Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thoroughly Sun-Kissed

Old Navy top, American Apparel easy jeans, DV sandals, Louis Vuitton bag, Top Shop hoops, Girl About Town M.A.C. lipstick
struggling to keep my eyes open in the sunlight.  Where are my sunnies?!


party on my arm!Arm Candy:Betsy Johnson floral watch and charm bracelet,
J.Crew gold bangle,
gifted delicate necklace turned bracelet and
gifted black bangle


Here I am en route to Manhattan for lunch before the first day of my second semester of graduate school.  Yup, the summer is officially over but at the least the weather is still beautifully warm.  I'm loving light, bright, especially white clothing against my thoroughly sun-kissed skin right now.  I love getting darker in the summer!

<3
M

From a Summer Perspective

Thankfully, my usual extreme level of patience has lasted me nearly the entire year.  Unfortunately it has run out.  I need the summer, with its freedom, endless sun rays and actual vacations, to replenish my depleted supply of patience.

Children tend to fare decently when I run out of patience.  It surprises them, but they're okay.  It's the adults that should worry. 

**I initially drafted the above June 11th.  Summer has been awesome.  I don't even remember what that was about.

Note to self during the future trying moments I will have this upcoming school year.  It is possible to truly let everything go and forget.  Come summer, it won't even matter.

Love,
M

"Styled Like a J.Crew Model"










I just realized I never published this draft.  Something teaching has taught me: it's never too late!  Never too late to make a correction, acknowledge wrongdoing or put up old blog drafts.  These photos were taken after a long day teaching and two graduate classes plus a train commute.  Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this outfit.  One of my coworkers early that day said I was styled like a J.Crew model.  Thanks!  I look tired, but I captured the outfit and my dog made an appearance via photobomb.

<3

Tweed pencil skirt by J.Crew
Denim shirt/ 1969 Gap
Polka dot sweater/ Old Navy
Opaque tights/ Hue
Pumps/ Fyre
Watch/ Guess
Calgel Nails/ Marie Nails, Soho


Frozen Faces

When I was in Tobago, I met some young girls swimming at the beach. They asked me a series of questions, shared versions of their American accents and the like. But then one asked me what do I do for work. I know right, how grown!  My response: "I'm a teacher."  There was a moment when all of their faces froze. I'm sure teachers in Trinidad and Tobago are stern and well-respected. There I was in my bikini, completely in vacation mode and these girls looked like I would give them homework or keep them for detention. But then their faces relaxed and one asked what my friend lounging in the sun does.  Further awkward moment averted. Who wants to remember work when they're on vacation in the Caribbean?

Not I!

<3
M

We Are KIND




My co-teacher and I have taken to wearing and distributing these kind stickers we received a while back.  Awesome idea.

We are kind.
Love,
Miss M


** written a while back, finally published!

Grad School Update: Late Nights

I got home just after ten o'clock last night.  My classmates started looking at me crazy when I talked about how late it was to be out and about.  It was 9:15 and we were being dismissed from class.  What I meant was, it felt ungodly to be out and about on a school night for some purpose other than a teacher's fun-- at the bar, somebody's bornday, finishing up a late dinner, getting off a plane just in time for some ZZZs before work...

"Good night" has a whole new meaning.  Last time I said that to colleagues, it was really the afternoon, as is customary in NYC school culture.  Good night at 3:45 pm.  Good night. I get it though.

I digress.

This whole teaching a full day at work and then taking two long classes back to back takes some getting used to.  Thankfully my second professor let us out 25 minutes early.  I am grateful for her understanding.  After all, I do live in Brooklyn, and class is in upper Manhattan.

On a productivity note, a classmate shared with me Notability.  I actually had it downloaded already on my iPad, but I didn't realize its full capacity and benefits.  I get it now.  Organize articles and notes by class, highlight text and write on the articles just like paper.  Only thing now is I need to recover my stylus, the one I never used.

Will do in time.
Love,
Miss M



** written a while back, finally published!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to Grad School

I just got home and settled from the first two classes of my second semester of graduate school for  administration and supervision (in another words: principal school!). Every Thursday for the next few months I'll be in class until about ten o'clock

It is official, summer vacation is over! I need to thoroughly clean my apartment,  tend to my garden, go grocery shopping and get back into a routine. I have a lot of work to do. 

