Oh Hey/Confessional Friday!

Holy moly, how the heck is it already the last Friday of June?  I haven’t done much this month and it feels like it is flying by.  I’m in a funky place where I wish time would speed up, because hello I’m going to Europe in 20 days.  But I also wish it would slow the heck down because the summer is flying by and I’m just not ready to go back to work yet.  Which I don’t until August 17.  🙂

Alrighty, so it’s Friday and that means I’m sharing 5 things from the week.  This Friday though I’m changing things up just a tad because Leslie from A Blonde Ambition is finally back from her little hiatus!  And I am so glad because not only is she super stylish and sweet and her two girls are just the adorable, but she hosts a Friday Confessional link up that I have been missing!

SO I decided to mix up Oh Hey Friday and the Confessional Friday by telling you 5 confessions from my week. 🙂

Here we go:

[one] I confess that this week I’ve had 5 consecutive nights of terrible sleep.  See my parents live in West Texas.  So that means its hot as hell, but its dry heat.  SO….they don’t have centralized air conditioning.  Instead we have what is called a swamp cooler.  Meaning that while it does blow cold air and keeps the house cool it doesn’t keep it as cool as my AC does back in Houston.  Long story short it’s HOT in my room.  Plus my room faces the direction that the sun rises so that means that it’s hot starting at like 8 in the morning.  Not ideal for sleeping.

[two]  I confess that I’m dreading leaving my two fur babies for the month of July.  I’m leaving them here at my parents house since I’ll be traveling so much.  And it is going to be so hard not seeing them everyday and cuddling with them at night.  Sadie is especially having a rough time.  She is not at all happy unless I’m in the house.  She won’t come out of my room unless I’m home.  Brady on the other hand is having the time of his life and probably won’t even notice I’m gone.

I took this a few weeks after I got Brady.  I think it’s hilarious and look how tiny he is!  He def doesn’t look like that anymore! Clearly they love each other.

[three] I confess that this week has been very uneventful.  I literally didn’t leave the house at all on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Which explains my lack of Instagram activity this week.  And the lack of pictures in the this post!

[four] I confess this made me LOL for like 5 minutes……

And this one made me think…”YEP, STRONGEST MIND EVER”

[five] I confess I’m SUPER excited because my best friend Jordan will be coming to visit next week!  Her sweet fiancé surprised her with the trip down to Texas.  I got to tell her the good news yesterday night via FaceTime (Isn’t technology just fantastic!)  We thought we wouldn’t be seeing each other until her wedding in October. So this is a real treat for both of us! 🙂

These were taken 2 years ago and I love them. Epcot is the BEST place to take pictures.

Yay! That was fun.  
So, this weekend my hair will be getting a much MUCH needed cut and color.  I cannot wait to have some of the weight taken off since it’s been so dang hot.  I’m also going to a pageant to support a family friend’s daughter.  It should be fun!  Can’t wait to see all the pretty dresses! 
Hope y’all have a fabulous Friday and a terrific weekend! 🙂 

Owning It [Vol. 2]

I had a completely different post planned for today.  But when I realized it was the last Thursday of the month (I’m sorry what?!) I knew I had to link up with Christina for her Own It Link up, just like I did in this post.

Enjoy!

I’ve been home for the last week and half and my bedroom still looks exactly like it did when I lived here full time.  Which was my senior year of high school.  I have so many little nicknacks/memories in this room it’s erie.  I’m not sure why my mom hasn’t gotten rid of everything in here yet.

Since Monday night I’m had this weird rash/rough patchy weirdness on my cheeks. It was red and itchy Monday night but has since just been rough.  No idea what it is.  I’ve washed my face and put massive amounts of lotion on it and it still won’t go away.  (If I was really owning it, I would have taken a picture of it when it was all red and splotchy.  But I’m not that brave.)

I hate buying things online.  You would think I would love it because I’m super lazy and hate leaving the house.  But I just can’t bring myself to buy online.  Especially clothes. I have to be able to try them on and I’m nervous that my CC will get stolen or something.  I like to browse online but very rarely will I actually buy online.

The only thing I’m nervous about when it comes to Europe, is that the clothes I bring won’t be cute enough.  I know I know…that sounds totally weird and that I’m gonna be doing a ton of walking so  comfort should be my main concern.   Nut seriously I want to look super cute while strolling the streets of all these European cities and I’m afraid that all the outfits I have planned to bring are just not going to do it for me.  I also want my pictures to look amazing and I’m nervous that they’re going to be awful.

