Sunday, August 31, 2014

{Sunday Social}

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!! I am spending it....laboring aka working! I did have Friday off and did a little back to school clothes shopping for me. My mother tells me "No one in that school has seen your wardrobe before" but I couldn't pass up the sales at the outlets. 

Also, how is it LABOR DAY weekend already?! Feels like it was just snowing!

Linking up with Neely & Ashley for Sunday Social!

{1} What is the one thing you hate doing?
I would say that it would be getting up out of bed. I am more of a night owl then an early bird (beats me why I picked a profession where I have to get up at 5:30am!) so when I have to get up early, it's not pretty. So it's either that or cleaning a bathroom. Ha!

{2} What is one thing you hate shopping for?
Can't it be two? LOL. I think the hardest thing I hate shopping for is pants. If they fit perfectly in the waist, they are too long or vice versa. If I find a pair that fits perfectly, I want to buy them in every day. I also despise shopping for shoes. 

{3} What is one thing you love doing?
Traveling!! I still say my study abroad experience 6 years ago was the BEST thing I ever did! I flew into Granada (spent 2.5 days there), spent 2.5 days in Marbella, went to Cadiz, went to Barcelona, lived in Sevilla. I also visited Ireland, Amsterdam and England. And I went on a cruise. I love to travel. I am itching to go to Italy, France, Greece and Hawaii!

{4} What is one place you love going?
Target! Seriously, it was a bad idea that they built one 5 minutes from my house. 

{5} What is your favorite thing to do that you do daily?
Walk my dog, Lily. It makes me exercise and it allows me to think/clear my head while listening to music or just enjoying the nice weather. I'll miss it when it's like 5 degrees outside!!


Back to School!

On Thursday, I had my new teacher orientation for my new school district. I was excited to see who else was working in the district and meet the other newbies in my building. I'm in the middle school so there's a new Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, myself, a new P/T Speech Pathologist and a new Teaching Assistant who was there last year as a Social Studies leave.

They gave us breakfast, took us on a bus tour of the community and we stopped at Cablevision, which is the largest employer on Long Island. They took our picture there and gave us free tote bags. Went back to school and got our ID pictures taken (the superintendent made me go first! Ha! It didn't come out bad). Afterwards, we had lunch which was done by the teachers union. And then proceeded to fill out the motherload of paperwork. I am talking each new teacher got a 5 Start expandable portfolio with all the papers. I just felt like my head was swimming as I was doing this and felt overloaded with information. 

The bright side while filling out all these papers is that we were informed we get free dental & free vision plans! It's separate from the medical, which we pay for, but it's something they worked out with the district. I say that is pretty awesome!

After that meeting, we had to go meet with our principal at the middle school. Oh, might I say that they are REPAVING the road IN FRONT OF the school and it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get to?!?!?!?! I literally parked two blocks away and walked (and by walked, I mean I ran across the street when the construction people weren't looking because I had to get there). 

At the meeting with the principal, we all got handed binders with the teacher handbook. I didn't realize it would be that huge! I started reading through it and then decided to read more of it at home. My new principal (and the brand new assistant principal who seems really nice) told us we do not have to hand in lesson plans...which can be a good thing and a bad thing. He was super impressed with my lesson at the demo so I want to make sure I maintain that. I get observed 4 times during the year (1 announced and 3 unannounced) and he gave us the charts that they use to evaluate us. I like that because then you're not left in the dark. 

Just talking about the pre-assessments we have to give the kids the second week of school makes me want to vomit a little. I feel lost there because I haven't met any of the other teachers in my department yet (I will on Tuesday) and I don't know if we all have to make our own tests or we use the same one throughout the department. That's how they did it in my last school. I have a list of questions to ask at our department meeting on Tuesday and I am praying that they give me a mentor teacher or something to help me. I see my 6th graders every other day so I don't even see my French kids until Thursday! So I am not so worried about that but in reality I am, you know? I just don't want to mess up, after thinking I would NEVER get a job in a Long Island school district. At the new teacher orientation, every department head/person kept mentioning it was a great place to work and everyone is extremely collaborative so I am hoping they will be like that when I meet them on Tuesday.