On a brighter note, I picked up my Sephora birthday gift before class today and checked it ou between classes. I also treated myself to peanut M&Ms. Yum!



<3
M

Making Peace with the End of Summer

It takes all summer for me to sleep in. Up until my last vacation in Negril, I was getting up at six, going for runs at times but mostly reading in bed until I fell back asleep. The trick I've learned, is to stay in bed and not jump up and go as I've done previous summers. 

And now that I have less than a week left, and am thoroughly jet lagged and slightly overwhelmed with all the fun, social to-dos-- gym dates, final beach trips of the summer, potlucks, lunch dates and a weekend day party-- I am now sleeping in.  Keeping in mind I resume classes at Hunter this week, I only have this Friday & possibly Labor Day to work on my garden, which is in serious distress from a summer of neglect travel, really walk my dog, and get myself organized for the upcoming school year. 

So how does a teacher make peace with the end of summer and banish the back-to-school blues? 

By enjoying every last hour of summer vacation, even if it means over-scheduling. And hey, I'll walk the dog regularly in September. 

<3
M, soon to be Miss M once again 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tobago!

Jan in the water during the sunset.
My good friend Jan and I often celebrate our August  birthdays together. The first time we did so was seven years ago in Oklahoma City.  This year we traveled to to Tobago, the countryside half of Trinidad and Tobago, for six beautiful days. I won't share all that went down,some things that happen in Tobago stay in to Tobago, but here are a few highlights of our fun in the Caribbean.

I am officially a reformed over-packer.  I got this adorable Betsy Johnson weekend bag while shopping with my sister at Marshall's earlier this summer and have been dying to use it.  It's quite large so I figured it'd be perfect for a 
week-long beach trip. 

a stop during our tour of Tobago

I devoured this goat roti with pepper sauce and mango in a cab. The best I've ever had!


I ended up wearing only half of what I packed, but here's what I wore one day to the beach and to get fresh bread from the traditional outdoor oven. Delicious!  The zebra dress is from h&m and little extra so I figured perfect for the beach with flip flips.


What we enjoyed most mornings. Saltfish with avocado and mango (literally falling off the trees there!), and on this morning, eggs and fresh bread. 


A chicken, Nali short for personality to be exact laid an egg in my bed on day five of our trip. She then tried persistently to return the next morning to do the same. Despite locked windows, she managed to enter through various openings in our indoor-outdoor apartment.  Thankfully this happened during the last two days of our stay.



Looking forward to our next birthday or just because vacation.

<3



Troncones!

From Zihuatanejo, we took a taxi to Troncones, a remote fishing village. We stayed at the beautiful Regalo del Mar, where once again due to the off season we were the only guests.

What I wore when I wasn't in my high-waisted leopard cheetah American Apparel bikini:

scarf and dress from H&M



ocean, rocks, sand, and mountains in the distance

refuge from the serious sun


a view of our favorite spot

my favorite meal aside from tacos in Mexico City, fresh shrimp in garlic sauce.  my word!
smiles and love at the beach


heart


This concludes my four-part Mexico travel series. 
<3
M


Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm One of Those Teachers

Someone asked me today when school starts up again.  I seriously sighed before answering: "in about three weeks."  Honestly, I would have to look up the exact date.  I'm one of those teachers.  I know when, but not exactly when.  I have another vacation-- up next, Jamaica! with the boyfriend and our mothers -- another week until the end of the month, two days of work after Labor Day and the students come in after our four-day weekend due to Rosh Hashanah.

In my last school, I always got a letter each year from the principal, welcoming everyone back and letting us all know when we could enter the building early.  I used to go in for a day or two with my colleagues and work on my classroom-- cleaning, decorating, putting up colorful paper, adding personal touches*, and of course organizing.  Last year, at my current school I went in for a professional week in August.  This year I will be doing none of those things. 

It took seven years, but as I begin my eighth year teaching, I feel confident that I can put together a room worthy of the "Best Classroom Environment" awards I used to win at my old school during our two days at work without students.  Even if that means I work through lunch in between professional developments and stay an hour or two after work.  Maybe this is me trying to hold on to summer just a little bit longer; regardless seven years has gifted me the ability to not worry about things that will get done.  Setting up a room, writing out a list of rules expectations and planning the first few days of school is the easy part.  Sustaining a thriving classroom with control**, classroom culture and actual learning is the hard part.

