Sometimes, I Eat Cake For Lunch

…and other advice you probably never asked for

Month: January, 2014


Tiring but good week. It’s been one of those weeks where everything seriously comes together and I’m proud of the planning decisions I’ve made. I seriously cannot wait to teach this stuff again next year (WHEN I WILL HAVE ALREADY PLANNED AND CREATED ONE VERSION OF IT).

My kids have been having a “difficult” week this week, so for the beginning of each class I made up a really stupid “game” to get them up on their feet, and they looooved it. Plus then they were angels for the rest of the day, it was really weird. Tomorrow is FRIDAY! 🙂



Day “Off”

Not really off, because I was at work, but my employers were kind enough to hire a sub for my class today so that I could spend the day observing other teachers and planning, yesss. In addition to this, I’ve had a good week. And when I came back to my classroom, the kids’ work was in a neat pile, COMPLETE and beautifully done (even the kids who usually don’t do work). Awesome 🙂

Garage Sale Haul 1.18.14

We weren’t out for long today, but we each got something. My mom and I each got a bottle of OPI nail polish (red for her, dark purple for me) for 50 cents each, which is a great deal for good nail polish. Dad lucked out too:

David, $5

Good Week (So Far, Knock on Wood!)

It’s been an absolutely great week back. On one hand, I created and printed sooooo much stuff out over the break, and yet it’s annoying that I still have SO MUCH to do. However, this have been going better than ever. First of all, my lessons and directions feel very solid, and I can tell because the students are doing what I’ve asked. We’re preparing for a Socratic Seminar, and they’re all pretty much taking it seriously (or, at least participating even if they don’t want to). I can tell that many of them are connecting with the text because when I told them that I wanted them to lead the annotations we were doing, they seriously ran with it. My most difficult class was very rowdy when they came in, which is usually a bad thing because I can’t control them if they’re already in that mood. But when I started leading the annotations, they completely calmed down. I figured that today would be hard (more annotations the same way) because they might be over it by now, but they got on board and had a great day. ALL OF MY CLASSES ACCOMPLISHED THE SAME AMOUNT OF THINGS, and I don’t even feel like my harder classes missed out on content, which is a GIGANTIC DEAL. I’ve had a lot of moments this week where I am so happy and content with this whole teaching thing. I’m seriously loving it right now — not just because I can something handle 30 7th graders at once, but because I could see the gears turning in their brains! They are beginning to understand what makes something historically significant!

Also, no one is complaining about homework, nor are they complaining when they get in trouble. Very strange.

One thing that’s AWESOME is that I actually have a big essential question for each week. It feels so good to have a big idea to frame a whole week’s activities around, even if just for the sake of reminding kids that everything is connected in one way or another.

On another note, I didn’t have *much* work last night, so Stephen and I went to sushi and took a spontaneous trip to the Griffith Observatory, which was obviously excellent at night. We caught (another) spontaneous showing at the planetarium (awesome, I had never been) and then took in the view and waited in line to see Jupiter on the heavy duty telescope they have. It was amazing, I could see the lines on the planet, definitely worth the wait! It was weird doing something fun at night on a school night, so my fingers are crossed that maybe this is what it will feel like to be a 2nd year teacher? 🙂

Birthday Dinner and Dessert

I had a really nice, relaxed birthday. I was productive (wooo, work!) but I also managed to convince myself to take it easy and relax, which is a success for me. 

For dinner, dad made my favorite food, moules frites, accompanied by crawfish and salt and pepper shrimp. Oh, and since we were eating Belgian food, obviously I had to have my favorite Belgian beer too!

ImageImageImageAnd the obviously choice for dessert, of course, had to be a chocolate fountain (good call, Papa Don & Grandma Judy!). Mmmmm.



ImageIt was delicious. There is still chocolate on every surface of our kitchen. Also, Andrea and Sarah baked me West Wing/Downton Abbey-themed cupcakes, mmmm.





It was a very nice birthday, and honestly, I’m happy to be 25. I feel like it’s an age that people freak out about, but I pretty much have everything that I want right now in life, and I really couldn’t be happier. Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes! 🙂 



Stephen took me to Disneyland and California Adventure on Wednesday for my birthday, and we had the best time. The weather was perfect, the crowds were low, and it took us less than an hour to get there, even with the traffic from Hollywood on the 101. He had never been to California Adventure, plus there was a whole bunch of new stuff there that I had never done. And the crowds were light enough so that we really got to do everything we wanted at both parks in one day.

IMG_1139Our first stop was Soaring over California, wheeee! Right before that, we had taken everyone’s advice (the internet’s, Ryan’s, and the lady at the information desk at the park), and headed over to pick up our Fast Passes for a new ride in Cars Land right away. Cars Land opened a year and a half ago, but it’s still so popular that when we went to pick up our Fast Passes, each Fast Pass machine had an individual castmember helping out, to speed along the process. Usually when you get  Fast Pass for a ride, it will tell you to come back about an hour later (for a shorter line). We picked up our Fast Passes for Radiator Springs Racers at 10:13AM, and we were told to come back at 5:55PM! The next time we walked by the Fast Pass machines an hour later, they were all sold out.


