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Five Thangs Friday Life Lately

Five Thangs Friday

Wowwee! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted on this corner of the internet, but I’ve been itching to write/create/speak so cheers to me bringing PseudoMidlifeCrisis back! The last year I’ve learned so much and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how therapeutic words can be. SO even if no one reads this, I know I’m healing myself a lil with each post.

Enough of that. I want to start light so here are five things this week that humored/amused me.

#1 This Kid

Real talk – she will probably always and forever be my #1 for any list, even 5 thangs Friday. But let me explain this picture. This here is my daughter, the thief. You see that chocolate on her face? She stole that out of my purse. This was her face when she got caught. Cutest thief ever.

#2 Goghing on a Date Night

Pun TOTALLY intended. My husband and I finally got out of the house after what felt like five million years to go on a date. We had tickets to see the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. Overall, it was super fun! The music and the animation of the paintings were beautifully done. Of course, the creme de la creme was the abundance of “Gogh” puns scattered throughout.

#3 A Potential New Hobby

School is officially out for the summer so that means I have more time for hobbies, like crafting. A girl I know posted an instagram photo of yarn art and I was immediately enthralled. *cue trip to Michaels* I tried my hand at it the other day, but it didn’t come out to my liking. I’ll be playing around with it more and hopefully, by next Friday, I have results to share.

#4 Good Ole Thrift Shopping

Nothing puts me in a better mood than a good deal! Today, I found I had some spare time so I hit up a Salvation Army. I recently got rid of the majority of my clothes because they didn’t bring me joy (or more likely they didn’t fit as I would have liked) so I have space in my closet that obviously must be filled. I found a few super cute pieces today! Score of the day was deffo the brand new Lululemon windbreaker that I scored for $4.

#5 My New Job!

Last but not least, I found out I secured my dream teaching job this week. Starting in August, I’ll be starting a new cluster program for students with moderate disabilities. It is my dream to start from scratch and to have complete autonomy over the program and I AM FLIPPING JAZZED!

So that rounds out my five thangs for Friday. After writing it all out, I have to say I had a pretty great week. On the downside, I am on my final taper of Lexapro so my brain feels like mush and my face is number, but things could be worse! I’m excited to be back in this space and hopefully you cannot wait for more word vomit from yours truly. XOXO.

A Lovely Weekend

I had a lovely weekend, and I really needed it. I’ve felt so tired lately. I think it has to do with the monotony of the day to day life. We’re 11 days away from Spring Break, and I am yearning for it and our trip. I’m so damn grateful that I have the opportunity to truly get away several times a year and reset. This weekend was full of friends, my love, nature and self care and it felt so damn good.

Hubby and I ventured out to the Morton Arboretum yesterday afternoon and it felt so good to be near trees. There was a study I heard of that said that the effect that being in nature has can last weeks, and I’m a believer in that!

It was chilly, which meant it was not crowded, which was exactly what I was hoping for. We took a nice two mile walk through the trees, stopping to admire the trolls along the way. The arboretum has an exhibit of 15 different trolls by the artist Thomas Dambo and it was quirky and fun to see the menacing things the trolls were up to. If you’re interested, I believe that they will be around until the summer!

This weekend I also finished up Under the Tuscan Sun, which was a beautifully written book but quite repetitive and slow for my taste. I also went to a CorePower class for the first time in a loooooong time, and damn, did it hurt so good! We went to a sculpt class – which felt more like an aerobics class than yoga, but I won’t complain. I think I would like to make yoga a more regular thing – maybe even my main exercise source!

Between the yoga, the time with hubby and friends, nature and good ole’ reading, I had a lovely weekend – just the kind of weekend I needed. Happy Monday ya’ll!

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Five Thangs Friday Sparking Joy

Five Thangs Friday #3

They say it takes a month to make a habit, so does that mean I’m one week away from Five Thang Friday being a habit?!?! This week has been pretty good to me. We’re continuing to settle into our new home and I’m adjusting to this commute (as discussed in a previous post). Read on for five things that have sparked joy/amused/humored me this week!

#1. The honesty of children

I teach 9th and 10th graders in a cluster classroom, which means that we focus more on life skills than academics. Instead of typical homework, I give a sheet out once a week that asks them to read for twenty minutes a day, have a conversation with someone and complete a household chore. When it comes time to collect their homework, I always prepare myself for a chuckle. Last weeks chore was for them to wipe down counters. As you can see from the photo above, they did not enjoy it and they’re not shy about telling you that.

I think the honesty my students have is one of my favorite things about the classroom I teach. Have you ever noticed that when you ask someone how they’re doing they don’t even pause to think before saying “I’m fine”? My students pause, and then let you know EXACTLY how they’re doing and I flipping love it. Side note: proud teacher moment because homegirl above used a complete sentence (we’ll work on punctuation later).