On that note, time to pack for my next vacation.

Love,
Miss M

* I love color and vibrant prints, so past classrooms have included curtains made from fabric purchased at discounted rates and cloth over the teacher's desk and other surfaces.

** In other words, control in terms of classroom management is when the students make the right decision without your prodding.  This of course is a result of teaching routines and procedures, giving consequences and the like.

Zihuatanejo



I have been living my dream as a jet-setter this summer, so I'm having trouble keeping up my documenting all the experiences! 

Here are some photos from my travels to the Pacific Coast side of Mexico.  From San Miguel de Allende we took an overnight luxury bus to Zihuatanejo. I mention luxury bus because it is important to take the luxury, though still affordable, buses when traveling long distances in Mexico. These buses make fewer stops and use toll, in other words, safe roads. I didn't know how we were getting to the coast until we arrived in San Miguel and the second person we met told us exactly how to get there. I love that about traveling! We took a bus to Celaya and from there a 7-8 hour bus to Zihuatanejo. 

Upon arriving in Zihuatanejo we stayed at a hostel, El Rincon del Viajero, in a VIP room room with private bathroom. It's the off season so the only other people there were this nice couple also from Brooklyn who were doing a help exchange for a month or two. 

During our few days in Zihua, we went to the beach, had freshly caught fish fried deliciously  on the beach, and did some impromptu hiking. 

Outside our room.
A portrait with our new dog, Troy. 

I've had this colorblock Americam Apparel dress for years!


My favorite bikini top that fits surprising well-- J.Crew floral-- and my favorite high waisted bikini bottoms-- leopard from American Apparel.

<3
M

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Birthday Celebration

 Here are the photos from my 28th birthday celebration.  For once in a long time I didn't plan my outfit.  I had just gotten back from Tobago that morning and my closet is officially out of order, so here's what I threw together:

olive tissue blouse from J.Crew, striped pencil skirt from Old Navy, pink canvas pumps by Cooperative, Louis Vuitton purse, necklace from H&M, & my five minute face (power, bronzer, blush, mascara, gloss)

We bought beautiful Brooklyn to Manhattan.  I love these ladies!

my love and I in front of Yerba Beuna in the East Village.

delicious arepas!

perfect brisket tacos

paella de mar, thoroughly enjoyed!

tres leches for dessert, love my desserts!
I am blessed and grateful for love and friendship.  I look forward for what's to come in this next year of life.

Love,
M

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Red, Blue and Stripes in Mexico

What I wore a day in San Miguel.  Crop tops and high waist anything are my go-tos this summer.  Super flattering on my shape and easy, summer style.


striped crop top from Forever 21, trusty cloth pencil skirt from Target, Topshop hoops
assortment of rings from Nordstrom


I seriously wore my purple Coach canteen bag as a neutral and loved doing so!




My summer hairstyle: to the side, slightly braided or literally tied back. 


O and I in front of the catherdral, kinda.  Met Mexican tourists from close to Texas who inisisted on taking our picture together. Guapo and guapa!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Viaje to Guanajuato

We took a day trip while in San Miguel. We traveled about an hour away by bus to the historic town of Guanajuato, in Guanajuato state.

Here's what I wore:
racer-back, crop top from American Apparel, cloth pencil skirt from Target, linen cardigan from Express & gold tone hoops from TopShop. It was much warmer there than Mexico City!!

O and I in the midst of the colors, under the direction of a Japanese tourist also with fancy camera

O made a friend!

a lovely short courtesy of O

Beautiful, colorful town!

On top of the town!


on the way down from the top of town

We only spent part of a day in Guanajuato.  I'd be curious to explore it more. It's not as insular as San Miguel. There were children aggressively selling gum everywhere, especially in the no-car zone. In the town, we went to the market to look around and buy some souvenirs. We also ate lunch there at one of the counters after one of the men gave us some meat to try. Most of our time was spent roaming the colorful streets, checking out the noted attractions on our map. We ended our trip  with a drink, a clamato michelada for me and an Indio beer for him, before catching the last bus back to San Miguel. 


I would definitely go back. 
<3
M