Despite feeling like I have no idea what I am doing, I am excited for the school year to start. All of my co-workers from my last school, including my chairperson, said to let them know if I need anything and they will help me. I have a feeling I will be okay (and if not, that's what a glass or two of wine is for at night!) and slowly, but surely, will feel more confident in myself. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Oy with the poodles already!

I just finished watching all the seasons of Gilmore Girls again this week. I had been watching them for about the past month (thank goodness I own all of them). I was sad because I miss that show being on the air! It was so good and completely robbed of more seasons....not cool that the original writers up and left in a huff over money. Shame because that is generally what happens on TV shows. 

Season 7's series ending just reminded me how much I liked Luke & Lorelai together and that I feel like the "ending" we got wasn't good enough. Viewers were definitely robbed. I was also reminded of how much I wished Lorelai Gilmore was my mother (don't we all) and how I relate to Rory in some aspects.

Just for fun, these are some of my favorite moments from Gilmore Girls:

I would never ever be able to quit drinking coffee. #Forrealz

Fun fact: When they were filming Gilmore Girls, all the "coffee" that Alexis Bledel drank was soda. She hates coffee! Irony.

So true! I feel that way every day of my life. Now why did I choose a job that starts super early?!

I mutter this to myself whenever anyone asks me REALLY dumb questions. 

I crack up at this always. Mainly because the actual Bette Midler song makes me cry. 


True life: I would rather eat junk food then work out. #thestruggleisreal

Again,I haven't been to the gym in a year. So hard for me to go! LOL

I can so relate to this. I say this after a really crappy day.

This is so me when someone asks me a stupid question. I understand if you don't "get" something but asking me if Big Bird is yellow when he CLEARLY is is just dumb.

Wise words of Emily Gilmore.

I could go on and on with more but I will stop now. 

I've gotta go do more important give my stinky dog Lily a bath before work. Fun times.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Reality is sinking in...

Where has summer gone? Two weeks from yesterday is the first day of school! A week from today is my new teacher orientation! Yikes. Why is it so late? I know they have the 6th grade orientation on the 26th and then the 9th grade orientation the 27th but I just feel super unprepared! I still don't have access to class rosters or my school email which will hopefully all be rectified within the next week.

The bright side of things is I got my official letter from the superintendent yesterday that I was Board of Ed approved at their August 12th meeting. I had thought it happened at the end of July but whatever. I have the job for the next three years so GO ME!! I am hoping that as time goes on, it will got from a .4 to full time and I can get rid of being a TA but I am quite content that I actually get to teach now....despite the fact that I feel so overwhelmed and have no idea what I am doing.

Today is one of my best friend's from college, Shannon's, birthday. Olivia came down yesterday and the three of us ventured out to the wineries on the East end of Long Island. Seriously, the wineries and the beaches are two of the things I love about LI (I hate the amount of snow we get!). I would love to go to more wineries next time but we went to Martha Clara's, Macari and Pindar. Had a bottle of wine at each and just chatted. It was a GORGEOUS day out so it was perfect and what we all needed!

 Macari Vineyards

 Playing in the sunflowers at Martha Clara's (this is my mom's favorite wine/winery)

Tried this for the first time and loved it!! I am so much more a white wine drinker (or a sweet wine) than reds.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

{Sunday Social}

Link up with Ashley & Neely for another round of Sunday Social! 

{1} What is one item you wish you could splurge on right now?
Honestly, I really want to eventually have a LV bag. I am such a purse person (I have so many I get purse ADD and change them like I did today). I just need to pay off more of my student loans.

This one would be nice!

{2} If you had an entire weekend of no plans what would you do?
Oh I would be a TOTAL bum. I would stay in bed in my pajamas all weekend and watch tv/movies and drink wine. 

{3} What is the next place you're visiting outside of your current city?
I am hoping to go back to Orlando in December/January to go visit my best friend April and go to Disney together.

{4} Are you a neat freak or a clutterbug?
I like to think I am somewhere in the middle. I don't need things OVERLY neat but I do like it to be tidy. However, there are times when my room is clean and then I just throw stuff on the floor because Im so busy/tired to put it away.