#2. Costco ERRYTHANG

I’m from a Costco family. What on earth does that mean?! My mom has worked for Costco for about fifteen years now, and we are HUGE advocates for Costco. When I was in college, I worked for them as well. 80% of my house has come from Costco, and a good 15% of my conversations are about my latest Costco finds.

Our new home has a pantry (!!!) and we got excited and bought all the clean goodies we could find at Costco. I used to go to Costco about once a week, but now that we have the space to store dry goods, I’m trying out going once a month instead. I’ll let ya’ll know how this goes.

On another note, I’m pretty dang impressed with the amount of goods I can purchase at Costco that fit our dietary needs. We loosely follow the Paleo diet, meaning no dairy (except for goat) and no artificial bull crap. We try to stay away from grains and added sugar as well. It’s so great that I can go to Costco and not only get the basics, but also fun goodies as well – like nut mixes and three brands of kombucha.

#3. This instant bone broth

I’ve been pretty sick this week – which I attribute to poor sleep (I’m that gal who needs a solid 9 hours) and self-induced stress. We found this gem at Costco earlier this week and it has been a lifesaver. It tastes delicious and is clean AF. All you do is mix with hot water and boom – you have yourself a great mug of broth. This is great for work, and I’ll probably be keeping a few in my suitcase for when I travel!

#4. My pseudo work fridge

On the note of being sick, I’ve been trying to keep myself hydrated with all the liquids. At work, I don’t have a fridge in my room but I discovered that my window is wide enough to store my drinks in! I’ve been able to have cold beverages all week and it’s been amazing! I guess this is one perk of cold Chicago winters! Maybe when it’s warm out, I can cook some eggs in the window sill. (If anyone is watching from Shark Tank, feel free to reach out to me for some equity in this brilliant idea).

#5. Early morning breakfasts with a friend

Egg Harbor is a breakfast chain in the Chicagoland area. In high school, when we would get late starts, we would gather there for breakfast. I met one of my best friends from college there this past Friday and had a blast. We met up for a 7:30 breakfast (which my husband thought was a strange hour) and it was glorious. There’s something special about getting up with the sun and meeting a friend for some quality conversation.

So that’s my week in iPhone photos. Hopefully next week has fewer germs! Happy Fridays homies!

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Sparking Joy

When Your Commute is LONG AF

I was spoiled – spoiled rotten. My old commute was an easy 12-minute drive down the highway. We moved recently, and now my commute into work is about 30 minutes and my drive home is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. That’s a total of at least one hour of driving a day! 60 minutes! 3600 seconds, if you will!

It’s going to take me a while to get used to this new drive, but I’m trying to be positive and proactive during this time. I’ve done this drive now for five days and here are some things I’ve been doing to fill that drive time purposefully.

#1. Podcasts

I go through phases with podcasts. One week I can’t get enough of them. ALL THE KNOWLEDGE, AT MY FINGERTIPS? LETS LISTEN TO ALL OF THEM! One week later, and I can’t stand the sound of anyone’s voice. I’ve been listening to podcasts, especially on my drive home this past week and it’s been a nice feeling to know that I’ve learned at least one thing every day. I’ve been trying to diversify the podcasts I listen to and have found several amazing ones! It’s kind of amazing – there’s a podcast on pretty much any topic!

What I listened to this morning – love me some Wellness Mama!

#2. Upbeat Music

It’s hard to get myself out of bed, dressed and to work. My body wants nothing more than to stay in bed, eat paleo pancakes and binge watch Netflix. With that being said, it can be difficult to be jazzed about the day ahead of me. Listening to my monthly playlist on my drive in, even if it’s just for a portion of the drive, has been helping me put myself in a better mood. Sure – you can be cranky your whole drive in, and possibly all day long, but why do that when music can change your mood almost instantaneously? Lately, I’ve been loving this playlist that I’ve screenshot below!

#3. Phone calls

I try to talk to my parents and sister regularly – at least every other day but preferably daily. It’s difficult to find time to sit for a phone call with everyday life, when you’re running to and from but I’ve been finding that I call my dad every morning. It gives me a solid uninterrupted half hour to catch up with my dad, and have more meaningful conversations than I was able to fit into my 12-minute drive. So in a way, my commute has been helping me strengthen my relationships with my family, and that is a beautiful thing.

#4. Mindfulness

I’ve written about being mindful, and specifically about driving mindfully in the past, however I’ve been able to take it to a whole other level with my new drive. For starters, this drive allows me to watch the sunrise every morning. Not only do I get to watch the sunrise, but I get to watch it rise over the beautiful Chicago skyline! It’s something special every morning, and I am hoping that that beauty never gets old for me. My drive gives me a good chunk of time to sit, be still (for the most part) and think. Sometimes, I think about the scenery that spills out in front of me. Sometimes, I think about my day ahead. It’s just a great time to process my thoughts. I’ve been enjoying listening to Petit Biscuit and just noticing/thinking/taking life in on my drives to and from work each morning, and it’s helped me calm myself down. It’s also allowed me to observe my surroundings more, and sometimes I’m gifted with something humorous, like this protest sign I saw.

