Friday, March 24, 2017

casual & on the go

Hello friends!
This week has been INSANE! Something every single night (going to our school play tonight!) and lots of little errands to be done before I leave for San Francisco next week. I feel like I haven't had a chance to sit down for five seconds. I'm so ready for spring break! Teacher perk for sure, a whole week off of school right when the weather gets beautiful. Not so much ready for the end of the school year, though. I am not ready to see [most] of my kids go...haha!
Anyway, since it's been so crazy around here, casual style is kind of how I have been rolling lately. I am loving the comfy shoe trend right now.
The only casual shoes I have are Nikes that are super old and I wear them to "work out", so I have been on the lookout for some cute casual shoes. Specifically I wanted some rose gold Adidas, but I'm a teacher and can't afford that crap! I found these pink sneakers from BooHoo and they were like $15! So I snatched em up. They definitely feel cheap (as all of BooHoo's stuff feels, TBH) but they are surprisingly comfortable, perfect for running around doing errands and stuff. They are sold out right now but I sent them a DM on Instagram and they said they are coming back in May, so keep an eye out. 
Another item I love for an errand run day is this babydoll top from Cents of Style. I was super skeptical when they sent it to me because usually babydolls make me look pregnant (very much not preggie, just so we are clear) but it was surprisingly flattering. I have worn it a ton since I got it because it helps me look a little more dressed up when I am errand running and other things.  Cents of Style also has a keyhole top that is really cute and comfy as well! As always, I only work with brands who cater to plus size ladies and these tops go up to a 3x.

It's very rare that this blog catches me with day one hair, aka straight. This is very weird for me, haha!

The trees!!!! My heart!!! My allergies!!

Side note: Last week, Mark and I booked a two week East Coast vacation for this summer and we will be going to BOSTON! If you know me, you know this is a very big deal.

You can get both of these tops for $19.95 shipped (normally $34.95) with the code TOPSTORY from Cents of Style. They will be perfect for Spring/Summer! Go forth to Cents of Style!

Thanks to Sadie Banks photography for taking these pictures on such short notice. She's a doll if you ever need anyone to work their magic! I love working with her, even if it's always raining when we do!
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

five things I do once a week

Organize and clean
I am a stress cleaner. When I feel that things are out of my control and an anxiety attack is coming on, I clean and organize. It's one thing I can control and it makes me feel instantly better afterwards. It doesn't last very long but it's the act of making something better that is good for my soul

Listen to a self improvement podcast
It can be any podcast but I like it to be something that I can try that week like being more present or noticing little things, etc. It has made me more aware of myself as a human

Spend time alone
Maybe it's the introvert in me or the essentially only child in me, but if I can spend even an hour alone with nothing specific to do, it boosts my morale for the entire week. I think it's really important to spend time with yourself for a myriad of reasons but bottom line for me is that spending an hour a day with no one needing me or saying "Mrs Teacher!!" is glorious. 

Read for at least fifteen minutes
This is the hardest thing on the list for me, but I spend my days telling 13 year olds that reading is important, so it's necessary for me to practice what I preach

Spend quality time with my planner
I spend at least an hour on Sunday looking at my planner, writing things, making lists. It makes me feel like I have my life together. I hate keeping stuff in my phone, it is so much more satisfying to me to write stuff down.  It starts my week off right!

What are some things you do weekly? 
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

persist and resist

Hello friends!
You may have seen on Instagram or have been tuning in to my updates on Snapchat, but I am currently on day 7 of no sugar and no soda. 
Two weeks ago I was scrolling on Instagram as usual and saw +Fatima Stylefitfatty post about a 21 day workout group she was doing. Basically she posts the workouts to the Facebook group and we all post and support each other in the group. I was interested because that would mean that it would end right before my trip to San Francisco and it seems to be a good milestone. I have also been feeling like I have been drinking too much soda lately, I am guilty of having a Dr Pepper for lunch instead of food so I can work through my lunch. So I decided to add on no soda and also no sugar-y treats. 
So this all started last Monday. On Monday I was feeling very tired and very sick. I had a bad headache and I was very nauseous, all classic symptoms that I feel when I have gone off soda in the past. Then on Tuesday I didn't feel sick, but I was extraordinary exhausted. I had to hold my eyelids open during my night class. Same with Wednesday. It was to the point where I was taking naps in my car because I couldn't stay awake. It was pretty bad.
Thursday was the first day I felt like I turned a corner. I felt pretty energized, way more than normal, and have ever since then. I hate doing the workouts, like I loathe them entirely. It has gotten worse since I was so sore from the first three days that I couldn't even do day four. It's getting a little better now that I have had a rest day.

