Monday, September 11, 2017

September 2017 Playlist

We are closer to mid September than I realized. Time is truly flying by.  The past few weeks I have been spending up to two hours a day in my car thanks to my commute to work.  Back in early August I was officially hired to teach middle school Language Arts at a fabulous school district.  The school I work at is about 50 minutes away from my house without traffic.  After a little bit of thought, I decided to suck it up and make the drive twice a day.  I thought it would better to stay at home with my parents for another year until I can bank enough money to purchase a house.  Plus I only have a one year contract, so I want to be positive that I'm staying there before I commit to up and moving. You're probably catching my drift by now, but I spend a lot of time in my car.  One of the essentials to a successful commute is a great playlist. I absolutely despise radio commercials, so you can usually find me scanning through the Sirius Radio stations or listening to my newest playlist on Spotify. 

What's on your current playlist?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Bye-Bye Summer, See You Next Year

And that's a wrap!  I doughnut want summer to end. Although summer doesn't officially end for another few weeks, I think most of us can agree that Labor Day is really the end of the season. After Labor Day we seemed to be bombarded with everything related to Fall, back to school shenanigans, and the weather begins to change. Our summer vacations have come and gone, and before we know it we will be preparing for the holiday season.

The past few months seemed to fly by.  When I look back at it, the Summer seems like a blur. It was filled with lots of fun and a little bit of stress (aka the job hunt). I was able to have a girls' beach weekend, spend a week in Charleston, discovered my love for spin class, found out how great yoga can be for the mind and body, read some great books, play field hockey, truly live and learn how things happen for a reason, and spent time with the people that I love. I'm sad to see the Summer go, but I'm excited to see what's to come.

Anyone else get the Sunday scaries yesterday and realize that it wasn't actually Sunday? Yesterday I spent half the day shopping and the other half conquering my to do list.  Somewhere in between these tasks, I began thinking how Labor Day Monday is really like the Sunday of Summer. It symbolizes the season coming to an end and school beginning again.  It's a time of transition filled with endless possibilities. 

This year the "Sunday of Summer" had my head spinning. Today is the day that essentially everything I've been so hard to achieve comes true.  Today is my first day of school as a teacher. It's honestly unreal when I actually take a minute to think about it.  As I get ready this morning, I am filled with so many emotions- excitement, a little anxiety, and pure joy!

Wishing you a fabulous work week!


Friday, August 25, 2017

Let's Have Coffee

Happy Friday my friends! It's been two months since we've had a coffee date, so I thought it was time we schedule another one.  If you missed my last coffee date, then you can check it out here. Lots has happened this summer and I'm sure y'all have a lot to share as we transition into a new season. Grab your favorite go-to beverage right now and have a seat. Read a little bit, then participate by commenting or tweeting with your responses.  

What's your current go-to beverage?
While I was away on vacation a couple weeks ago, I found the most perfect coffee shop.  They had great breakfast/lunch foods and beverages. I actually drank their coffee black not once but twice.  Their iced coffee was so amazing that I didn't even feel the need to add cream nor sugar.  This is seriously big deal if you've ever seen me make my cream and sugar with coffee.... I mean coffee with cream and sugar. If you're ever in Charleston, South Carolina check it out! 

Do you have any last minute plans for the last little bit of summer?
Next week, I'll be working four days at my big girl job. We start our teacher in-service days... full days filled with meetings, curriculum planing, and a chance to meet some of my students. I'll be spending the most of the last bit of summer by working and making sure everything is ready to go for the first day of school.  However, I do have some fun plans too. I'll be going to the Zac Brown Band Concert Labor Day Weekend. I'm looking forward to the last hoorah before school officially starts. 

Have you cooked anything good lately?
This summer my family seemed to have developed a slight obsession with penne all vodka. I highly recommend this recipe! It's really tasty plus way easier than you'd think to make. I would suggest adding a veggie to the dish- spinach, broccoli, or squash to the mixture. 

What are your current obsessions?
I'm currently loving La Croix Grapefruit water, fresh tomatoes from the garden, coaching field hockey, and my guilty pleasure has become watching Siesta Key. Anyone else shamelessly watching this downgraded version of The Hills?

