Colorado is unlike anywhere I have ever been

Due to a shorter spring break and Easter on Sunday I had only 2 1/2 days in Boulder,so I had to make sure I j packed it with everything I wanted to see and do!

Day 1:

after some minor delays with Delta I arrived in Boulder around 2pm. I grabbed my luggage (I was forced to check it in because I was told there was NO ROOM for my carry on, YET I did not yell and scream haha) and jumped on the AB bus to Boulder ($9 with local transfers if needed). The bus ride was a glimpse of what was ahead.  Snow capped mountains!

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I arrived in downtown Boulder and walked to my place right off of Pearl Street.  It was about a 15 min walk through a beautiful town!  I checked out my private Air B&B , put my luggage down and set off to see what was around! First,  I took a walk down Pearl Street. It was lovely & lively but not overcrowded.  I was a bit stiff from travel, so I decided to head to a yoga class (still on my mission to practice In every state!) This was also on my MUST DO/SEE/EXPERIENCE Boulder list, so I figured I would get it out of the way!

The walk was a bit longer than I expected but I enjoyed stretching my legs and taking on the scenery. The long walk gave me plenty of time to plan my night….. I  decided I would stop at Whole Foods to pick up some necessities and then  Zeal for dinner after class. So far so good !

Look how pretty….

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Yoga.  I went to Radiance yoga studio.

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I really wanted to take the hot Power yoga class, however, was a bit early and did not feel like waiting so I opted for a strength power class, which was just getting started.

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I am used to and love vinyasa and flow type classes. This was a bit of flow and a lot of strength….which after my 4 am rise, traveling, walking etc. I was lacking. I liked the flow portion but the strength was a bit too slow and much for me. I did the best I could and was still glad I went otherwise I’d never know.  For what the class lacked for me the showers and changing room made up for !! It felt and looked very spa like and the shower after my day felt amazing.

The yoga studio is great. They even gave me a mat and towel to use no extra charge (I told them I was traveling, they were super accommodating), plus a teacher discount.   Total cost $17 🙂  There are MANY yoga studios scattered throughout Boulder, if you want hot yoga, try Radiance!

Zeal

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This restaurant was recommended and I am glad I went. I had a late dinner here my first night in Boulder. It was so much fun and so much delicious.

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I began with a miso chickpea soup mug. It was served in a mug and I was told to help myself to the fixings at the miso bar!  How cool. I filled my mug with all wonderful things and spices then the chef poured the miso. I stirred it up and …asked for a spoon. I just can NOT drink my soup. It skeeves me out a bit.  This miso was amazing. I’d go back for it alone!

I did not get the juice flight (see above) I saw so many ordering it but I thought it was alcoholic….I should have asked. I was sleep deprived and was not really thinking straight NEXT TIME !
For my main course, I ordered the miso bowl (mushroom medley, greens,broccoli, tomato, eggplant, snap peas, chicken, chickpea miso broth over rice). I was expecting more of a rice bowl but instead, it was more of a soup.

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Also, I love mushrooms BUT not all kinds.  The ones in this dish….. I thought were a cruel joke ….they were slimy and the texture just did not sit with me, so the jersey girl in me politely sent it back ;). (I would have never done this a year or two ago so go me!).

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Next, I opted for a BYO bowl with chicken, veggie medley, rice and a Thai peanut Sauce. Now this is blog worthy!!  There was a hint of sweetness that I was not a fan of , I would have preferred a bit more spice but overall pretty incredible 🙂

(I did not get the egg on mine)

I walked back slowly to my air b&b room to take in the excitement and live music and other performances along Pearl Street.

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Tulips are one of my FAVORITE flowers, so I was pleased to see beautiful displays everywhere along Pearl Street…

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This was the street I stayed on

I was pretty zombie like when I finally got back to my room , I was SOOOOO happy to see and FEEL this nice, cozy, SUPER comfy bed…..Ahhhhh, lights out, rest up, BIG day tomorrow….The room provides plenty of light from the backyard.

Also, no television or lap top, so I had limited access to the “real world”, so it was quite relaxing!

To be continued..

Healthy Lifestyle

Springing it

Happy (Beautiful) Monday!