Blogging confession:  I sometimes get upset when I don’t have comments on my posts.  I don’t blog for the comments, I blog because it’s something I genuinely enjoy doing (otherwise I wouldn’t have been doing it since late 2010).  But I dunno there is just something about getting comments that makes blogging so much more fun…doesn’t it?  It means that people are reading your stuff and enjoying what they read and feel compelled to let you know that.  Now it’s not like I’m crying or anything when a post doesn’t get a comment, but it is always at the back of  my mind.

I can’t have bare fingernails or toenails anymore. I’ve had my nails polished for so long now that I can’t stand the look of my fingers/toes without it. Plus I find it very therapeutic to sit and give myself a mani/pedi…even though I would prefer to pay someone else to do.  But I’m not a Rockefeller so I do it myself.

When I’m home I never call up people from high school to hang out.  Yeah I’m friends with my high school friends on Facebook but I really have no desire to hangout with anyone from then. (Except for my best friend in the entire world Ashley.)  Which is weird because I had a great high school experience.  But yeah…no desire at all.

My friend Jordan and I have each other in our phones as Bellatrix Lestrange and Hermione Granger.  Respectively.  Sometimes I forget that and will look for the name Jordan and then remember I should be looking for Bellatrix.  #harrypotternerd

If I really like a book I can read the whole thing in one day.  I actually did that yesterday.

I could watch episodes of Friends (in the picture above I’m stepping into the Animal Kingdom map a a la Joey Tribiani) , Sex and the City, The Office, and Law&Order SVU over and over and over again.  In fact, as I type this I’m watching both Sex and the City AND Law&Order.  I have a problem.

************

Alrighty, that’s about it for today friends!  Now to get my day started since I’ve literally not left my house since Monday.

Can’t wait to read some of the other Owning it posts! 🙂

Happy Thursday!

EuroTrip 2015: The Hotels

One of my favorite parts of traveling is getting to stay in a hotel.  Besides officially being at your destination it’s the only thing that signifies that you’re  in a new city.  I’ve had the opportunity to stay in all kinds of hotel rooms.  Big ones like at Disney World and small ones like in New Orleans.  I just love exploring the room and finding all the little things that make each one unique.  And there is nothing like coming back to your hotel room after long day of exploring and being on your feet all day.

Because of my love for hotels, one of the things I was most excited to find out and research was which hotels we would be staying on our trip with Go Ahead Tours.  We received all our hotel information on June 17th, which was the official one month mark until the trip.  I wasted no time at all logging onto the website and Googling the hotels.

Y’all, I am SO EXCITED to see these babies in person.  I know that the rooms won’t be super large like they are here in the States.  At least that’s what I’ve been reading on the various travel blogs I’ve been scouring since we decided to go on the trip.  But it doesn’t hurt to come home to a nice, clean, and comfy hotel after we’ve been touring all day.  Which is hopefully what we will be experiencing during our trip.

So here are the hotels we’ll be staying at during our 14 day adventure.  All the hotels will come with breakfast in the morning and WiFi (which is good for staying in touch with friends and family back home).  I’ll obviously be able to give a more detailed review of each place once we come back but like I said, they look pretty promising from the pictures and reviews I’ve seen/read!

Quick disclaimer: None of the pictures are mine, I found them all either via Google or on the hotel’s website.

London- H10 Waterloo Hotel
This hotel looks to be very modern.  It has a few rooftop terraces that are available to all guest and give you AH-MAZING views of the city.  Apparently you can even see the London Eye and Houses of Parliament/Big Ben from the hotel.




Paris – Pullman Montparnasse
Another very modern looking hotel both inside and out.  There are 3 of us traveling together and we will actually have 2 separate rooms in Paris and in Amsterdam.  Lets just hope one of those separate rooms is mine! 🙂  From what the website says we could potentially have a view of the Eiffel Tower.  Um ok!




Amsterdam- Eden Rembrandt Square
I couldn’t find a full length picture of this hotel, so I’ll make it a point to try and get one when I’m there.  But it’s located on a very narrow looking street.  And looks like it could have been apartments or something back in the day.  This is a very modern looking hotel on the inside and very old on the outside.



Mannheim – Leonardo Royal Hotel Mannheim
We’ll be spending the day in Heidelberg but will be traveling to Mannheim, Germany to spend the night.  Which is A-Ok with me since that means we’ll get to see more of Germany.  This hotel sort of looks like a prison on the outside I think, but once you get inside it’s another very modern looking hotel.  So far all the hotels have a very modern feel to them.    I’m gonna make it a point to take pictures of things around the hotel because this is another one that you can’t really tell what’s around it.



