Good Days

Weekly Things

Something I Learned: A heart attack is not the same as a cardiac arrest. Heart attack = circulation is blocked. Cardiac arrest = heart fails to beat.

Something I’m Into: I started an Instagram account for my outfits back in September, and I’ve had fun following a bunch of other gals who do “Outfit of the Day” accounts. It makes getting dressed in the morning more fun. Then, a few weeks ago I figured out that I could follow other fun types of accounts like cute interior decor, illustration, miniatures, kittens, and goats (GOOOOAAATSSSSS!!!). It’s so great! I know everyone else figured this out a long time ago, but I just thought of Instagram as the place where my facebook friends post their breakfasts and kids. Which is good too, but…ya know.

Something I Appreciate:  I’ve recently noticed that my cat, Jane, tends to listen when I tell her to stop doing something. It’s rare that a cat actually cares about what you do and don’t want them to do, so as simple as this sounds, it’s surprising to me. If she’s playing with something that’s not okay for her, I’ll forcefully tell her to stop. With most cats, I have to go and do some sort of physical intervention, but Jane usually moves on just from being yelled at. It’s so strange! She’s also recently started walking me to the front door when I leave for work in the mornings. 🙂

The last few days have been really nice. I didn’t have a great Winter Break, and I never felt like I was back on track from it until this weekend. I know it sounds silly to say that a 2-week paid vacation wasn’t “great”, and there wasn’t any real reason for it, just for some reason I always felt exhausted and like I wasn’t getting anything done, and like everyday was just slipping through my fingers and passing me by, and by the time I went back to work, I felt like I was still struggling to catch up.

But over the last few days, there have been a lot of really nice things, and having the day off yesterday (MLK day) to get a bunch of things done was just what I needed to feel like I was refreshed and on top of things.

Here is a list of good things from the last week:

  1. Ever have those moments at work where you kind of step back from yourself, and watch yourself, and think, “Wow, I really sound like I know what I’m talking about!”? I’ve had a few of those lately. It’s just like, “Hey! Look at me go! Just bein’ all knowledgeable and useful and everything!”
  2. I saw Hidden Figures. Such a great movie. I cried so many times (from happiness, not sadness). So inspiring. Wish there were more movies like this.
  3. Over the weekend, I had a good mixture of downtime, friend time, and gettin’ stuff done time. As an introvert, I have a hard time with weekends that are packed with activity, but as a “doer” I feel icky when I don’t do anything, so my favorite weekends are those that are balanced on both ends.
  4. I felt good about my aerial practice. The previous week, I struggled with a few new things, and I always feel badly when I don’t catch onto things quickly. But this week, I got a few new tricks, and my coaches were pleased with my progress.
  5. Yesterday was just “get it done” central, and I was really energized by completing all of the tasks on my To Do list. I felt especially refreshed by clearing out, reorganizing, and cleaning my room. Getting my surroundings in order has a big impact on my mood.

IMG_1249^ This is what has to happen when the to-do lists in my planner aren’t motivating me, and I need to make sure I get everything with no dilly dallying. THE NIGHTSTAND WILL NOT BE IGNORED!!!

IMG_1210Holding hands.

Small family Christmas outfit.

Sweater: Target // Belt: Target // Jeans: Thrifted // Boots: Naturalizer

Big family Christmas outfit.

Sweater: Express // Pin: Antique store // Belt: Target // Skirt: Forever 21 // Shoes: Payless
IMG_1195Top: H&M // Cardigan: Target // Belt: Target // Pants: Agaci // Shoes: PaylessIMG_1214Sweater: Target // Belt: Target // Skirt: Agaci // Boots: Madden Girl
IMG_1220 Cardigan: H&M // Top: Thrifted (H&M) // Belt: Target // Skirt: Agaci // Shoes: RefreshIMG_1225Scarf: Target // Cardigan: Target // Dress: Thrifted // Boots: Naturalizer // Boot Splotches: STUPID MN SNOW
IMG_1231Scarf: Target // Cardigan: Target //Belt: Target // Skirt: Target! // Tights: Christmas gift (thanks Ma!) // Shoes: Refresh

New Year, New Planner

YOU. GUYS. I am so into my new planner. I’ve always been into planners (I’ve even kept all of the planners I’ve ever used!!), and I’m really picky about them, and sometimes I have a hard time finding one that I like. But this year! Love this thing.

I had been searching since August for a new one because I kind of like the idea of starting a new one with the school year (working in a school and all). Couldn’t find anything perfect until last month, when I found one I liked online, and then found the same exact thing for a 1/3 of the price at Home Goods!!!! I was so excited.