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This weather has me a bit anxious and a bit excited. So many wonderful upcoming things, yet so much A-N-X-I-E-T-Y.  I am NOT good with change. I like my routine. When it changes, I get anxious, irritable and restless. Ever feel like you are just jumping and crawling out of your skin? That feeling has been me recently 😦

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So my goal is to turn those restless, creepy , crawly feelings into something positive.

How?  Good question.

I am NOT great at relaxing.  In fact, I dread it. It causes me discomfort.  Yet I realize I need to relax, So how do I go about it? Well, I have tried the lounging around,

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reading, watching a movie routine and it only leaves me MORE restless. So I am learning a LOT about myself and realize that relaxing for me is……….a drive in the car, a walk and an audiobook, a run to Target , yoga, talking at a coffee shop…..I need some type of motion to relax.  So I am compiling a list of some ways I may be able to:

Perfect little project Perfect little project for home

I love to cook or bake WHILE audiobookin’ it 🙂  Say cheese….cake. I am really in the mood for some amazing cheesecake OR I want a Greek Yogurt Lemon Loaf

So pretty, so me! (the color just radiates relaxing!)

Being truthful with myself…..This article is just INCREDIBLE and AMAZING LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

I can NO longer conform to what society’s “idea” of relaxation looks like. What works for you may NOT work for me!  EveryBODY is different!

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Some other things I am learning about me…..I really do NOT like shopping. Especially with others. It is NOT relaxing AT ALL. I feel restless and the way I enjoy shopping? Getting in and getting OUT.  Occasionally I’ll enjoy a nice Starbucks and strolling the clearance aisles of Target 🙂   I am not into the latest fashions. I want to be comfortable and casual and shop WHEN I NEED SOMETHING 🙂  I feel like I am becoming more and more of a minimalist. Image result for minimalist

I want to be me. I want to accept who I am, even if it is someone different from who I thought I was. I want to stand my ground. I want to speak my mind. I want to focus on me and not care what anyone else thinks or believes about me.

 

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Are you thinking of….

reading a new book?

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If so, check out this one I just finished. I have heard about this book and although it received mixed reviews, I really wanted to check it out for myself

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That said, I picked it up yesterday and finished it about two hours later. Yup.  That good?   Maybe.  That engaging? Maybe?  I am thinking YOU need to read this so I can have someone to discuss it with because………well, just read it?

So, if you are thinking about an engaging, quick read, you should think about reading “I’m Thinking About Ending Things”, then tell me what you think

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If you are a Chuck Palahniuk fan, I’m thinking you should read this

If you have already read “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” I think you should join in on the discussion below. Just let it go. Thoughts? Loved it? Hated it?

Ok, yes this post is a bit obnoxious, maybe it’s the warmer weather, maybe it’s this book ?

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Other fun book or reading news:

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  • Love books or reading in general? Have you ever hear of the 215 Festival? It is scheduled for November 5-8 in Northern Liberties!

Founded in Philadelphia in 2001, The 215 Festival is a literary arts festival celebrating the written, spoken and visualized word. The 215 Festival showcases the vibrant community of literary talent in Philadelphia, and highlights the continued relevance of letters in a growing range of mediums, from books and poetry to music, film, and blogs. To help contextualize our local scene, the 215 Festival also seeks to present national and international talent. Past events include author readings, book-themed dance parties, literature-informed musical events, book fairs, literary film screenings, and blogger panel discussions. Over the years, the 215 Fest has played host to some of today’s most interesting writers, including Jonathan Lethem, Neal Pollack, Ben Greenman, Matt Klam, Amy Fusselman, John Hodgman, Legs McNeil, George Saunders, Sarah Vowell, Zadie Smith, Jeffrey Eugenides and Patti Smith among many, many others.

I do not see an upcoming date but I will look into it and let you know!  Sounds pretty cool!

  • Curious as to what some of the BEST independent bookstores in the US are? Check out Travel and Leisure’s list on this slideshow here.

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Have you been to any?

I am SUPER excited next week I will be checking out one on the list!

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And now I’m Thinking of Ending Things on this blog, for tonight 🙂

 

Your Turn

  1.  What are you currently reading?

  2. Do you enjoy books made into movies?

  3. If you have read, or if you plan on reading “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” Please share your thoughts!

