Sunday, September 29, 2013

{Sunday Social}

Happy last Sunday of September! Seriously, where is 2013 going?

This week's questions are all about jobs!

1. What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be a PRINCESS! Haha no, just kidding. My dream job would be to become a chairperson of the foreign language department in the school district where I work one day. I am in a stepping stone to that now by being a Spanish teacher, which is my other dream job. :)

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time?
Well, after paying off all my student loan debt, I would go travel! I would love to go to a bunch of countries in Europe (France, Italy, Greece, Spain again, etc) and also places that are tropical. 

3. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
My degree is in Adolescence Education 7-12 Spanish with a Middle Childhood Extension grades 5-6 so I work with kids all day at school! I would have to say, you have to love kids/working with kids in order to be a teacher. Your heart has to be in it! If you're just there because you have summers off, that's so wrong. As much as the kids can drive you crazy, they're yours for a year and it's rewarding to see them grow as learners & individuals. 

4. What would be your ideal "just for fun" job?
Working at Disney World! Come on, it's the happiest place on Earth!

5. What was your first "real" job?
Using my degree? Probably what I am doing now, being the TA in the Spanish & French classes at the school where I work as I search for a perfect teaching job. Before that, I worked at Rite Aid at the end of high school, was a work study student in the Elementary Education Advising office all throughout college, waitress out in the Hamptons and now I work at CPK. I was also a camp counselor one summer.

Link up with Ashley & Neely today!  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

teacher talk: outfits!

Welcome back to another rendition of the Teacher Talk link up with the lovely Nicole & Jamie!

So, when I saw that teacher outfits was the topic for this month's link up, I had the brilliant idea to take pictures of my outfit in the morning (ya know, before I looked like I wanted to pull my hair out of my head at 2:10pm). And that NEVER NEVER NEVER happened. Because I am A) NOT a morning person and B) I can't seem to take a decent picture of myself as a "selfie" with my iphone or my regular camera. EPIC fail.

But, just like Nicole said in her post, I work at at school that is somewhat pretty relaxed when it comes to the dress code. I wore jeans last Friday (hey, it was the day after open house! I think the entire 7 & 8th grade staff members were in jeans) and could wear them in the middle of the week if I wanted to.

I do try to look professional. Sometimes I will allow myself to dress in jeans (like last Friday and I will this Friday since I have to help with PBIS the first two periods) and other days, its a skirt/dress/dress pants combo. The good majority of my clothes I wear to work have come from NY & CO (the store & outlet), Kohls, Ann Taylor, The Loft, etc. A few pieces from J.Crew are slowly inching their way in.

My style for school is essentially professional with comfort. I cannot teach in heels. I do NOT find them comfortable and I think trying to navigate the hallways during passing time would end up with me face first in the ground. I wear flats.

This is pretty much my kind of style for school:
I have worn something like this.

I just wouldn't wear the belt like that...I am a little self-conscious.

I would wear this on a casual day. :) Except I don't have any accent necklaces like that.

Still casual yet professional! And no, I would not wear heels. I would rock flats with this outfit.

I have worn something like this (even to an interview) but instead of the jacket at school, it would be a caridgan sweater. Sometimes one room is hot and another is not. 

I do need to try on more dress pants and either have them altered in the waist and have them hemmed or just buy new ones. All of my pants after awhile sag in my butt area and then they are also too long! 

I am excited to see how other teacher blogger dress. I really like to be comfortable yet professional. Sometimes I go straight to my tutoring job so I still feel professional if I am in slacks and a shirt. Today, it was khacki dress pants, a white cami and a coral shirt over it from Kohl's. For the win since one of my students told me she loved my shirt.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

{Sunday Social}

How is it Sunday already again?! I swear sometimes the weeks drag on and my weekend days fly by. I am back linking up with Ashley & Neely for Sunday Social. I absolutely love this week's questions!

1. What is your favorite handbag you have ever owned?
Oh goodness..handbags are like my THING! Some girls love shoe shopping. I love purse shopping!! I have a few favorites:

My MK bag my brother Brian gave me for Christmas 2011:

and the Coach bag my brother Eric gave me last year for Christmas! I can't find a picture of it but I do love my purses.