We had a lot of time before we needed to be back at Cars Land, so our first stop (after a peek inside the Grand Californian’s lobby), was the Grizzly River Rapids, which had a 5 minute wait time. You can’t really tell in this picture, but Stephen is soaked. Also, please note the size of this giant bear. 1) He looks pretty friendly, I wish all bears looked so friendly, and 2) Wouldn’t bears be less terrifying if they were all required to wear life vests and rafting headgear wherever they went??)

IMG_1142We eventually headed over to Disneyland, were we also had a lot of fun and rode all the big rides that were open (and some of the little rides too). I had ice cream for dinner (yessss) and Stephen had the biggest turkey leg we had ever seen.


Eventually, it was time to head over to Cars Land. I haven’t seen the movie Cars, but Cars Land was incredibly impressive. It is fair to call a land inside a theme park beautiful? Because Cars Land definitely was. The cliffs in the background were beautiful and everything inside was perfectly retro.

IMG_1149IMG_1147 IMG_1148IMG_1159 IMG_1156The moon over Cars Land.

It was a great trip, and we ended with the final Disney Railroad trip around the park for the night, mostly because I wanted to see the dinosaurs in the Primeval World section. Excellent birthday trip!



Birthday Brunch

Ryan insisted on taking me out to breakfast this morning, and it’s been 4 hours and I’m still stuffed.

He had a Groupon deal worth $60 at this place in Korea Town that neither of us had ever been to before. It had this weird vibe of being set up like a lounge, but it serves breakfast, and it had lots of espresso stuff and Nutella jars and lots of big screen TVs broadcasting generic (Korean?) images and music videos. Weird.
Let’s just say, we got our $60 worth.


Ryan and his cold brew coffee, served in a bottle.20140106-184059.jpg


My NUTTELLA LATTE. This was probably better in theory than in reality because it was too ridiculous for my drink. Still delicious though.


Brunch item #1: Honestly, this was just a sausage in a hot dog bun covered in the biggest over-easy egg EVER, but it was amazing. Have you ever wondered if hot dog buns are delicious when being soaked in egg? Because they are. Also, fries.20140106-184204.jpg

Brunch item #2: Waffle with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and carmelized bananas. Also, maple syrup. I swear this was on the brunch menu). Although, when we looked at the dessert menu to order dessert, it was also there.20140106-184214.jpg

Dessert #1: Tempura ice cream, enough said.20140106-184225.jpg

Dessert #2: Mocha crunch cheesecake. Slightly underwhelming, BUT than might have been because at this point I was stuffed and already had the flavors of Nutella/vanilla ice cream/maple syrup/carmalized bananas/eggs in my mouth.20140106-184249.jpg

At this point, we had only managed to spend $42 so Ryan made me spend the rest on MACARONS. Haven’t had one yet, I can’t imagine eating anything again, EVER, but they do look promising.


Greetings from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport! This place is very pleasant — free wifi and big open spaces with big open windows where you can see actual trees.


Obligatory airport we-have-a-while-until-boarding Starbucks. Guess who’s is who’s?


Our first flight together. I already love being in airports anyway, but this is infinitely better.

Seattle Zoo

Today we went to the zoo in Seattle because Stephen’s sister Erin has a pass, and it was a great zoo. It’s really big with a lot of stuff, plus it was freezing and raining and not crowded, which made it a perfect zoo day. Also, there were lots of baby animals!


There was also a (large) giraffe calf whom we caught a glimpse of, but she stayed mostly in the barn so I couldn’t get a picture.ImageImage

Komodo Dragon! Look how silly he looks while he sleeps. Also: baby komodo dragons!!Image

Baby leopards!!!


Us in one of the aviaries.


Large lion cub who was *very* fixated on one of the little boys near the window. Mmmmmm.Image

Seattle Fun

Seattle and Redmond have been really great and relaxing so far, filled with lots of opportunities to to wear my many scarves and many trips to nearby used bookstores (use bookstore count so far: 5). Yesterday Stephen and I went to Pike Place Market, which was nice because over the summer we only did a quick (and very hot and sweaty) walk-through. So even though it was still crowded yesterday, it was altogether a more charming experience.

IMG_1029 IMG_1032 IMG_1056


We also walked over to a place recommended by Yelp called Moore’s Cafe which was amazing. From here on out, my New Year’s Resolution is to never drink coffee again that does not have latte art.

IMG_1051Also, today (at one of the 5 used bookstores), I picked up my first ever Dear Canada book. I don’t *actually* collect them, but it felt so surreal to actually hold one in my hand for the first time in my life, I just couldn’t put it back on the shelf. So far, the Pacific Northwest gets a big Dear America stamp of approval from me: 4/5 of the bookstores we had visited either 1) had a large collection of Dear America books (that I already owned, but some are better than none) OR 2) Definitely knew what they were even though they were sold out. These things give me hope.