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Taco Tuesday

No idea why I labeled this post as “Taco Tuesday”, besides the fact that ……….tacos have been on my mind as of late! I am thinking this weekend may require a recipe or two 🙂 Love tacos ?  Here are 17 recipes to try . You’re welcome! (PS I like the original hard shell best)

Besides tacos, what else is going on?

Books

I love reading. I love teaching reading. I love seeing my students excited and passionate about reading.   I dislike seeing anxiety over reading 😦   I want my students to enjoy it and not feel so pressured to read and understand and dissect everything!

I never really enjoyed reading as a kid.  There was so much pressure to read and understand. There were so many forced and required books. There were many textbook readings and timelines (snoreeeeeeeeeee). My mom and friends are what truly inspired me to become a better reader!  I still struggle with reading out of my comfort zone but at least I try .  What can I say, I have my genres favorites!

Not all of my childhood reading memories are terrible. Here are a few of the books I loved (and still do!)

Sweet Pickles Series!

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Did anyone else read these? OMG I Loved these, I think mostly for the town “map” on the inside cover of each book  lol

V.C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic

and of course, Sweet Valley Twins and Babysitters Club

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I may or may NOT have tried to start my own Babysitters Club while reading these books…….called “Teddy Bear Child Care”……

Currently reading:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I can honestly say I am engaged and INTO this book. At first, I did not think I would be, but I am at the point where I can not put it down. Granted I have not gotten to the end yet (Ohhhh but I am so close!) so my full review will follow shortly. I am already excited for Ware’s new book The Lying Game, debuting sometime this summer 🙂

Also reading, Esperanza Rising, along with my students for class 🙂

It is a pretty light week. Things at work have been SUPER busy, and I have also been listening to a few podcasts, so my reading time has been limited. I also did just finish reading  Six Pillars to Self Esteem , which I thought was a great read and very informative!  I love the suggested exercises. Very helpful and intuitive!

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Birthday’s

My amazing aunt, magical and marvelous mother and gracious grandmother’s birthdays are all in March.  We always celebrated my grandmother’s first (Although she hated us doing anything for her!) , my aunt’s on March 26th, and MamaCoffeeChalk on March 30! Seriously I LOVE birthdays!  I think it is so much fun to make someone else’s day special ❤  Happy Birthday to THREE of the most amazing and inspirational women I know and love! Babcia you will forever be in our hearts not only in March, but every day  xoxo

Your Turn

  1.  Birthdays!  Do you enjoy celebrating your own, or others more?
  2. Favorite childhood books!?  What do you remember loving/hating?
  3. Share your favorite Taco recipes, please!
Healthy Lifestyle

Saving it for Sunday

*Happy Spring!!! Huge thank you to my talented cousin (and coffeechalk heading creator) for the fresh new update!!!!  I feel warmer already!
 Happy Sunday!  It seems Sunday always ends up being my posting day!  Not intentional, but I kind of feel like the name of this post. I have been saving things up ALL week and Sunday‘s are my day where things sort of just ……”Aha!” for me.

My intentions at the beginning of the week always are:   to post more during the week, slow down a bit, not push myself too much………yet it never seems to happen. I just push and push until…..well I can not push anymore.

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I admit. I have been exhausted lately. Not for any negative reason, but just because….Life!  Work, family, friends, balance, me time….I am grateful for Sunday because it is my day to finally realize WHY I am so exhausted. I can reflect on my week and try to make changes for the future.  Which leads me to something that has been on my mind lately….

My shadow self.

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One of my favorite bloggers, Maddy Moon, posted this article/podcast this week which really made me think.  Your shadow self, is that part of you which you try your damnedest NOT to show or peek out too often.  It is the part of you that is truly YOU , yet you have a difficult time admitting or accepting it.  Most likely it is something you do not care for (Duh, if you are ashamed of it!?)  However, admitting your insecurities and shadow self-isms is the only way to self-love and acceptance.

We all have them. We probably have quite a few things we are ashamed of, one because they are not socially acceptable (Like the fact that I feel ashamed and WRONG for not being or wanting to be in a relationship) TWO because we just do not like them about ourselves and constantly try to hide or deny them.Image result for ashamed

So here I go. I am admitting one of my shadow selves. Jealousy and envy.

