Monday, April 25, 2016

a special story (hint: not special)

Last week I was walking out of work when the late bus full of NJHS kids (most of them were my students) were loading on. I really didn't want them to see me getting in my car because my car is missing two hub caps and it looks 50 shades of horrible. I have a reputation to uphold. I'm a baller. It's such common knowledge that teachers make so much money, so they come to expect that I would get in a certain kind of car.
No but seriously, I had the thought that maybe I should wait. Then I told myself I am above what a 13 year old thinks about me and also I give my life to them for practically nothing so they shouldn't expect much and I went to my car.
I unlocked my car and pulled on my door handle. Nothing happened. I pulled harder. Nothing happened. I double checked that my car was unlocked and tried again.

My handle came with me. 

Remember, my students are witnessing this entire thing.

I tried to act natural and reach my hand in the back door to unlock it, but I couldn't reach. So then I went around the car to unlock it that way, and I also couldn't reach. 

So my kids watched me climb from the passenger seat into my drivers seat while i'm holding the handle of my car. Luckily, they were far enough away that they couldn't hear the cursing.

A few days later I got the plague and so the car hasn't been fixed yet. I can't seem to remember for the life of me that this has happened, so every time I go to get in my car it is painful reminder that I have to haul myself over my center console. I'm not a small person. It's rough.

Does anyone know of any trusted car person who could fix my car and/or tell me the truth about how much it's going to be to fix it?

Life's fun.
5 more weeks of school.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

book reviews!

This year I have started to have an identity crisis about what I like. What do I enjoy? What are my hobbies? I used to like reading, but I hadn't read a book in over a year, maybe longer. My only other real answer is  "analyzing themes and characters of Gilmore Girls" and that usually only gets me blank stares, so I felt like I needed to figure out what made me happy and could help me be a person instead of a teacher.

So I started a book club, and I read a book I didn't love, and I got nervous that I disliked reading.
Then, I read a book I loved, and then I read four books in two weeks and I remembered how much I love reading and why I had to stop reading years ago, because I do little else when I find a series of books I really like.
So, here are some books that I have read this month (one not pictured) and my little review for each!

Me Before You
5/5 stars
I don't want to go into too much detail, because my book club about this is next week, but man. I loved it. I was actually emotionally scarred after I read it. It has a lot of jumping off points for great discussion about really deep issues, and it can also just be a book you read by the pool (if you want to cry and get tan at the same time). 

5/5 stars
This story is about a girl named Paige whose high school boyfriend dies in a freak accident. She makes a plan to try to be a normal person again, and of course, things don't go according to plan.
I picked up this book to try to get my mind off of Me Before You and was pleasantly surprised. This is bold to say, but I loved this book way way more than I liked Me Before you. It had such an interesting take on dealing with grief when you are young. It was not the typical YA novel, very interesting, surprising, funny and tender. I wish I could read it again for the first time. I turned the last page and was devastated that it was over. I love books like this! Read it NOW!
This book is classified as young adult but it is a good lesson for people of all ages. The main character, Willowdean, struggles with her body image and her family issues. Her life gets a whole lot complicated one summer due to a new job and everything that spirals from that.
This was a really interesting book that I, as someone who has carried more weight than all of my friends my entire life, could really identify with. Some parts seemed a little far fetched and unbelievable to me,  but I really liked the core of the story. The main character is somewhat of an anti-hero, yes she is a ~*~MisUnderstood teen~*~* but she also isn't totally a great person, and the author is pretty upfront about that. Maybe that is why I liked the book so much and also had such problems with it, if that makes sense. There were some decisions that Willowdean makes that just made me cringe and not able to forgive her as a character. However, once I started reading it I couldn't put it down and it is definitely on my top list of books.

Attachments: A Novel (not pictured)
This book takes place in 1999/2000 (something I didn't realize until I was well in the book, very helpful to know!) and it's about two girls who work as journalists and who know that someone is monitoring their email. Lincoln is that guy. This story switches perspectives every chapter.
I read this for Bonnie's book club because I decided I need to be more social and meet new people since all my friends are moving out of state (BOO ALL OF YOU!) and I liked it! It was kind of confusing because I didn't realize that this was happening 16 years ago (holy crap that just made my stomach hurt) and so I was like "why are they just now using computers?" but the thing I liked most about it was it was not young adult fiction, but it felt like I used to feel reading young adult fiction in high school. I just could connect to the feelings that the characters were going through very much. The biggest part of the book happened in the last five pages and I really disliked that. There was no falling action and I mostly felt unresolved at the end, but that is the only reason that I didn't rate it higher.

So after reading these really great books, I realized i'm the type of person who buys books now. I just went to Target to get a neti pot and bought Eleanor and Park. Mark also wants me to read a book called The Book of Mormon Girl, so I will start that soon as well! 

What books have you not been able to put down lately? I'm on a roll and with summer coming it's only getting worse! :) 
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016



Have you seen the ginormous white tent in the parking lot of South Towne Mall? Or seen the tons of billboards? Odysseo by Cavalia is in Salt Lake! It is a family friendly show with the dazzle and entertainment value of a Las Vegas show. 
and guess what? I'm giving away TWO SETS of tickets. Two different winners will win two tickets. 
The catch? They are for TOMORROW, April 22nd at 6:30pm.
Click HERE and fill out the google form. Bam! You're entered! I will draw the winner using a random number generator tomorrow at 7AM! 
If you win, your tickets will be at Will Call.
Only one entry per person.


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Sunday, April 17, 2016

plus size swim

In six weeks I will be in Lake Powell and not thinking about school. While this is bitter sweet because I looooovvve my students right now, I really have just hit the 100% done point of the year and i'm ready. 