Have you set any goals lately?
As I start a new school year filled with new opportunities and experiences, I am focused on setting goals that I can actually achieve. My goals are 100% centered around living a balanced life. I think it can be so easy for first year teachers to make their job their life. I really am trying to make sure this doesn't happen. Sure I'm passionate about what I will be doing, but I also recognize that balance is needed to avoid burnout. My goals are to eat breakfast everyday, workout at least three times each week, and make time for fun. 

Don't forget to participate by answering my questions via twitter or by commenting.  I can't wait to hear what y'all have to say and any questions you may have for me!

Enjoy your weekend! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Summer Nanny

I've mentioned it a few times, but during the summer I work as a nanny for a family with two boys. This summer was my fifth with them.  It's funny to look back at how each summer has been a little different. It seems like during the summer everyone has a little bit of a different job and a different routine. I always find it interesting reading about what others' routines are when their job is different than mine. I thought it would be fun to share with you what my day usually looks like when I'm working. 

Before Work
Before work I usually workout or blog. It depends on the day and what my schedule looks like.  If I go to a spin class at night, then I will take advantage of the morning by getting a little blogging done or treating myself to an extra hour of sleep.  It usually takes me about 20 minutes to get ready for work. Since I usually end up running around outside, I just take a quick shower and throw on a tank with some norts.  I tend to make my breakfast and lunch before I head out for the day.  I like to eat my breakfast when I get to work because then I eat with the kids. 

Now that the kids are older (upper elementary school-aged), the mornings are much more quiet. They usually have just woken up when I get there.  The first thing I do is make them breakfast. They usually like to chill out (watch TV, play video games, or on their iPad).  During this time, I make their breakfast. After I've cleaned up breakfast, then I usually read or get a little more blogging done. This summer, I've used the quiet time to apply to jobs. 

Mid- Morning
Usually mid-morning, the kids think of some "big activity" that they want to do that day.  This could be anything from baking something, which friend they want to have over, what movie they want to watch, to what trampoline park they want to go to. Regardless, I try to make the fun activity happen. I'll look for coupons or checkout the weather to make sure we're not going to get stuck in a storm while spending an afternoon at the pool.  Once we figure out what the afternoon will look like, then I make them breakfast and we eat together. 

The afternoons are usually reserved for fun.  This summer we've spent afternoons swimming, at a trampoline park, at a local park, going to the movie theatre, baking, watching a movie, playing games, going to the skatepark, or just playing outside. The last hour I'm there is generally the hottest point in the day, so the kids tend to gravitate towards staying inside.  They typically watch tv or play video games.  While they hangout, I'll watch a movie with them or read.  

After work
After work my schedule changes daily.  On Mondays I usually go to spin and yoga classes at the gym.  On any other given night, you can find me walking my dog, swimming, taking a nap, watching Netflix, reading a book, blogging, or hanging out with family/friends. 

This week my schedule has actually changed. I'm beginning to establish new routines as I endure my first two days of new teacher orientation at my new job.  I'll miss the laid back nature of nannying, but I think I'm ready to get into more set of a routine plus salary pay!

What part of your summer job will you miss the most as we transition to Fall?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Charleston Summer Packing List

I don't know about you, but whenever I'm going somewhere new the first question that pops into my head is, "What should I wear?" I mean seriously anything new- a restaurant I haven't been to, a sporting event, a new store, vacation, etc. Anybody else with me?

So naturally once my family decided on the date and location of our summer family vacation, my first instinct was to start looking up what to wear. I consulted with pinterest, several blogs, and my friends who had been there before.  I had some what of an idea of what to bring, but I wasn't 100% sure.  The weeks leading up to our trip, I kept a list on my phone of possible outfits and I stalked the weather to compare it to where we live.  After doing my "research" I decided I was finally ready to pack the day before we left for our trip.

Just a few pro tips for packing for a trip:
Make sure all of your laundry is done before you start packing. 
There's nothing worse than going to pack an outfit just to find that the top is dirty.  Plus, it's always nice to come home to clean clothes rather than dirty laundry.

Check the weather
Chance are the pictures you see of your destination are always on the days filled with beautiful weather. News flash, the weather isn't always as it seems in the perfect picture.