{5} What is your favorite summer purchase?
Probably my zip around Coach wristlet that has a pocket/space for my iPhone 5s in its lifeproof case! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Life lately

How many of y'all feel like you've been in somewhat of a blog funk? I sometimes wonder "How do people FIND something to blog about EVERY SINGLE DAY?!" Seriously, kudos to you if you can do that because I cannot do that. Sometimes I am just like "Oh yeah, I have a blog." Let me just say, life lately has been happening.

Last week on one of my two days off, I was out to lunch with my friend Allison. We were at the Cheesecake Factory (and I still haven't used that $50 giftcard my boss Daimys gave me!) and my cousin Karen asked me to call her. I thought that was odd because we rarely talk. Turns out her mother, my Aunt Dot (my mom's only sister) was in the ICU at Lehigh Valley Hospital in PA because they think she had another stroke. She had one in April right before Easter so it was kind of concerning. She was on a ventilator and had a brain bleed. My mom was super upset because the week before she didn't go to see her sister like she had wanted to on her week's vacation (she was just starting her cardiac rehab). She went up Friday and came home Saturday. Slowly, but surely, my Aunt Dot is making improvements. She can move all 4 limbs so she is not paralyzed but she still has a long road ahead. Please keep her in your thoughts/prayers!

I have my new teacher orientation in my new district on August 28th! Kind of late but I am super excited. I was finally able to get in contact with my old chairperson this past Monday to tell her I wasn't coming back as a TA (even though if I had of gone back I would not have been in the language classroom). She was sad but definitely excited for me. As I am waiting for the orientation, I am trying to figure out the first few weeks of planning and cannot get ANY information on the district website. This is kind of frustrating. I know the first day is all "This is the class, these are the rules, etc" type so I am trying to come up with my own course outline, but leery incase they all have to be the same. I did get my Erin Condren teacher planner in the mail yesterday! It was cute a happy mail day! I know some people are like of shocked at the price of her planners/items, but I like them. For me, I will only have to be planning two classes so we shall see how it works. This is the one I got but with my name on it. 

I also went on Amazon and ordered a bunch of books. They have some activities that I can scan and make copies of. Or they have different techniques I can use in the classroom. I did a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime and got them Friday after ordering them Wednesday. I was impressed and may keep the Prime membership. Anyone have it and think its worth it?

I feel like I just got out of school and in a few weeks I will be back! This summer feels like it never happened and now it's cool out. I hope this is not a premonition to how bad of a winter we are going to have. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

{Sunday Social}

Summer is slowly but surely slipping away and school will be starting back up again soon. AHHH!!! But for now, I am linking up with Ashley & Neely for Sunday Social! 

1. One Show you would love to see on Netflix that isn't there:
Oh boy...I don't know how I feel about admitting this but 7th Heaven. I was addicted to that show when I was growing up and wanted to watch it recently. I don't think my library has the DVDs. Or Everwood!

2. One song you wish they would play more on the radio?
Anything by Luke Bryan!! I swear, I can go to three of the presets in my car at any time and find the same song playing. #annoying.

3. Your favorite song to sing loudly in a car?
There are so many!! My favorites would definitely be "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men and "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley

4. What movie/TV show do you quote the most?
TV show: FRIENDS or Gilmore Girls. I know more of those quotes than Grey's (which is another fav show of mine).

Movie: Mean Girls or Bridesmaids!!

5. One silly thing you do daily:
Hmm....probably hold my dog Lily like a baby. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

A refresher or reintroduction...Whatevs you want to call it

I have always been a reader of Natasha's Hello Happiness Blog. I totally envy her style by the way. She did a refresher post on herself for any newbies that were following her blog or just people who might not know some things about her. I thought it would be a good idea to do the same so thanks Natasha for the inspiration!