2. What is your dream bag you lust over?
I would LOVE to have a LV bag!

3. What are the daily essentials in your purse or work bag?
In my work bag for school, the daily essentials would be gum, a water bottle, pens & pencils, a pad of hall passes for the kids, the folders I have for each class, my wallet, my planner and my phone for entertainment on my off periods.

In my purse, see below!

4. What's in your purse?
I am using the MK tote I have above and the following is in it (after I cleaned out most of the junk!)
My camera, a VB coin purse, my apron for work with a bunch of pens in it, my car keys, my house keys (not pictured), my iPod, my book for work for when I am serving & takeout, hand lotion, my MK wallet and my glasses cases.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Busy as a bee!

I feel like all my blog posts have been lately are link ups. Well, that's fine and dandy because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want!

However, now we are into the second full week of school and settling into routines. I went back on September 3rd. I am back working as a TA where I was last year only this time, I am in BOTH Spanish & French classes! Talk about confusing, haha. My schedule is something along the lines of this:

Period 1 A Days - French B
Period 1 B Days - Spanish B
Period 2 - Off
Period 3 - Spanish B
Period 4 - Off
Period 5 A Days - French A
Period 5 B Days - Spanish A
Period 6 - Off/lunch
Period 7 - Spanish A
Period 8 A Days - French A
Period 8 B Days - Spanish A
Period 9 A Days - French A
Period 9 B Days - Spanish A

Confusing, much?!  They have a lot of kids this year with needs in French so since it was my minor, I am in those classes as well. It's great because as the kids are learning, I am relearning as well! They did have a job posting for a French TA so hopefully there'll be one soon.

Its going to be a challenging year between remembering what day it is and what class I am in with which teacher. I work with 5 different teachers! I also have some students who have a lot of needs so reading all the IEPs has been daunting. And I don't just read them to find their testing mods. I literally read all 8-11 pages of them.

I am still on the job hunt for my own teaching job/classroom. I applied to a bunch over the summer but NOTHING is more frustrating then applying, writing a cover letter, and not even hearing from them. At least getting the acknowledgement email from some districts that they got my resume is better because then I know it's not lost somewhere in the online system. It's a really hard job market where I live for teachers and I am doing my best to not give up. I am starting to read more into the requirements out of state. Anyone from Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia or South Carolina have any suggestions? I really have nothing tying me to New York so Lily, the pup, can come with me wherever I move. I am turning 27 in 2 months and I thought by that age, I would have my life in order (a job, a house, engaged or married). I am sort of there with the job but want a more permanent one.

Tomorrow is open school night. It's the first time I get to experience it! I am not sure what the parents are going to think of a TA in the room (I didn't go last year because I started in the beginning of October) but we shall see!

And just for fun, here's a picture of my adorable Lily. I tired her out by taking her on a long walk after I got home from school the other day on my night off!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{A memory you'd love to relive}

Another day of blogtember! A memory you'd love to relive.

Hands down, studying abroad is definitely a memory I would love to relive. I majored in Spanish in college and I always knew I was going to study abroad from the time I was in 8th grade. I bet many of my 8th graders right now don't know what they want to do when they get to college but I did when I was there age. I just wasn't sure if it was going to be a summer program, a semester program, or a year program.

I originally wanted to just go for a summer and apparently the summer program was 6 weeks. After much talking to one of my college professors for three classes and my advisor at the time, I decided to go for an entire semester. I decided to go to Seville, Spain which is in the southern region of Spain. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! 

Regardless of coming home almost dirt broke and traveling 18 hours to get back to NY, and the entire week I cried myself to sleep because I was homesick, I don't regret a single thing. I got over the homesickness eventually once I settled into a routine but it was scary at first because it was the first time I went abroad and even though I was with girls I knew from school (and eventually friends with the rest of my program mates). I went from January-the middle of May 2008 (my spring semester my junior year of college).

There were experiences I will never forget. Like being able to go to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Or eating pancakes the size of my head in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank House

 At the I am amsterdam sign

Or seeing the changing of the guards in London when my mom came to visit me and we went there.

Or going to the beautiful country of Ireland, where some of my ancestors are from, and exploring the city.

I loved exploring Marbella in the end of January. I was swimming in a pool while everyone was at home in snow!

Exploring the beautiful city of Cadiz on one of our group trips!