OKAY! LET’S TAKE A TOUR OF IT!!! (And if this isn’t your cup of tea, and you’re like why would anyone care about this, TOO BAD! I’M EXCITED!!)

planner-and-stuffLook at it!!! It’s cute, which is one of my top requirements. It’s also the perfect size; it has to be about 7″x 5″: small enough to fit in my purse and large enough so that I don’t have to write like an ant. It has a ribbon to hold my page, which my last planner didn’t have, so that’s nice. The planner I used last year had some elements I liked (I chose it after all), but a few things that really bugged me. This new planner is more like ones I’ve used in the past that I really liked, so it feels better. And omigosh, so cute. Did I mention that?planner-pouchesI got the pouch on the left from Michaels, in their new “Happy Planner” section. I was going to keep my pens in it, but it’s really too small for that, so I just keep a few rolls of washi tape in it for now. The pouch on the right is from Target, and HOW PERFECTLY DOES IT MATCH THE PLANNER?? I keep my pens in it.planner-pageHere’s the layout. I have to do a Weekly layout (not monthly or daily), and my last planner had one week on each page, which is madness!! Each day was half this size, so it was a bit cramped. And some planners make Sat/Sun share a space, which is ridiculous. I do things on weekends too, duh.
planner-pocketI usually keep bits of paper (coupons, stamps, etc.) in the back of my planner, so I’ve added this little pocket, using cardstock, washi tape, spray adhesive, and packing tape.planner-stickiesI also always keep a pad of sticky notes in the front, and have a running To Do list, and a running To Get list. Then when I go to the store, I can just peel off my list and take it with me.

I got this pad of planner stickers that will really jazz up my pages. There are like a billion stickers, and they’re really cute and they cover almost everything I do. Though, they don’t have any cookie stickers, which is like , Alex 101, so I’m a little disappointed about that. I’ll try to get over it.


Ramping Up to Christmas

Weekly Things

Something I Learned: I was talking with a guy who works in sustainable energy and construction, and I asked him what he thought about Elon Musk’s new solar panel roof shingles. I don’t think he had heard about them (??), but he ended up talking about how different solar power products have varying levels of power. This had never occurred to me before!


Something I Appreciate: Yes, we got a really annoying dump of snow, and yes the high on Sunday was 6 below, but we’ve been given some relief with a little warm-up (high in the low 30s today and tomorrow). AND I am on Winter Break for 2 weeks, hooray!

This blog is becoming a biweekly occurrence, apparently. I’ve just been chugging along, doing my regular stuff, except for the things I’ve had to miss due to a stupid cold.

Like I said, I’m now on a two-week break from work, but as always, I still feel super busy. Today was Christmas shopping…I’m almost done. Although I thought I was almost done yesterday too. Who knows.

I’ve never been a big Christmas person, and some years I’m more Grinch-y than others. First off, I’m not a christian, so there’s that whole aspect out the window. And I like giving people gifts, but I don’t like being REQUIRED to give people gifts. I like selecting things that I think people would like, but when you have to give a gift to everyone you know all at one time, you’re just looking for things that will be “good enough.” That’s dumb. And everyone is doing it all at once and being annoying and hassled and irritated. And it’s just so consumerist and shallow. And everything must be green and red and Santa and Rudolph and tinsel and blergh! It’s just….a lot.

But I try to find the good parts, and just move through the whole season focusing on the things that mean something to me: connecting with family and friends, enjoying seasonal flavors (eggnog, cinnamon, gingerbread, peppermint), the comfort of routine and tradition (seeing the same ornaments and decorations at my parents’ house, hearing the same carols).img_1164Went to a Christmas show with the fam.
img_1165The post-show line to meet Santa was long, so my nephew got caught up on all the duck gossip.img_1167I had heard that the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train was going to make a stop in my city, and I happened upon it while out running errands. The only time I’m not completely annoyed to be stopped for a train.img_1150Had a little Irish dance performance at a local senior living center. St. Patrick’s Day always seems to come up really fast after the holidays, so it’s good to get warmed up!img_1166There is something so comforting to me about this view from my bathroom window. All of the rooftops clustered together, symbolizing neighborhood, normalcy, routine, quiet.

img_1168This little thing…always trying to hold my hand.img_1169img_1158I’ve been dealing with a cold that I got last week. Ugh I just hate how disruptive it is. I’m through the worst part (Thursday), but I’m still that person at the store who is constantly blowing their nose, and stuffing used kleenex in their coat pocket. Argh

Outfits!img_1140Scarf: Target (similar) // Blazer: H&M (similar) // Dress: Old Navy (similar) // Belt: Target (exactsimilar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)img_1143Scarf: Target (exact) // Cardigan: Banana Republic via Goodwill (similar) // Belt: Target (exact)  // Skirt: Forever 21 (similarsimilar)// Shoes: Refresh (exact)img_1153Necklace: Burlington Coat Factory // Shirt: Target (similar) // Sweater: H&M (similar) // Jeans: YMI (similar) // Shoes: Bare Traps (similar)img_1157Scarf: Amazon (exact) // Sweater Dress: Target (exact) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

Happy Holidays!