Name: Kristin. It is my BIGGEST pet peeve when people spell it KRIS-TEN. To me, there is a difference between KRISTEN and KRISTIN. One refers to a number and one refers to a container. I also loved my name growing up because I was the only Kristin in my graduating class from high school (there were 252 of us!). I'm 5'8" (although apparently I shrank recently) and I am 27...slowly approaching 30 which makes me sad because I am nowhere near where I thought I would be at this age!! HAHA!
Teacher:  I have known since I was in 7th grade that I wanted to be a Spanish teacher. I was probably one of the few people in my circle of friends that did not ever change her major in college (long story short - I had to drop my education concentration the month before graduation because of stupid crap but got my education degree in grad school). I have worked the past two years as a teaching assistant and I am super sad I will not be with my fellow co-teachers this year but it's for a good reason....I was offered a teaching position for 6th grade Spanish/French and 7th grade Spanish! To make up the rest of my schedule as full time I will also be a TA at that school but here's to finally getting my foot in the door. I have my new teacher orientation on August 28th and let's just say I feel so overwhelmed with what I have to do this year but ready for the challenge!
Family Info: I am the youngest of five kids and have four older brothers. Yep, I was spoiled rotten. My oldest brother Scott is handicapped and my mom raised us all on her own because my dad died before I was born. She is one of the strongest women I know. My brother Mark is a 5th grade teacher and his wife Laurie is a high school English teacher. My brother Eric does stuff with basketball and my brother Brian is an account executive for a PR firm and we also work together at CPK. (Gotta pay off those loans somehow!)

I am also the proud aunt to three munchkins, Sara Elizabeth, Steven Louis and Emma Grace!

Favorite hobbies: Blogging, reading, traveling, the beach (I grew up by the water), spending time with my friends and my family, wine drinking (hello I need a summer trip to the vineyards stat!), learning a new language (trying to learn Italian)

Five things I can't live without:
1 - Coffee....I had the brilliant idea that I should give it up for Lent this past year. Yeah, that lasted for about 5 minutes. I am SUPER cranky without my cup of coffee (or six cups) in a day.
2 - My often as they can drive me nuts, they are very supportive.
3 - Friends...cliche maybe but there's nothing like a good vent session at 10pm with your coworker who is in Aruba with her family and will listen to you no matter what. I have some of the most wonderful friends! <3
4 - My iPhone. It's like glued to my hand.
5 - My Erin Condren planner...HELLO organization! I just got notification that my lesson planner shipped yesterday so I am super excited.

Favorite Family Fun Activities:
Since my brothers and I are all older, we do not take many, if any, family vacations. Everyone's schedules just don't coordinate. I went to Disney with my brother and his family in August 2011 and would love to go with them again next year! I just like traveling and exploring new places.

Go-to outfit: I have to dress professionally during the school year but my go-to outfit when I am at home after school or before I work at CPK is sweats and a t-shirt. I am a girl of comfort!

Biggest pet peeves: People who ride up your butt in traffic, people who don't know how to tip, dirty clothes on the bathroom floor. no creamer for my coffee (I can't drink milk in it)

Typical day: When it's a school day, it's wake up to my multiple alarms (I set about 6 on my iPhone and my regular alarm clock). I do that to give myself time to lounge in bed before I really have to get up. I shower at night so I have more time to sleep in the morning. I get dressed, go let my Lily (my dog) outside, make lunch, make my coffee and go to school. After school it's usually walking Lily and playing with her before I go to work at the restaurant. When I come home, I shower, eat dinner and go to bed. Fun stuff!

Favorite Go-To Beauty Products:
I am the type of girl that likes to be a minimalist when it comes to makeup but still have a ton of it! Ha! I like my Naked pallettes, Neutrogena eyeliner and neutrogena pressed powder.

Favorite Music/Bands/Singers: Luke Bryan (I am so excited I get to see him in concert on September 12th!!!). Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Goo Goo Dolls, Britney's pretty mixed.

My top 10 movies: Now & Then, Bridesmaids, The Good Girl, The Notebook, Forrest Gump, The Blind Side, Mean Girls, Bad Teacher, Frozen, Father of the Bride

Favorite food to make: Chicken veggie stuffing casserole, tacos, shredded buffalo chicken....I am slowly learning to cook so I am always looking for interesting new easy recipes!