Lucerne – Hotel Flora
Now this is a hotel that I’m excited for because of what you can see around it.  According to the website and pictures, the hotel is located close to the water and has breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. Once again the hotel isn’t much to write home about on the outside but the inside looks modern and new on the inside.



Lenno (CO) Italy – Albergo Lenna
Italy!  Please note that from here on out the modern feel is thrown completely out the window.  The hotels we’ll be staying at in Italy are very traditional and well for lake of a better word freaking GORGEOUS!! We’re only at the hotel on Lake Como for one night but just look at this.  And the inside is just as pretty as the outside too. Let’s just hope we have a balcony so we can enjoy the views of either the lake or the Swiss Alps.



Venice – Hotel Quattro Fontane
THIS HOTEL!!!  Oh my gosh.  I am totally IN LOVE with this hotel.  I mean look at it.  It looks more like an Italian cottage then it does a hotel.  And the inside is full of gorgeous antiques. I know this is going to be super tiny on the inside but I don’t even care.  Talk about picturesque.


Rome – Hotel Ponte Sisto
Last but certainly not least….Rome.  Once again I couldn’t find a full length picture of this hotel.  But I did find some roof top terrace pictures of it.  See that dome in the background, yeah that’s the Sistine Chapel.  It’s totally visible from the roof. According to the website this hotel is just a few blocks from The Vatican and just around the corner from the one of the oldest bridges in Rome, the Ponte Sisto bridge.

Lets just hope I can take pictures as good as these of the hotel! 🙂


Like I’ve already mentioned all the hotels come with Free WiFi and breakfast in the morning.  The early hotels are gonna be super modern and the later hotels seem to be a little more “European” I guess is the word.

Having our hotel information definitely makes the trip seem more real.  I mean I know it’s real because I’ve paid for it but actually seeing where I’m going to be laying my head down at night makes it like really real!

So now I have a question for those of you that have travelled abroad.  What are some tips you have for staying in hotels in Europe?  Is there anything I should be sure to bring or anything I can leave at home?

Help a girl out! 🙂

Here are my other posts on EuroTrip 2015:
EuroTrip 2015
Pin-spiration: EuroTrip 2015
Eurotrip 2015: Places I’m Dying to See
Eurotrip 2015: What to Pack

Your Next Favorite Book: The Girl on the Train

Happy Tuesday friends!
Sorry for my absence yesterday.  My weekend involved lots of driving with no internet access and then yesterday was spent at an outpatient surgery center while my mom had a minor surgery done.  So I didn’t have an opportunity to sit down and write out a post. 
So today I’m sharing another book review. I’ve been powering through books lately and I’m excited to share them with all of you!



Goodreads Synopsis: 

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?


My thoughts:

This book has been around for quite a while.  Before I read it I had seen it on other blogs and my friends To-Read or Read list on Goodreads.  I read they synopsis when I was in Barnes and Noble a few months ago and knew it was something I wanted to read. But I waited until the first week of summer to actually read it.  And I finished it up via Audiobook on my drive home two weeks ago.  
I had high expectations for the book and I’m pleased to say all the expectations were met.  For me at least.    I thought it was a great read.  I loved the way it transitioned between different perspectives to tell the story of “The Girl on the Train.” When I switched over to audiobook they had a different girl reading each perspective and it helped me follow along with the storyline much easier then if I were reading it myself.   I will say that I predicted who the “bad guy” was about half way through the book.  So it wasn’t much of a surprise when the person was reveled.  But the book held my attention  while I was both reading and listening.  A few times I got a tad annoyed with some of the characters themselves.  They could be incredibly selfish and self involved.  But I also think this is what held my attention and made the book enjoyable.  The characters weren’t all lovable.  Which I found refreshing.  
SO…if you’re looking for a book that will be entertaining, keep you guessing (unless you figure it out like me), and introduce you to some likable AND unlikeable characters this is the book for you!  It’s a great summer read!  
Oh it will also make you want to ride a train.
Happy Reading!

Would You Rather: Travel Edition

I blame my parents for giving me the travel bug.  No seriously, it’s completely their fault that I am obsessed with seeing and learning about new places.   See when we were young, we traveled all the time during the summer.  It was one of the perks of having both parents as teachers.  They had summers off so that meant we were always going somewhere.

As a family we traveled to Mexico (Cancun and Puerto Penasco), we drove to Florida to visit Disney World and in the meantime stopped in New Orleans (where I quickly learned that New Orleans is NOT a place for children) and Georgia, we took a trip to California, and fairly often we took what my family likes to call our “Texas trip” where we drove across Texas and stopped in all the major cities.  And finally the biggest trip of my life was with my mom to London.  Which you can read about in detail here.