Pack outfits rather than random items
Packing outfits rather than random shorts and tops makes packing much more efficient. This also prevents you from hitting the bump in the road while you're on vacay getting ready for dinner and you realize you don't have the right top or undergarments to match the skirt you brought.

Less is More
Mix and match. Don't be afraid to re-wear items.  Pack some basics that way you don't have to pack as many clothing pieces.  If the place your staying has a washer and dryer, then you will be able to wash your clothes!

Roll your clothes
If you roll your clothes, then you can actually fit more in your bag and your items won't get wrinkled.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Adulting {Months 6-8}

It's time for another adulting update.  Last time I talked about my adulting adventures was in May, and lots has happened since then.  Rather than breaking it down by month, I decided to switch things up by events. 

The Job Hunt
June, July, and August have been such an emotional roller coaster for me. This summer my focus has been on landing a teaching contract. I have spent most of my time and energy into achieving this goal. 

 If you are a teacher, someone you know is a teacher, or you've read about becoming a teacher, then you're aware of not only how hard it is to find a job but how brutal the interview process can be. Well, if not then I give you a little glimpse into the process.  I'm blessed to live in an area with great school districts that treat their teachers pretty well, pay well, provide safe learning environments for students, and have an abundance of resources. That being said, everyone and their mom wants to teach in my area, which makes landing a contract pretty difficult.  As a teacher fresh out of college with very limited experience it can be tricky to even land an interview.  I applied to close to 40 different positions by the end of July.  During July, I had only been invited to interview for five of those positions. Some of them fizzled out after round one while others I endured anywhere from three to five rounds before being denied. The school I thought I was being hired at decided to go with a candidate that had more experience.  At the time, I was disappointed but I still had other options on the table. Everyone told me that things happen for a reason we just don't always know the reason why until later on. 

Well,  I have found my reason.  I didn't give up and I continued to persevere despite feeling a little defeated.  I continued on and ended up being one of the final two candidates at two great districts.  Last Monday, I left for my family vacation still unemployed and uncertain what would happen.  The following day, I woke up to a phonetical with an offer from a district.  They wanted to hire me as a long term substitute with a possible permanent contract once I complete my first year with them. I gladly accepted, which brings me to the news I promised I would share on Tuesday.  I am officially employed and will spend the upcoming school year as a sixth and eighth grade Language Arts teacher.  

I truly feel blessed to have been given this opportunity. I have many friends who are still searching for a job.  I am excited, nervous, and maybe a tad bit overwhelmed thinking about everything I need to accomplish while simultaneously not knowing all that exactly needs to be done. So here I am today with a big girl job making big girl decisions like what insurance plan is best for me and how much life insurance I need to have. I'm sure the next month will be nothing short of crazy, but I am excited to continue my adulting journey. 

Fun Adventures
I've been job hunting, nannying, and working here and there at my retail job, but I promise this summer hasn't been all work and no play.  I've spent several weekends at the beach, a week in South Carolina, celebrated National Ice-cream Day, spent some time by the pool, and was able to relax a little too. I definitely haven't crossed everything off my summer bucket list, and now that I'm prepping for the school year I realize I'm probably not crossing every item off.  However, I have been able to make homemade popsicles, watch fireworks on the beach, played mini golf, and read several books.

Adulting Month One
Adulting Month Four
Adulting Month Five

Now accepting advice on how to balance work and play!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pulse Check

Good morning. I hope y'all (apparently my vacation down South is rubbing off on me) had a fabulous week and your week has been off to a great start! While I don't have a full blog post for you to read today, I just wanted to do a quick check in- a pulse check. I thought this short post would be better than nothing at all because we all know how inconsistent of a blogger I can be when life gets crazy. 

Yes, I'm alive and well and home safe from vacation with my family.  After taking an entire week off, I'm feeling more relaxed than I have in months. The trip was very much needed. Although, my head is already starting to spin with the changes that are about to happen in my life. I have a lot going on in the next fews weeks and a to do list that might be close to impossible to accomplish. The month of July was an emotional roller coaster for me, but now that it is over I have some exciting news to share with you.  I'll be doing a big reveal for you by the end of the week, but in the mean time I wanted to leave you with a few pictures from my vacation!