Top 10 reads: Oh boy. Anything by Jodi Picoult or Emily Giffin. I am also currently reading "Is Heaven for Real?"

Other Q&A:
What you wanted to be when growing up: First a ballerina. Then a pediatrician (my 6th grade guidance counselor told me I was too stupid to be one). Then a teacher
Beauty secret:  Moisturizer!
Celebrity Crush: Channing Tatum!
Secret talent: I can wrap my right leg around my neck...all those years of dance paid off!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My life as told through GIFs

Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a morning person. It's a well known fact at my second job (the restaurant I work at) that I love coffee. One of my co-workers Chris said on Tuesday "I don't think I have ever seen you without a cup of coffee when you walk in here". Let's face it...I am a night owl and always get a second wind at night. I am in for it when school starts back up!

I slept in until 10:30 this morning and I was trying to figure out what I was going to have to actually teach this year in my classes. I can't find any information on any of the teacher's websites and there's no curriculum guide. My mom actually laughed when I told her this because she goes "Most people aren't worried about that on August 5th!" Well, I like to plan ahead! You're talking to the person who when she applied to colleges, had a separate folder for  each school I was considering with all the requirements in it. I am sure I will find it all out at new teacher orientation (August 28th) but right now I am antsy!

I was browsing Pinterest and see all the things people create for their classrooms that are also on TeachersPayTeachers. I get that they use Power Point but how on EARTH do you get so creative with the borders/backgrounds/clipart?! If y'all have any advice, I would appreciate it. I have some ideas but I wanna try making them myself.

And as I was browsing Pinterest, I came across GIFs that REALLY depict my life PERFECTLY:

After a long day, that's all I want. 

 Oh when I am having a bad day and someone annoys me....

My words about 5 minutes after the start of a double serving shift. HA! 

When with my friends and I want more to drink....

Right before I have to go the second part of a double. (This is gonna be me next weekend!)

The moment my alarm wakes me up. It's like "WHY GOD WHY?!"

At about noon time. When in doubt, nap! 

How I feel when I am waiting for food at work. I get cranky when I'm hungry!

 Oh this is just perfection.

After a rough work week? Yes we do!!

My thoughts when I am in a place with zero air conditioning. Or when a customer complains that it's too cold in the restaurant and I am sweating my butt off.

I could totally go on with more but I have to restrain myself. Mainly because I am sitting here laughing out loud and my dog is looking at me like I have six heads.

 Most of these .gifs came from here

Sunday, August 3, 2014

{Sunday Social}

Happy Sunday everyone!!! I cannot believe it is already AUGUST!!! What?!?! I have roughly a good month left of summer break and then it's time to start school. Oh boy! 

Linking up with Ashley & Neely for Sunday Social.

{1} Gum or mints?
I will have either. I generally have a pack of gum in my work bag or my purse because I like popping in a piece after having a coffee or my lunch. Mints are usually what I have when I am at the restaurant since they don't want us chewing gum in front of our tables.

{2} Tea or coffee?
If you've read my blog, you should know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE MY COFFEE!! I do occasionally like tea but honestly, it is not a pretty sight without my coffee. I have had up to 7 cups of coffee a day but I don't know how I ever lived without it.

{3} Fruits or veggies?
I actually like more fruits then veggies. I love cantaloupe, watermelon, green grapes, apples, oranges, bananas. I typically only like carrots, green beans or corn for veggies.

{4} TV or movies?
I like both a lot. I am perfectly fine with spending a Friday night in my PJs in my bed watching movies or TV with a glass of wine in my hand. I would say I like more TV then movies (I am a comedy and chick flick girl) but most of my favorite shows are off the air! Lately I have been binge watching Gilmore Girls DVDs and I am currently on season 4. I miss this show!

{5} Candles or diffusers?
I would say candles. I have a beach scented one that I am burning in my room at night so it's got a nice summer feel to it. 