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I have always been a jealous person. However, I realize now, it was NEVER really jealousy. It was insecurity.  In relationships, I always felt everyone else was BETTER than me, that I just was not enough for my partner.  Other times I feel jealous when others have things I do not. I get a bit jealous when someone receives a job opportunity or promotion that I do not.  At times I feel jealous when someone does better than me in any area of life. Hell, I even felt jealous when an 78-year-old man passed me while I ran my first marathon (shut up!)

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I have kept these feelings inside for so long because I was ashamed. However, the past year I have started letting those closest to me, see this side of me and tell them how I feel.  I never thought the cliche of “just saying it out loud will help” would work for me. Yet, it did.

Am I “cured”? No longer jealous of anything or anyone? No.  BUT, I am genuinely HAPPY for others. The pleasure of feeling happiness for someone is so rewarding, it makes me not care that I do not have the same.  Recently I have felt SO much happiness knowing that my parents are going to Alaska this summer.

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I am so excited and happy for them because they deserve it more than anything. Sure it would be nice if I could go, but honestly, it feels BETTER seeing their excitement, watching them plan excursions (fishing, zip lining, dog sledding and bears, OH MY!)   Also, I feel SO happy for my cousin. I see her finally getting out and doing some things for HERSELF.  Knowing she is taking care of herself and putting herself first once in a while makes me

Also, I feel SO happy for my cousin. I see her finally getting out and doing some things for HERSELF.  Knowing she is taking care of herself and putting herself first once in a while makes me ecstatic.

Image result for paint night  I feel happiness for my friends when they talk with passion about a recent concert they have seen (I envy those that are so musically inclined)

I feel happiness for those that are expecting little ones in their lives.

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I am excited for people that are finding love.

It feels amazing to feel happy. I don’t know if I could ever experience this pleasure if I were not able to admit my own insecurities and jealousies.  Yup. Sometimes I still get jealous. Yup some days are crappy. Yes I still feel sad, angry, and lost. However it is getting much easier to let those feeling pass and actually allow the happiness to come in for others

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Phew, that was a lot …see I told you I was saving it for Sunday 🙂

Ok, on a lighter note. I was initially ashamed of my attraction for the beast (yes the beast, NOT when he turns into the “handsome” prince)  in the newest release of “Beauty and the Beast” BUT apparently I am not the only one…..People Think the Beast is HOT

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The “kids” really enjoyed it as much as I did (If you have not seen it, GO!)

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Some of my favorite things:

Bullet Journal for school/work

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I caved and created a bullet journal for my resource room classroom.  It is HARD trying to manage multiple classes, grade levels and subjects. It can all get very messy, very fast. So the solution…..Some things to keep my organized. I like to see “ahead”. So this lets me see any major things like field trips, days off, end of marking periods, etc.  I will be busy filling it in 🙂

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Keeping my assignments, projects, test dates for multiple classes just became a bit easier 🙂

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Semester at a glance. This helps me see the big picture of what major things are to come over the next few months.

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Spring is almost here (for real!)  Some things I currently have my eye on ( just waiting for the snow to melt to actually feel like putting on something light weight instead of the heavy leggings, boot socks, tights, sweaters, down jackets, that I have become VERY accustomed to 🙂 )

 

This makes me want to be “Off to see the wizard”

Loving the “Off the shoulder” look

Oh man, I would live in this all summer (I could also see my mom sporting this on her cruise!)

 

This top

These shorts

ANDDDDDDDDDDD little bit of spring, from my father’s yard to yours………..#fakeplasticflowers

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Healthy Lifestyle

Guest Blog Post: Feature Teacher

Welcome to my FIRST special Feature Teacher post!

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I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to know some amazing people , that also happen to be some of the most amazing teachers.

We get so wrapped up in our every day lives that sometimes we fail to see or “ask” those closest to us how they think and feel.  I want to give these amazing teachers an opportunity to shine and share some of their experiences, thoughts and tips with the ……..world!

 

My first Feature Teacher, is someone I went to school with.

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Her passion and love for children and teaching was apparent from the first day I met her.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to student teach with her, I feel we made a pretty incredible team 🙂  (Remember the pumpkin passing A,B, C activity we created??!)