#5. HYDRATION!

I drink a decent amount of water throughout the day, but I’ve found that my morning and afternoon commute is a great time to put away some water! In the morning, my mind is on coffee and I tend to forget about water. For the last week, I’ve been drinking a bottle of water and a thermos of tea on my drive in, and a bottle of water on my drive home. When there’s not much else to do, it makes drinking water easy!

So that’s five things I’ve been trying to do whilst battling Chicago traffic. How do you pass time on your commute? I tried to do some tasks, like paying bills, but reading account numbers off paper and staying in lanes turned out to be a more difficult task than I am capable of!

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Five Thangs Friday

Five Thangs Friday #2

It’s been a crazy week! We packed up our old house, closed on our new house and moved. I’ve also been working on my new part time job and learning the ropes, which has been taking a good amount of my time. Despite all of the life changes, I’ve been trying to stay true to my goal of being more mindful and more present. Without further ado, I present my FIVE THANGS FRIDAY!

#1. Books on books on books on books

One of the fun (or maybe not so fun) parts of moving is remembering what you have. My husband and I are huge bibliophiles. We dream of the day we have a library in our house, filled with walls of books and dark leather chairs. We were packing up our house this week, and realized we had 20 boxes of books. 20 boxes guys! I am so excited to find a home for all these books in our new home. Stay tuned to see what it all looks like!

#2. Green juice!

Eating healthily is a bit more difficult when moving, with limited food and all of our utensils in boxes. I was at Costco this past week and saw that they were offering these Suja green juices again! They tend to sell them during the spring, when people are getting ready for their summer bodies. These were delectable and much needed, after having eaten a diet consisting of falafel for a few days! If you see them, check them out! It’s hard to find true green juices that aren’t loaded up with fillers like apple juice!

#3. This podcast!

My hell yes/hell no mentality applies to my relationships as well. If I feel like a relationship is not giving me energy, I don’t want anything to do with it. As of lately, I’ve been thinking even more about what friendships are, and their cycles. I found this podcast last week and it was great! This episode in particular, really spoke to me and confirmed the decisions I’ve made for myself in regards to friendship. The women who host it are real and raw, and the topics are all so interesting. I can’t wait to listen to more of these!

#4. Valentine’s Day notes

Guys – how freaking adorable is this note? (Side note: he wrote identical ones for all the staff who work in our classroom). Valentine’s Day is special when you’re a teacher. I still see all the students nervously hand Valentine’s cards to their crushes, and we still have fun passing candy out in class. One student gave me some chocolate covered strawberries, and it absolutely made my day.

#5. This man (:

While we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I do appreciate and love this man a little more each day. We got married when we were crazy young (I was 21 and he was 23) and have grown so much since then, both together and as individuals. I couldn’t imagine life without him – my adventure buddy, my support system and the love of my life. Moving this week made me reflect further on how much our lives have changed since we got married, and I appreciate and recognize all of the amazing, selfless things he does for me, and for our relationship.

So there it is folks – my five thangs Friday! I hope ya’ll have a spectacular weekend! Peace out, girl scouts!

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Thoughts

Turning a House into a Home

It’s been a long week. I’m the type of person who thrives on 8 (preferably 9) hours of sleep a night and that has just not been happening. Granted, big changes have been underway for us, and they are totally worth the sleepless nights.

Yesterday, we moved into our big kids house – meaning not a one bedroom apartment. It’s been a long ride here but I’m so thankful we were able to take it!

Us, in all our chaotic glory

I’m so excited to be here, but I’ll admit I cried a bit leaving the old apartment. It feels like a new chapter in our lives have begun, and I need to store the memories from the three years we spend in our apartment away. It was our first home, which we bought when I was 22 and my husband was 24. Then, it was a dream come true that we were even allowed to purchase it! It was a good home for us. We grew up there, together and on our own. We hosted our first Thanksgiving there. We (half-assesdly) celebrated three Hanukkah’s in that home. We laughed, cried and laughed a million more times there.

The day we moved into our first home

Growing up, my family moved around often. We moved around on the island for a while, then moved to Washington, then back to the island. Finally, we moved to Illinois – where we continued to move about 5 or 6 times. The house my husband and I lived in was the first house that really felt like a home to me. It was ours, and it was special. It still is special.

How adorable is this though?

But nonetheless, I’m elated to be here, in the new home. I was unpacking a box yesterday, and something fell. My first thought was “Fack, I hope I didn’t wake the neighbors.” Then, I remembered I no longer have neighbors. SCORE!

This is the home that will soon, hopefully, be filled with the sounds of children laughing and playing. This is the home that we will continue to grow in and make memories in. This is a new chapter for us.

We have our work cut out for us. At the moment boxes are sprawled everywhere. There aren’t any window treatments or closet storage installed. We’ll be living in chaos for a bit, but I’m okay with that. We’re building a house that is a home and that takes time.

Shout out to the South Side, for being our first home