The Days Are Flying By

Weekly Things

Something I Learned: I just don’t know this week! I feel like I learn something new every day, but then I can never remember specifics later.

Something I’m Into: I’ve been listening to the My Favorite Murder Podcast. I heard about it a while ago, and could tell that it was practically made for me, but I don’t like new things, so I ignored it for a while. I finally started it this week, and of course it’s great! It’s basically just two women talking about actual murders that have taken place throughout history. So….yeah.

Something I Appreciate: That we’ve gotten this far into the year with decent weather. It’s getting for real cold now, but I appreciate that it’s held off for as long as it has.

The last two weeks have flown by, and I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to catch my breath yet. (I didn’t even make a post last week because it went so fast.) I’ve just been always doing doing doing. I like all of the things I’m doing (fun with friends and family, aerial, dance, singing, drawing, house projects, community discussions, theater, movies, etc.), but I just wish it could spread out somehow.

Over the last few weeks, as I’ve been processing the election mess, and where we are as a country politically and socially, I’ve been trying to find ways to seek more connection with others. Division has played such a large role in this mess, and I see it continuing to destroy us. The only way to do anything about it is to attempt to connect with others; to be gentle, more patient, less snarky, express more understanding and less derision, put the work in to help others understand things, rather than getting frustrated with them for not knowing things already, assuming the best rather than the worst, viewing strangers as my brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, niece, nephew, grandparent. It can be hard, and I know there are times when I definitely fail to do it, but so far, it has given me a lot of peace to be more mindful about how I approach others.

Thanksgiving week stuffs…img_1130I made my usual contributions to our Thanksgiving meal: sweet potato casserole, and green bean casserole. Yummimg_1131My Thanksgiving meal. YUMMMMM

Some things I did over Thanksgiving break:img_1128Sleeping in is my favorite. Jane’s into it too.
img_1129Antique store shopping. I was looking for containers for sewing supplies and paint supplies. I currently use ugly plastic tackle boxes, and they function perfectly, but they’re just too damn ugly. I didn’t find an alternative, but I came up with a semi-solution that I will cover in another post.img_1127-1Remember when I painted this desk blue? I couldn’t decide what color to paint it, so I asked for input. I landed on blue because that’s really what I feelin’ the most at the time. I still love that color, but I’m trying to neutralize my space a little bit, so I painted it white!img_1132It’s a subtle change, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first. I don’t really notice it much anymore, so I think that’s good. I wanted it to blend in a little more.

Outfits from Thanksgiving Week.img_1105Shirt: Gordman’s (similar) // Scarf: DSW (similar, similar) // Shorts: Boom Boom Jeans (similar, similar, similar) // Shoes: Crown Vintage @ DSW (similar)
img_1108Scarf: Thrifted (similar) // Shirt: H&M (similar) // Belt: Target (exactsimilar, similar) // Skirt: Target (similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)

This past week has been filled with the usual, including working on illustrations.img_1133The always helpful Jane, sitting on top of my colored pencils. Great.img_1135What happens to your hand (and sleeve) when you draw.

img_1136What my house looks like every couple of days. It snows, then melts, then snows, etc. img_1137Community meeting regarding climate justice initiatives. It was surprisingly optimistic. img_1134Cats could teach classes on how to nap.

Last week’s outfits.

img_1111 Sweater: Kohls (similar) // Necklace: Dry Goods (similar) // Jeans: YMI via Plato’s Closet (similar)// Shoes: Baretraps (exact)img_1114 Necklace: Burlington Coat Factory // Shirt: Target (similar) // Belt: Target (exact) // Skirt: Target (similar, similar) // Shoes: Refresh via Amazon (exact)img_1117Scarf: Target (exact) // Dress: H&M (similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)
img_1120 Sweater: Target (similar) // Shirt: H&M (similar) // Pants: Kohl’s (similar) // Boots: Steve Madden (exact)img_1123Cardigan: Banana Republic via Goodwill (similar) // Shirt: Target (exact) // Jeans: Cello Jeans via Goodwill (similar) // Boots: Steve Madden (exact)