Image result for plastic pumpkin game I am pretty certain she teaches the toughest grade (kindergarten)

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Not only is patience required, but that is such an impressionable time in children’s lives…….If I had my own child, I would want to ensure “J” was their teacher

 Not only is she an amazing teacher, she is also a mother, wife , daughter and friend.  Meet “J” and lets see what she has to share……..

How long have you been teaching?
 8 years
What grade(s) do you currently teach?
 Kindergarten
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What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?
I love teaching writing especially in kindergarten to see stick people and scribbles transform to a sentence with an illustration is amazing!
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What made you want to become a teacher?
I love children and I earnestly care about their well-being.
What type of technology do you use in the classroom?
 
Smartboard and a mac.
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What are your thoughts on teaching cursive handwriting?
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I am more concerned with print in my world.
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Everyone always asks me “What do teachers like to get”…Although never expected, it is nice to get spoiled a bit. What do you enjoy receiving best? (Homemade treats, wawa gift card, target, etc) BE specific 🙂
A wawa gift certificate was terrific:)
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What are your favorite websites to use? Why?
I am on youtube all the time. I love Harry Kindergarten songs and Sesame Street videos for my visual and auditory learners!
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Anything else you would like to share?
Regardless of any paperwork, and there is a ton, I do love my profession and feel like I am contributing positively to the future.

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Healthy Lifestyle

Manic about Monday

3 day weekends are the BEST!!! 🙂

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I hope everyone had a restful Presidents Day weekend!

I am really trying to keep calm, focused and present.  This weekend was very social for me and I felt ???? about it.  I can not describe it.  It just was.  Not too much. Not too little. Not perfect, not awful, not life changing.

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I did experience anxiety, just the pressures I put on myself. I sort of scheduled a lot and felt a bit robotic,  moving from one task to the next. Image result for she's a small wonder

I was not able to really ever get comfortable or feel present, until I was alone allowing myself to digest what just happened.  Instead of over-analyzing, I just need to accept that “It is what it is”. My weekend was great. End of story!

I learned SO much by just sitting back and observing. I was able to take in the atmosphere, people, situations. I kind of felt like a “spy” and I loved it!! People watching is fun!

Some thoughts, ideas and inspirations I want to share:

ONE……..My parents are awesome, amazing and so inspirational!  This weekend they went on a bird watching adventure!! They walked over some rough, rocky, terrain, socialized, used binoculars and enjoyed….each other 🙂  I can not say enough HOW PROUD I AM OF MY PARENTS.  I love seeing them experience and LIVE life, it makes me so happy

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Not my parents haha

They saw these harlequin ducks and later told me all about them

They even saw a seal!  In N.J.!  I’m jealous!

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TWO………… These dogs are the cutest!  I hear they are high maintence, but I will be checking the local shelters

My cousin and I see a similar looking handsome fellow during our weekly weekend walks 🙂  We really do look forward to his fluff each time!

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THREE:

Pants. I NEED PANTS.  Seriously. It is weird and awkward weather right now. I feel like my legging with boots attire is a no go, BUT it is still too early for those cute spring like dresses (dare I bare my pasty white legs!?)

BUT I hate pants shopping. I really really do.  I do not like wearing pants at all because I can NEVER find a great pair. Something that works with my calves, oh and then there is the dilemma of SHOES!!! 😦

I need pants

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FOUR

Planning a trip here and here

 

FIVE

I’ve been single all my life

SIX

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Books 🙂

Recently Read:

All The Missing Girls (4 stars)

Maus I (5 stars) & Maus II (4 stars)

Persepolis (4 stars)

A Fall of Marigolds (3.5 stars)

The Rosie Effect (3 stars)

Currently Reading:

Ghettoside

Persepolis II

What’s next??

An Unnecessary Woman

Fun Home 

 

SEVEN:  Other RANDOM and Fun Stuff

  • Literary themed tea

  • rearranged my bedroom, hopefully I will be able to get some better sleep now!
  • created an INGENIOUS reading center plan I hope will finally work out (I Have not had luck with independent centers for my kiddos, BUT I am so hopeful with my current idea!
  • horoscope
  • I still do NOT like goat cheese…..its smells like…..GOAT
  • saw this