Me, Allie, Jessie, Jessie G, Sam, Milena, Stacy

Our entire group!

I also loved exploring Barcelona
Gaudi Museum

outside La Sagrada Familia

I would go back to this experience in a heartbeat. I don't regret a cent I earned. I still have my wine bottle with the cathedral in Sevilla etched on it on my bookcase. This city and experience always will hold a special place in my heart. I would relive it and go on more trips!! I want to explore more cities in Spain and go to France & Italy. I will get back to Europe some day!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

{Sunday Social}

Back at it for another rendition of Sunday Social with the lovely Ashley & Neely. I feel like all I have done on my blog lately is do link up posts instead of actual "blogging". But, then again, this is my blog and I can do whatever I please! Haha. I do need to write a catch up post on life and talk about the first full week of school.

For now, it's Sunday Social! This week's questions were all about introducing your blog.

1. What is the name of your blog?
My blog's name is "Live, Laugh, Love." I actually was kind of stuck when it came to choosing a blog name and then I thought of this. To some, it may sound cliche but to me, it's my life's motto. You gotta live, laugh, and love your life so that's where it came about. Sometimes I think I want to change the blog name but for now, that's what it is.

2. What do you love most about blogging?
I would have to say the ability to connect with people on different levels about different things in life. Whether it is about the stage of your relationship (single, engaged, married) or you're having a baby or you're a teacher, it's nice to be able to "talk" and develop friendships with fellow bloggers. One of these days I would love to go to a blogger meet up!

3. Why did you start blogging?
I actually started reading blogs about 3 years ago when I had surgery to remove a 9cm tumor and had to stay home from work/school for a week. I don't know what was the first blog that I stumbled upon but I remember reading several and then decided to start my blog. I figured it would be a good way to connect with others and just a nice outlet to have.

4. What is something  you'd want to tell someone who is just starting out in the blogging world?
I would tell them that don't worry about how many blog followers you have, how many comments you get, or sponsorship. BLOG FOR YOU AND WRITE ABOUT WHATEVER YOU WANT!! No one will judge you (and if they do, shame on them!) if you write two posts a week or two posts a day. Blog about what you want and when you want. It's for   you!

5. Biggest blogging experience you've had?
Not everyone might be who them appear to be on their blog. Some people come off as snobs and others are  absolute sweethearts!

6. What are three blogs you love?
Jamie @ Southern Simplicity (She's a newlywed bride, first year 3rd grade teacher and I just love that she is from my favorite state, Georgia!)
Nicole @ Bloom (Her deep faith just astounds me and I am in awe. Her posts give me inspiration)
Tyler @ Arkansassy (She is a lawyer who cracks me up!)

Go visit their blogs to see why I love reading them!! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

{Blogtember - ENFJ}

So I back at it with Blogtember for today's post about personalities! I have taken numerous personality tests over the years for fun and such, but I have never taken this particular one before. I thought some of the questions were weird and could have been worded differently. But my results came back as ENFJ.

(For some reason I can't figure out how to get the picture here so I am just going to retype the results)
Extravert (44%), iNtuitive (56%), Feeling (38%), Judging (39%)
-You have moderate preference of Extraversion over Introversion (44%)
-You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (56%)
-You have moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (38%)
-You have moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (39%).

ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

Some famous people who are ENFJ personalities include Barack Obama, Ronald Regan, Sean Connery, Diane Sawyer (how cool!), Oprah Winfrey, Bob Saget (really?!),  Lauren Graham, and Ben Affleck just to name a few. 

I found this interesting because this was NOT what I was expecting.

Friday, September 6, 2013

{Blogtember - Days 3 & 4}

Day 3: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

Growing up, my mother always encouraged my brother and I to try new things. Whether it would be a sport or a club at school. She wanted us to be well-rounded individuals and involved in a lot. She shuffled us from religion, to soccer, to basketball, to baseball, to dance, to events with friends. All while encouraging us to never, ever let people tell you that you can't do something. She told us it's okay to think outside the box and be different. I have always taken that advice to heart and used it to shape who I am today. I remember I wanted to be a pediatrician and then my guidance counselor told me I was too stupid. Luckily, I fell in love with languages and wanted to become a Spanish teacher. I felt at times in college that I was never going to get there. I jumped through so many "hoops" such as the education department's lack of structure and not being able to pass the stupid departmental assessment test. I at one point had just wanted to throw in the towel and give up. But my mom's piece of advice stuck out in the back of my mind and I wanted to prove everyone who told me I couldn't or wouldn't make it that I would. Here we are, four years after I graduated college with two Master's Degrees.