One week of no soda and sugar treats may not seem like a huge deal to most people, and it's really not for me either strictly speaking. I have gone off soda before and it's been fine. However, this time around feels different for some reason. While doing this little challenge, I've realized a few things....
1. Stop talking about it and things will get easier...or don't
I realized I made a mistake posting it on Instagram, because everyone was talking to me about it and it made me think about soda and treats even more. However, it was good to tell people so that others can hold me accountable. So I dunno, I'm split on this one
2. I can live without treats
The hardest part of this by far has been soda. I haven't even really cared about treats except for when someone brought Cadbury eggs to my night class. Other than that, I haven't craved or missed them. I have been eating a lot of yummy fruit, mangos are hitting the spot right now, and I also have been eating no bake energy balls and they are also helping with my cravings, especially those first few days.
3. Healthy choices lead to healthier choices
I have realized this past week I have been very aware of what I am putting into my body.  Before I go into this, I want to clarify that I haven't really made an effort to change any eating habits besides the sugar and soda. I still eat chips and other things, but I am a lot more aware of what I'm eating.  My body is craving healthy meals whereas before this little challenge it definitely did not do that. We went to a burger place for dinner and I wanted to get a salad instead. We have been making adjustments like turkey bacon and turkey burgers instead of regular beef and pork. It's been really interesting to experience how I'm not craving certain things like Taco Bell anymore. We'll see if it sticks!
4. Eating healthy doesn't have to suck
I have been on diets on and off since I was in 8th grade and there is a reason they haven't stuck. I never had the right mindset. I am not sure that I do now or if this will "stick", but it really helps that I have made the decision for myself and that I'm not doing this to lose weight, just to feel better. I have gone into this with a lot more positive of an attitude, focusing on all the yummy things I still get to eat and not focusing on the things I don't. I still get to have fruit as mentioned before, popcorn, etc. I just make sure it's healthy pop. I read labels and go with the thing that has the least amount of crap in it, but I don't feel deprived. It has helped make the whole thing a lot easier.

5. It's not really about the soda or the sugar 
It's about sticking something out. I have the worst self-discpline ever. Like, ever. So to not cave when my friends want to go to Waffle Love or to turn down a cookie from my students, this all makes me really proud of myself. A quote I heard from The Alison Show podcast has stuck with me. "Persist and resist. Persist in your efforts. Resist giving tin distraction, discouragement and disorder." That quote has been really motivating this past week. I only have two weeks left! That is literally nothing. It seems so doable, and it is! 

6.Figure out why you are eating/snacking/drinking
This was also from The Alison Show podcast. She talked about how she has lost a ton of weight recently and it all started with figuring out why she was eating. I decided to reflect upon that as well. I realized a lot of it is because of habit. I always started my day with a soda, I always ate something sweet after a meal. The other reason was emotions. When I had a hard day I felt I deserved a soda. So I've had to get past that and I'm still not there yet, but it's good to be aware of why you are eating/snacking/drinking and most of the time, it's not because you are hungry or thirsty. 

I have somewhat decided that even after the challenge ends I won't be doing sugary treats on the weekdays and having one day on the weekend that I can get something sweet if we are going out for date night or something. Again, the no sugar doesn't bother me at all. I'm not sure what I'll be doing about soda, maybe once or twice a week...or maybe not. We'll see.

Thanks for reading this whole thing! Have a good week.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

typical day in the classroom + teacher style

Ahhh, we are almost to March. If you didn't know, March is the arch nemesis of most teachers. It's still dreary outside, there is not a single day off in March, we are usually testing and the kids start to go nuts around the spring time. There is always a spike in bad behavior and it gets tough to stay on top of it! However, I regret not enjoying this "dreary" time with my students from last year because I really missed them in August. So this March I will focus on enjoying my students!

I thought it would be fun to do a little write up of what an average day looks like for my students and I. We are in my favorite unit in both subjects I teach right now so it's a great time to do a day in the life type of post! We have A and B days at my school so I will summarize my B day! 

My alarm goes off. Why not 6? Why not 5:45? I couldn't tell ya

Get ready and listen to a podcast

Drive to work! I love my commute. It helps me wake up and clear my head for the day

Answer emails, get everything ready for the day

Bell rings. My first class, a gifted US History and Honors English combined class starts. Students come in and get their chromebooks. They have a starter on the board, usually a creative writing prompt or a question from the lesson before. We have the pledge and announcements

We do a "current event minute" where one student, who has signed up previously, presents a controversial current event for five minutes and they all discuss it. They run this themselves while I take roll and get my teacher aide going on their task for the day

The activity starts! Right now we are doing the Industrial Revolution. We just finished talking about child labor back then, child labor now and students are writing a letter to a company asking about their child labor policy. We actually send them and we actually get responses back! So we will either do a simulation, they will take a few notes an then we will do an activity or they will work in groups/alone on an assignment

Students put their chrome books away and clean up

Plus time starts. Plus time is basically homeroom and I do Mock Trial during this time. Right now is pure madness and chaos as we prepare for our trial on Friday. We run through our case, I individually conference with kids and see what they are struggling with, etc

The second half of my class from earlier starts. We are writing our own Ted Talks right now, so we are watching Ted Talks and discussing what makes them good and what the speakers could improve on. Then students try to brainstorm their own topics so they can eventually write their own talks using what made the already existing Ted Talks great!