Last month I started to search for some new swimming suits because we will be in Lake Powell for quite a while and you basically live in your swimsuit, so I need more.

It was a frustrating experience. The first thing that struck me was one piece or plus size swimming suits are easily 3-5 times the price of regular bikinis. I understand it is more fabric and it will be more expensive, but I get very irritated that they mark it up as much as they do.

The next thing that is actually downright offensive to me is I kept seeing this over and over again...

I'm sorry if you own or enjoy this swimsuit, but this is so insulting to me on so many levels. These are unflattering and out of touch. It just made me realize that so many stores are so out of tune to what plus size women what and need.

I found some stores that actually redeemed my faith in going to the bunch as a plus size girl. 

Torrid, for one. I had never stepped inside a Torrid until a few weeks ago and I am in love. They provide support for the ladies ladies, they are flattering and stylish.
Floral Two Piece
Major heart eyes for the mesh between the cut outs otherwise my skin would be like those playdoh things.

Target has some definite misses on their site, but here are some awesome hits.

Yellow Black and White flowers

and Forever 21, comin in hot! 
Banana Swimsuit

If you want to see which one I chose for now, head to my blog instagram (rileyjoblog)!
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

eyeshadow palette vlog

Hey there,
Just popping in really quick to share this video that I was supposed to do on periscope last week...I explain fully in the video! :) My look of sheer terror says it all!
Here are the palettes and other makeup I use...
(seriously, so worth the money)
The brushes I use...

This is the primer that I use, it's soooooo good you guys. I filmed another VLOG about it that I might put up one day. It's the best, though. It makes your eyeshadow pop since it's on white.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Shadow Liner 604 Milk

And lastly, my eyebrow gel that I use. I can't afford Anastasia's brow whiz just yet, but this stuff gets the job done really well! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Utah Capitol

Mark and I went downtown yesterday for the purposes of trying this ramen place that has been on our list forever and it was closed!!! So we went up to the Capitol and it was really pretty, but I was also in a bad mood if we're being honest...I was hungry and bummed the place was closed and I felt fat and gross and also didn't feel good. So here is a picture of me trying to have a good attitude in this wrinkly AF dress that I swear I ironed before we left. Ugh.

But seriously, it was gorgeous up there and was pretty much a perfect day, minus my bad attitude! Don't you love those days? Haha!

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Friday, April 1, 2016

the weekend I was a pretend mom

Last weekend, my parents were out of town so it was my responsibility to watch the house, the chihuahuas, and Brooklyn, a rambunctious four year old.
Here is what I learned.
1. goodbye, social life.
Mark and I were terrified to take her anywhere because we didn't know how she would handle it. If one of us had to go somewhere, the other person stayed with her. Our restaurant choices were limited to those who did take out. We wanted to do our usual routine of seeing a movie, but yeah, forget that.
2. kids youtube, my new best friend
The fact that i'm ashamed to admit this gives me a small glimpse of the judgement that actual mothers go through, but the iPad pretty much babysat Brooklyn all weekend. To her credit, she spent most of Saturday playing barbies in the bathtub and most of Sunday playing with her play-doh (more on that later) but whenever she wasn't doing that I was like "HEY LOOK IPAD LOOK!" 
can we talk about how damn creepy the GROWN ADULTS who review toys are??/
Here are some examples, because I am beyond myself.
What are you doing with your life?
3. nothing is clean, including you
Though I don't wash my hair daily, I do shower daily, sometimes even multiple times a day. Last weekend, I found myself doing odd things to fit a shower I woke up at 6 to shower, before Brooklyn was awake. Or I showered at 1AM, after she was asleep. On Sunday I made the mistake of showering while she was conscious, and that led to her banging on the door of the bathroom. Also, the house was a huge disaster and I just felt like I couldn't keep it clean with a tornado of a four year old. I cleaned her room and organized her drawers while she was watching peanuts movie,  only to have her rip everything out of the drawers when she got in her PJS later that night.
Also, the play-doh bought me like three hours of me time, but SO MUCH FREAKING PLAYDOH in every crevice of everything.
Another fun thing, when she ate lunch or dinner it magically ended up everywhere? She also squeezed her weird little apple juice capri sun squeezi thingy on my window seat cushions, so that was neat.
4. Exhaustion
The exhaustion hit me on Saturday, not even 24 hours after we had her. I quickly learned how to sleep while a tiny human  pretended my body was a mountain that her polly pockets were exploring on. I was so tired that I couldn't do basic tasks. Also I feel really peeved that four year olds don't take naps because that meant I don't get my nap...
5. Judgement 

I was a fake mom for like two days and I got weird comments. I put this picture on Facebook for like a minute and a half and someone commented that she was in the wrong carseat.
For the record, she was, but it was either that or no car seat....and i'm pretty sure that last one is illegal. Also, like...did I ask for opinions??? So odd.

So basically what i'm trying to say is major props to all you mom's and dad's out there. These were only five out of the twenty billion epiphanies that I had last weekend. Mainly, i'm going to put off having kids even longer than I was already wanting to put it off. I couldn't deal with not being able to do literally anything. I was also late for every Easter event we went to because I underestimated how long it took to get out the door. Also, sad story, we went to an Easter egg hunt and we were four minutes late and so we missed it altogether and she was broken hearted and it was so, so sad. Plus I was late for one event because Brooklyn fell asleep in the car and I didn't want to wake her up and then I suddenly understood all the snapchats i've seen of parents hanging out in cars while their child slept in a carseat. 
BTW, didn't even attempt church, if we're being honest. So I have a lot to learn before I start reproducing, mainly how to not be so selfish, haha. 

Anyway, i'm off to enjoy my kid free weekend while I still get them...haha 
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