See….totally my parents fault I’m not satisfied to just sit at home during the summer.

As an adult I’ve traveled even more, mostly in the US but as y’all know that is about to change in exactly 31 days I will be able to add a few international cities! Woo hoo!  One more month y’all! ONE MORE MONTH!

So to celebrate the official one month mark I decided to jump in on a little game of Would You Rather.  I’ve seen it floating around a few of my favorite travel bloggers (which I totally wish I could be by the way) and decided to partake.

Enjoy!

WOULD YOU RATHER…………

one// Travel the world for free (hotels and airfare) OR have $400,000 deposited into your bank account now?  
Oh my gosh, this is a tough one.  I’m gonna go with, travel the world for free.  That $400,000 would run out pretty quickly I think.  So I would still be able to work and pay all my bills and boring stuff by working but then travel ANYWHERE I want FO FREE during all breaks.  Done.

two// Be able to talk to all animals OR speak all foreign languages? 
As much as I would love to be able to talk to my beloved fur babies, I’m gonna have to go with speak all foreign languages.  I would definitely get a job with the Department of State. (Which is a job I’ve considered applying for lately).

three// Be attacked by a shark OR die by a tornado? 
I’m guessing since there’s no “die by” in front of the attached by a shark option that means I survived the attack. And since I’m in no hurry to die, I’m gonna go with shark attack.


four// Never take the train OR take an airplane again?
I’ve only been on a train once (and I totally passed out and don’t remember the ride at all) so that’s what I choose for now.  Maybe I’ll re-visit this post and change my answer after I actually experience train travel this summer.  I love flying.

five// Visit Oktoberfest in Munich OR Carnival in Rio de Janeiro?  
Oktoberfest for sure!  Mostly because I want to wear a dirndl.

six// Take control of the airplane for 5 minutes (it’s on autopilot, but still…) OR take control of beverage service for the entire trip?
No desire at all to run a beverage service for an entire flight.  People are picky.  I’ll fly the plane.

seven// Wake up without your wallet OR wakeup without your passport and phone?
Wallet.  Everything in the wallet can be replaced easily and the credit cards can be cancelled easily. What cannot be replaced easily while I’m overseas would be my passport.  Then I’d be stuck.  (But let’s be honest, if I got stuck in London, I wouldn’t hate it.)

(via)


eight// Be left behind in the bush on an African safari OR be left behind in the water on a scuba trip?
African safari.  I’ve been watching Naked and Afraid a lot.  So I’m fairly confident I could survive until someone found me. (Read….I would cry a thousand tears and then hopefully, maybe suck it up and try to remember what I saw on the TV show.)  Open water on the other hand…..HELL NO!

nine// Lose your luggage and land one time OR land 12 hours late with your luggage intact?
My luggage was lost once and it was AWFUL.  I hated every minute of it.  So even though I would be VERY irritated to be 12 hours late on a flight, at least I arrived with everything I needed immediately.  I think I could handle that.  Plus, I’m one of those weird people who loves airports.  So it wouldn’t bother me too much.

ten// Visit every country in Europe OR every state in the USA?
Every country in Europe.  Don’t get me wrong I love and adore the good ol US of A.  But there is something about a continent who’s countries have been around for thousands of years that just……pulls at me.  I want to see it all.  And then when I’m done I’ll visit every state.  Because we maybe one of the greatest countries in the world but we’re also one of the youngest! 🙂


eleven// Move every 6 months (including internationally) OR live in the same place your entire life?
I lived in the same place until I was 18 years old.  Now I’ve lived in 3 different cities and 1 state. And lemme tell you moving SUCKS.  But if I could move to an international city for 6 months and then to another international city for another 6 months.  I think that would be very….tempting.


twelve// Be able to teleport to places you’ve already been OR only be able to teleport to places you’ve never been?
Teleport to place I’ve never been.  That would help me see more of this great big world!

thirteen// Go into the past and change something that’s already happened OR go into the future and see what your life ends up being like?
Hands down, go into the future and see what my life ends up like.  If only to be reassured that I don’t end up a crazy cat lady, living alone in a house by myself.  I really really hope that doesn’t happen.

That was fun!  Feel free to steal these questions (I stole or rather borrowed them) or create your own.
And I’m dying to know:

Do you have the travel bug? Where do you want to go?