No matter the hurdles you may have to come, do what is in your heart. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something.

Day 4: A story about a time you were very afraid.

Five years ago, I had worked all day at my job serving out in the Hamptons on Long Island. I was coming home (it was a Sunday) and it was raining, so I was taking my time going slow. Plus, when it rains, everyone forgets how to drive on Long Island. When I got home, when it came time for dinner, we ended up ordering pizzas and I went into town to pick them up. Before I went into the pizza place,  I went into the grocery store next door to get some soda. When I came out, I had heard someone say "Get him! Get him!" and my first instinct was, someone had kidnapped a kid.

Turns out, someone had hit a bunch of cars and had taken off. Someone wrote down all the license plates of the cars that were hit and went into Stop & Shop to have the owners paged. As I was looking at the list (someone handed it to me and I brought it in), I realized MY CAR was one that was hit. I of course called my mom up, afraid of her reaction and also wanting to cry. The person that hit the cars was 93 and had a brain aneurysm that burst so he had no idea what he had done. He hit a car, hit the shopping cart holder that folded up and hit another car, turned around, hit a Ford explorer that went FLYING into my car and then took off. The cops wanted the Ford Explorer and myself to drive our cars apart. I looked at the lady and said I was NOT getting into that car until it was fixed. Was she crazy?!!! We ended up having to have a rental car for 3 weeks (which my mom drove and I had her car) while mine got fixed. It had to get a whole new back passenger door, new trunk, etc. All in all, over $5000 worth of damage.

I was so afraid to drive for awhile after that but I knew I had to overcome the fear.  Thankfully, nothing too traumautizing has happened since!

Link up with Story of my Life for more Blogtember posts!

{Five on Friday}

Happy weekend everyone! I am enjoying my day off from school due to the Jewish holiday. Most schools are starting on Monday but we started on Tuesday. Silly, if you ask me. Anyways, I am linking up again with A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness and The Good Life Blog for another rendition of 5 on Friday.

School started again on Tuesday and it is somewhat nice to be back into a routine. Although, 5am is such an AWFUL wakeup time but necessary because I stay in bed trying to wake up until almost 5:30. I've started taking my showers at night again to help with sleeping in. My schedule is not too bad...I have 8 classes between my 6 scheduled periods: So it looks something like this
Period 1 - A Days~ French B/B Days ~ Spanish B
Period 2 - Off
Period 3 - Spanish B
Period 4 - Off
Period 5 - A Days ~ French A/B Days ~ Spanish A
Period 6 - Off
Period 7 - Spanish A
Period 8 - French A
Period 9 - French A

Even though my dominant language is Spanish, my minor was French so my boss decided to utilize me to her best advantage and put be as the TA for both languages. After all, why hire another person when one person can do two jobs?! :) And I got my contract to sign...only they spelled my name wrong (my first, not my last) so I have to email them to correct that. And apparently its mine until 2016 if I want. That's nice to know so at least I can continue to search.

I got a desperately need manicure the other day and love the color I chose! I didn't even know it was from Essie's fall 2013 collection but it's called After School Boy Blazer. I love it and will need to buy the bottle. I managed to also buy this when I was at Target which is part of the collection, Vested Interest.

After School Boy Blazer

Vested Interest

Lily, my puppy, uses our coffee table in the family room like it's a slide on a playground. She jumps up there (on top of the newspapers) and tries to chew whatever she can. It's funny but such BAD behavior. She is signed up for puppy kindergarten that starts in a few weeks so hopefully she comes out trained and not failing. I never realized how much WORK a puppy really is since my last two dogs basically came trained!

Pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks! I love this drink! Although I hate it signifies summer is over.

Is it sad that I am excited Snooki is on Dancing With the Stars the next season? Probably. But she's the 2nd Jersey Shore cast member (after Mike) to go on and I will be watching! She was after all my favorite person on the show


Thursday, September 5, 2013

{Blogtember Challenge - Days 1 &2)

So I saw a few of my fellow bloggers/the blogs I follow participating in this challenge for blogging this month. I thought this was something different I wanted to try because I really liked the topics for each day! So, I am a little late getting in on the bandwagon on this so I will be combining Tuesday & Wednesday's posts today and then today's & tomorrow's together. Then I should be good!