8th grade honors English! This class period is especially fun because I have the best mix of personalities. I love when you get a class that just clicks, and this one does! I always look forward to seeing this group of kids especially. We are also doing Ted Talks, it's so awesome to see what topics they pick for their own talks like, "The Science of Being Pretty" and "Unsung heroes" etc. I think middle school kiddos have such unique voices and my team and I try to create many opportunities for their voices to be heard.

PREP! Glorious one hour prep a day. I make an effort to not leave my room because I get way more done. If I go the faculty room to get copies I will stop by the office and talk to the secretaries all period. I just love them so, but I have to discipline myself and stay in my room. Anyway, prep is the best. Lately I don't even have to bring work home because I work so well during prep. During this time I grade but mostly plan for the next week. I'm lucky that I have taught all of these subjects for two years in a row now so I don't really have to generate new content, just add to things. It makes a world of difference!

US History! We are doing Industrial Revolution just like in first period. It's my favorite unit of the year! I love talking about the implications of the Industrial Revolution like women's suffrage and the creation of the public school system etc etc. When I teach this stuff I remember why I love history so much!

Mock Trial practice! By far the most stressful part of my day. I just wish I could clone myself but I can't. I feel bad because the students always need me and I don't get to all of them. It's rough feeling like your students aren't taken care of  but I'm lucky to have google docs so I can help them when I get home

Home! I spend about an hour each night answering emails, sending out reminders for students to do their homework and prepping for the next day. On Sundays I work almost all day grading, giving feedback etc. Again, I do a lot less work this year now that I have taught the same thing for a year but I really put in an effort to stay updated. I have a teacher blog Instagram account and I love scrolling through and getting new ideas. It's my favorite thing to do!

I hope that didn't bore you to tears! My day is a lot more exciting than it sounds. There is so much variance in every day because I teach hormonal teenagers who have fluctuating moods and so the day kind of changes depending on how they are feeling!

 It's a tough time to be in education and sometimes I have days where I am so, so done. I just had a parent ream me out for something and I honestly was so over it that day. However, most of my days are really good. Since Christmas I have gotten in a great rhythm with my students and I am already not looking forward to sending [most lol] of them out the door in May. Teaching is hard. It is personal because you put so much of yourself into these kids. It's gets hard at a really emotional level. However, as my Principal told me when I was having a really rough time at the beginning of the year,  I have come to know that I will have many souls in heaven that will come and thank me and all teachers for the work we put in and the differences we make. That thought inspires me to do better for these kids, be a greater, more patient and loving teacher and push them to be successful and to realize their worth.

Well that was all very heavy. Let's lighten things up with some ridiculous pictures! I decided to have a little classroom photoshoot today! Haha, my students weren't there it was after school but I love my classroom and I hope it is an inviting space for them. So much money goes into classrooms (my classroom library alone is like omg I can't think about how much money I have put into that) but to me it's worth it if my students feel safe in my space!

Do I ever sit in those chairs? NOPE. Germ city!!!!

It looks like I'm unorganized but I promise that is the furthest from the truth. I am so overly organized at work that I don't feel like I can be at home...haha

I was hoping you could see my view, the mountains and the temple!

I decided I really need some engagement style pictures with my chromebook cart because we are in a very committed relationship

So glam with this classy garbage can.
At my last school they encouraged us not to wear skirts or dress super professionally. The students were mostly low income and were intimidated by professional dress, I guess. So I wore jeans and a nice shirt every day and dressed nicer than most of the teachers. At my new school most people dress very nicely every day. I still wear jeans occasionally and usually they are black but I try to wear skirts or Old Navy pixie pants every day. I love a good stretchy pencil skirt and I have over 25 (I have problems, I know) different ones in my closet. They go below the knee which helps when I am kneeling down to help my students at their desks and they are fashionable and professional.  This one is from Cents of Style and it's super duper comfy! I like it for this time of year because it's symbolic of the gray of winter and the coming of spring. HOW IS THAT FOR ENGLISH TEACHER ANALYSIS! Anyway, they have a ton of other types of skirts in sizes S-3X! They really make sure that all sizes are represented on their online store. You all know I love and respect a company who will make sure that happens which is why I will work with them, support them, buy from them any day of the week! (that and their colorful wall that I'm obsessed with haha) You can find the floral skirts as well as other items for spring time (come faster plz) by clicking here.
They are having a sale on all floral skirts! Use the code FLORALSTORY and every skirt is $19.95 shipped! These skirts are as good as Lularoe and Agnes and Dora for a fraction of the cost.