Happy Tuesday! 🙂

Currently [June]

Happy Wednesday lovely friends.  
Summer really is just the best isn’t it.  Especially if you’re a teacher.  I must admit though there are moments when I’m sitting at home that I’m like…..ok now what do I do.  But then I think about all the stress from the school year and I quickly find something to do.
Alrighty today I’ve decided to share some of what I’m currently up to.  

Feeling….Excited because I’m driving home on Friday and I’ll get to see my family and best friend soon.  Stressed about money.  And annoyed with my allergies.

Reading…. The Girl on the Train.  I’ve heard amazing things about this book and am pleased to find out that it is just as good as everyone has said it is.  I just love the cover of the book!


Drinking…. Coffee.

Watching…. Law and Order: SVU.  If there is a marathon on I can usually kiss the rest of my day goodbye.  Even if I’ve already seen most of the episodes. Which is the case with the current episode that is on.

Thinking about…. Sadie.  I had to take her to the vet this morning because she has this mystery spot on her left front leg.  She was given a shot of antibiotic and 200 bucks later I was told she would be fine in two weeks.  Why oh why must trips to the vet always be so expensive?! Oh and Europe.  But then I’m always thinking about Europe these days. #37days

Wearing…. Shorts because it’s hot as hell outside.  And I didn’t get dressed at all yesterday so I figured I should stay dressed today.

Working on…. Getting the motivation to empty the dish washer and clean the kitchen.  It’s my least favorite cleaning chore.  That and folding laundry.  Also working on some school stuff for next year.  A teachers job is never done (yes even during the summer).

Excited about….Seeing family and friends, a surprise that will be happening in July, our family reunion that I’m going to a week before Europe (I haven’t been to this particular reunion in 4 years.), and of course EUROPE! Always Europe!

Loving…. Life!  I have a pretty great one at the moment and I’m so excited for my next chapter.  🙂

So….what are you currently up to? 

Reflections of a 2nd Year Teacher

My second year of teaching ended last Thursday.  It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.  I had some really great and fantastic moments but more of my moments were stressful and frustrating. And now that the year had come to an end and I’ll be going to a new school next year.  I wanted to be sure to write down my thoughts of my second year of teaching.

Last year the one thing everyone said was, “Don’t worry, next year will be so much easier!”  And to be honest I convinced myself that it was going to be easier because I had a great first year of teaching.  I went in confident and ready to tackle the year.

I want to smack whoever it was that told me “this year would be easier.”  FALSE! It was not easier, if anything I felt like a first year teacher all over again. I was lost and unsure and constantly questioning myself.  So clearly whoever coined that phrase has never taught 8th grade at the school/district I spent my second year of teaching.

 I’ve been trying to think of one word that would wrap up the year nicely and I came up with: eye-opening.

Here are 4 reasons my second year of teaching was “eye-opening”.

1. Classroom management is probably the most important aspect of teaching.  Last year I thought I had fantastic classroom management.  I had zero issues in my classroom and everything went so smoothly.  This year I really should have stepped up my classroom management game.  8th graders need STRUCTURE.  You’ve got to tell them exactly what you expect and what you want.  If not….they will walk all over you.

2. Having a strong administration to back you up is key.  There were a few moments this year when I was really struggling that I reached out to my admin team and I didn’t feel supported.

3.  The STAAR Us History test is HARD!  This was incredibly eye-opening because I had no idea what to expect from the test itself.  So I had no idea how much time I needed to spend on each topic (which there are a ton the state wants these 8th graders to know about history).

4. 8th graders are EMOTIONAL.  And you need to be prepared to help them work through that emotion.  I had so many girls come into class in tears and so many boys come into class pissed off.  This year was eye-opening because I really learned that teachers are more than just teachers.  Sometimes your these kids counselor, mentor, mother, and confidant.

I am super proud of myself for making it through the school year.  Because honestly there were moments when I was ready to throw in the towel and quit.  But I am not a quitter and I knew there were some students who really enjoyed me and my class.  So I focused all my energy on teaching them and being there for them.

I have learned so much from this year not only about myself personally but about the teacher I want to be.  And I’m going to take part of this summer to re-work some of my lessons and especially my classroom management strategies.

First day of 2014-2015 school year picture.  
If only she had known then what I know now! LOL.

I know next year is going to be 100% different than this year.  And I am so excited about that prospect.  While this year the phrase, “Next year will be easier.” didn’t ring true, I am fairly confident that next year it will.  I do think next year will be if not easier then at least smooth and less frustrating.  I’ll be teaching the same content in a better district.

SO here’s to all that I learned as a 2nd year teacher and all that is to come as a 3rd year teacher. 🙂