Day 1: Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make you who you are.

Wow. What a loaded question/statement!

I was born on November 18, 1986. I was the 5th baby and finally, my mom's first girl! I was also a welcomed surprise because my father unfortunately died before I was born and even before my mother knew she was expecting me. Many people told her she should not have had me because she was going to be a single mother and she already had her hands full with my handicapped brother. My mom is a strong-willed lady and she refused to listen to them. And she chose to name me Kristin Elizabeth, because Kristin was the name my dad always wanted for a little girl. Thank god she did not name me MaryLou like she wanted me to. I loved my name growing up because I was the only Kristin in my graduating class!

 You can see my obsession with Disney started young!

I grew up in a relatively small town. We had three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. My graduating class was about 250+, small compared to some other districts near us! I grew up in Sayville, which was dubbed as "America's friendliest town." My friends and I growing up always joked it should be called "The town that know's everyone else's business." I liked living in a small town and my small circle of friends. I didn't run with the "popular" crowd in high school but my circle of friends and I had a lot of fun. Plus, I loved my teachers in school. The district I went to is known to be one of the best districts and the effort the teachers put in is truly seen. My middle school foreign language teacher, Mrs.Reith, is the reason I became a teacher. Without her and the influence from all my other teachers, I wouldn't be where I am today.

My family, no matter how much we fight, is always there for each other. I have four older brothers and let me just say, if I ever had someone break my heart, they would probably be waiting outside their house ready to rough them up. 

There is no one I probably admire more than my mother. She raised five kids on her own and while times were tough, she did her best to make sure we had the best childhood and memories. She always feels she was dealt a crappy hand in life by having to raise us on her own (not by choice) but she has shown me what it takes to truly be a mother. She is so selfless and always thinks of herself last. I hope one day I can be half as good of a mother as she is to my children in a town like where I grew up.

Day 2: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

Hands down go back to Europe. I was so scared the first week I was in Spain because it was the first time I had flown out of the country but honestly, I don't regret anything that happened in Spain while I was abroad. I would want to go visit more countries....Italy, France, Greece.
Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Isle of Crete, that's breathtaking! 

Link up here

Sunday, September 1, 2013

{Sunday Social}

I am linking up again with Ashley & Neely for another week of Sunday Social. Hard to believe this is the last Sunday of Summer 2013 and school starts on Tuesday. Thank goodness we have a four day weekend due to the Jewish Holidays.

1. What was your favorite trip/vacation/activity this summer?
That's a tough one! I would say being a bridesmaid in my cousin Lisa's wedding on the 4th of July and the Philadelphia trip to see Taylor Swift with Shannon & Meghan!

VIP wristbands..oh yeah!

And of course, getting my adorable puppy  Lily! I got her two days after school was out and she has been a handful but I do enjoy coming home to a house with a dog after being without my sweet Shadow who I had to put down.

2. What was your favorite outfit/look of the summer?
Anything mint green!! I loved this color this summer.
3. What is one thing you wish you had gotten to do this summer?
You're all going to think I am nuts when I say this since I live so close to the water but GO TO THE BEACH!!! I did not go to the beach at ALL this summer!! Granted, we had a heat wave for a week and a half, where it was so hot you did NOT want to go outside.  I was a crazy person and worked so much. Plus, on half of my days off when I WANTED to go to the beach, it was either raining or crappy out!! This concludes (to me) it is time to start planning a tropical vacation haha.

4. What was your favorite song of the summer?
"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. Miley Cyrus' horrific performance in singing that last Sunday at the VMA's doesn't ruin it (although I am still traumatized by her performance). And why am I just learning now that he is the son of Alan Thicke from "Growing Pains."

5. What was your favorite movie/TV show of the summer?
I don't think I went to too many movies this summer because only a few interested me but DEFINITELY "We're the Millers." I have not laughed that hard in so long. Plus, Jennifer Aniston is my girl crush so I was thrilled. I can't wait for that movie to come out on DVD because I am definitely buying it.