Outfit Post

img_1080Scarf: Target (exact) // Sweater: Loft via Goodwill (similar, similar) // Jeans: YMI via Plato’s Closet (similar) // Shoes: Baretraps  (exact)img_1083Scarf: Target (exact) // Shirt: H&M (similar) // Belt: Target (exactsimilar, similar) // Skirt: H&M (similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)img_1087Scarf: Target (similar, similar)// Shirt: H&M (similar, similar) // Cardigan: Target (exact) // Belt: Target (exact) // Jeans: YMI via Plato’s Closet (similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)img_1092Top: Heritage 1981 (similar) // Belt: Target (exact) // Skirt: Charlotte Russe (similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)
img_1095Scarf: JCPenney (similar) // Sweater Dress: Target (exact) // Boots: Crown Vintage-DSW (similar)

Weekly Things

Something I Learned: Alpha Gal is the name of an allergy to mammalian meat. It’s fairly newly discovered, and is induced by a tick bite.

Something I’m Into: I just got a new planner for 2017 and I CAN’T WAIT TO USE IT!!! I will show it to you sooooon.

Something I Appreciate: My freedom. I’m able to decide what I want to do and when, and I don’t have to check with anyone or fit my plans into anyone else’s schedule. As much as I think I would like to have a family of my own, I do appreciate that as a single non-parent I am beholden to no one. What a wonderful thing.

img_1102We got our first snowfall of the season this week. I’m not one of those “THE FIRST SNOWFALL YAY!!” people, I’m more of a “It’s the beginning of the end…” person, but I try to appreciate it as much as I can.img_1101

img_1089Little girl staying cozy with me.

img_1099Backstage at my aerial showcase yesterday.

img_1100My pre-performance “I’m scared” face.

Here are some photos from the show:20161120_182511 15064219_983348919403_724754073_o 15060413_983348929383_1717047520_o 20161120_182617 20161120_182528And now I am ready for a little break and some Thanksgiving yummies!


Grappling with the Election

Weekly Things

Something I Learned: I learned about the “14 Day Rule” which outlaws any research on embryos after 14 days past fertilization (or when the “primitive streak ” develops…which is a whole other thing that is very difficult to define concisely, but that I’d recommend googling).

Something I’m Into:  Chobani go-gurts. I have a hard time eating an entire yogurt cup (especially when they’re as filling as Greek yogurt), and I tried Yoplait go-gurt in the past, but it seemed like the yogurt they used wasn’t as healthy (higher sugar etc.). I didn’t realize Chobani makes them now until I saw them at Target the other day! They’re great!

Something I Appreciate: My students and my job. While struggling with the results of the election, I’ve appreciated the wisdom and strength of my students, the conscientiousness and passion of my colleagues in helping our students understand and grapple with the outcome, and the ability to focus on the here and now everyday needs of my students, as opposed to ruminating in anxiety about the future.

Last week was tough. While you wouldn’t call me an optimist (I’m a realist), I don’t generally get too “doom and gloom” about politics. I certainly have my opinions, but I rarely fear for the future of our country. I recognize that bad stuff has happened in the past, and bad stuff will happen again, and that’s life, and you just have to take it in stride.

But I am now very concerned about not just the division and hatred among our own citizens, and the deterioration of the gains we have made or were attempting to make in our social and economic systems, but also about the safety of our nation as a whole. I do not trust this creature with anything foreign policy, and I have never been so concerned about that before. Also, the Supreme Court. /politics

Other than that, it’s been a normal week for me: work, aerial, drawing, strength training, yard work, Irish dance, friends, family, cat, naps.

img_1075Aerial bruises!15060413_983348929383_1717047520_o

15064868_983348924393_1084315072_oSome pictures from our dress rehearsal. We have a showcase this Sunday. (I’m on the left.)img_1073Jane doing her version.

img_1059From an activity our students had done a few weeks ago. It was comforting to see it the morning after the election.

img_1077I asked my new student what kind of candy she wants for a reward. She requested pickles.

img_1074A friend and I went to a Holiday Boutique show, and I was just expecting to go for the ambiance, but I actually got quite a few gifts!

img_1076We then tried out a new restaurant, and I ordered a chocolate malt and poutine! #imnotonadiet #notaplateofworms

img_1058-1Shirt: Target (similar) // Pants: Old Navy (similar) // Shoes: Baretraps (exact)img_1064I felt like wearing all black the day after the election. Dress: Target (similar) // Boots: Etienne Aigner (similar)

img_1067Scarf: Target (similar) // Shirt: H&M (similar) // Belt: Target (exact) // Skirt: Forever 21 (similar, similar, similar) // Boots: Naturalizer (similar)img_1071Scarf: DSW (similar) // Striped Shirt: H&M (similar, similar) // Sweater: thrifted (similar) // Jeans: American Eagle via Goodwill (similar)