Friday, August 1, 2014

My Classroom

Never in a million years did I ever think the day was going to come. I have been hunting for a job in NY ever since I graduated with my master's three years ago. NY highly trains their teachers (those teacher certification exams they make us take to get our certification are such a joke) so you would figure getting a job would be somewhat easy. Oh no, it's not.

I have been on numerous interviews. I always said my dream job was to take over my middle school Spanish teacher's job (I had the same teacher all 3 years) and teach in the district where I went to school. Last year I went on three interviews for it and got cut right before the demo. I kept going on interviews and this year in 2014, I had three alone but didn't go on. It's okay because they were for high school and all my experience is in middle school (even if they say that's not why I still think that hinders me being chosen). I was ready to give up on New York all together. I had looked into what it took to get my certification in North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Georgia. 

During finals & regents week, I was applying for jobs left and right. The end of the school year/summer is when a lot of jobs come about. I applied for a HS leave replacement in one district. They called me about a week after I applied to come in and do the writing sample. I thought that was odd because usually they interview you & then have you do the writing sample. A week after that, they called me and had said they had me slotted for an interview the next morning at 10:45 and could I make it. You betcha!

I went to the interview and thought it was odd that it was at the middle school when I applied for a high school position. I interviewed with the principal, the assistant principal, the technology teacher, the chair for languages and two parents. Literally 45 minutes later when I was walking out of Panera with my lunch, the secretary called me to tell me they had me scheduled for a demo that Monday morning at 9:15!! HOLY CRAP was my initial reaction!! I literally started freaking out because I had no idea what I was going to do. 

Luckily, I have been blessed with such wonderful co-workers (who are now friends) that I called and they gave me advice. I spent ALL my free time when I was not at work planning it, designing the activities, spending tons of money on ink at Office Max (I need recommendations for a printer y'all). I literally could not drink coffee (my lifeline) or eat anything the morning of. I was told there were going to be 12 kids and I had no idea how many administrators. It turned out to be only the chairperson and the principal. 

After I was done with the demo, the principal and chair asked to talk to me on the way out. I couldn't tell if it was a good sign or a bad sign. They basically told me right then and there I HAD THE JOB!!! It took everything in my power not to scream for joy. I was told my position would be .4 so I get one 6th grade class to teach Spanish/French and one 7th grade Spanish class. Then, in order to fill my schedule they are going to have me be a TA and pay me both salaries. 

I was literally so flabbergasted I did not know what to think. After they were gone talking to me, the principal had me go meet the human resources lady. I met with her, she told me what my salary would be, and then she sent me to meet with the superintendent (tip: always carry extra copies of your resume & cover letter!! I left my stack at home but the principal said he was done with mine so he gave me his copy to give to the superintendent....I didn't think all this was happening that day!) After talking with the superintendent, he shook my hand and welcomed me to the district. I think I was so not expecting it all I could say was "Thank you." HAHA!

As soon as I walked out to my car, I sent my co-worker Georgia (who taught the HS French classes where I worked) a text that said "Um.....I just got the job?!?!!!!). I literally did not know what to think. I kind of cried the whole drive home too because to me, it was like I  finally caught my break. While it's not a full load of classes, it is definitely a start. I am getting to teach my dream age group (call me nuts but I love middle school!!). 

I got my papers last week with the date of my new teacher orientation, which is August 28th (we don't start school until September 3rd in NY!), so I must be Board of Education approved. I now need to tell my chairperson from the school I have been at the past two years (I am literally so afraid to...I don't know why!) and write my resignation letter. Last Friday I got what position I would have been had I gone back there in September and I would be a one-on-one TA shadow in a special ed classroom....not using my language. 

It makes me sad to think about not going back there. I had some great students this past year in 7th grade and I got along great with all my department colleagues. I am sad to leave there but I simply cannot pass this opportunity up. My co-teachers have been so encouraging these past two years and wanted me to get something so they have all be so excited since I told them I got it (two already took me out to celebrate and one is taking me out next week). I am so excited to start planning (once I actually know what books to use or the curriculum in the district is) and start this next chapter in my life! The new Target opened in my town (you know it's bad when you've been there 2 times in one week) and has lured me in with the back to school stuff so I can start creating a stock of things I may need.