I'm off to St. George for the weekend! Have a grand one!
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

best. week. ever.

You guys, I won't lie to you. Since the election I have been down, down, down. Down in the dumps. Constantly disappointed and unsure of what to do next. Feeling sad about the future.
It wasn't just about the election, I just felt like, "what are we even doing" like where are we going to live, am I going to stay at my school? Am I going to teach at all? Where is Mark going to get a job? ETC ETC ETC

Last week Mark had a interview and felt really good about it, then they scheduled him for a second interview and were emailing him all these questions so things were looking good but things had looked good we were using The Secret but also it was hard to be optimistic!
Well, yesterday when I was teaching I went to pull up a Youtube video and my messages app on my computer popped up. It was Mark saying he got the job offer! I literally screamed for so long (with jazz hands) and my students didn't know what to do or what was going on! 
So Mark is going to be working in Lehi, right down the street from where we live (but we still might move, our landlords drive us kind of crazy because they take our mail haha) and so that means we can stay in Lehi and I can keep teaching at my school that I love so much next year and maybe even the year after that! I told my Principal that when she leaves I will leave because I love her so much, so let's see if that happens!

Anyway, we went to Copper Onion to celebrate Valentine's Day and Mark's job offer. I have heard that going out to eat is nuts on V-Day but we made our reservation for 5:00 and everything was very calm and so tasty!

So anyway, moral of the story is I am feeling so chill right now like everything ~*~worked out~*~ and I'm feeling so good about the future. Yay!

Tomorrow I have Parent-Teacher Conference tomorrow from 1:30-7:30 (yeesh) and then book club (my fav) and then we are going to St George for the weekend! I'm excited to not think about Mock Trial for four days, lol. 

Have a great long weekend!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

happy valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's Day! 
Mark and I are going to dinner at Copper Onion and then probably a movie. I still work tomorrow and am a garbage human who can't function on less than 8 hours of sleep, so nothing too crazy!
On Timehop I saw so many sad tweets about V-Day in the past and it was depressing, lol. It's so great to have a Valentines finally! I got flowers delivered to work today and so Mark has already done a great job.
I'm wearing this same outfit to work except with a pink sweater! The lips on my skirt are weirdly red or pink depending on the light so it all works. 
I hope you have a good v-day!
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Thursday, February 9, 2017


The past few months, it seems I have been getting the message to be kind over and over again. I didn't really know it was a lesson I needed but I'm grateful for it nonetheless.
I've been reminded recently that everyone is struggling with something in their lives and could all use a little more kindness. I have had a few interactions in the past little bit with people I know that shared some really personal trials they are going through and it made me think about if I have treated them with the kindness they desperately needed.
 I also went to an education conference and they had a presentation where students wrote their deepest secrets that they wish their teachers knew on posters they held. It really got me. A few weeks ago I met with some parents of a student and they really shared the struggles going on within the walls of their home. With 300+ students, it becomes very easy to see students as just another teenager that comes through your door and leaves 60 minutes later. I was so grateful for the experience to see the struggles my student and their family face at home because it slowed me down and helped me see that student as a person, not just another teenager. It also made me feel so horrible at times that I dismissed this student or didn't give them the help they needed. That experience and all the others I mentioned have made me a better and yes, more kind teacher and person and I've been trying to be patient with myself when I'm not and remind myself about times I have needed kindness.

There are so many times I have needed kindness in my life and sometimes, as everyone has experienced, I haven't gotten it. Today was different, though. I had a big boo-boo in one of my classes involving an inappropriate ad popping up on a youtube video and resulted in the need for me to email parents and I was honestly so scared of the mean emails I would get back. To my surprise, I got back so many emails that were kind and revitalized me. 
The world is daunting. More often, I am feeling consistently frustrated and wishing there was more I could do to make changes now, to make people feel safe and accepted now. Truthfully, I think I just need to be more kind and spread good vibes from when others are kind to me. 

Have a good weekend! The weather has been beautiful. On Sunday, I wore this outfit and it was perfect for the sixty degree weather. You can find this cute tassel kimono on Cents of Style's website, and it's on sale for under $20, AND they have free shipping all the time. It's not an affiliate link, just a FYI! :) They have lots of new stuff this week, and they carry plus size! I just got a new skirt from them and that will be up next week. 
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