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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.

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Life Lately

I Haven’t Written in a While (word vomit)

I had grand plans of writing at least once a week once quarantine began, but I haven’t. I think it would be good for my soul and all that if I did but for some reason, it’s easier to just not.

Today is day 41. Since then, I’ve left my house for some walks (which I have since traded in for scenic treadmill walks) and 2 doctor’s appointments. Groceries have been delivered, either by my gracious mother, my brother-in-law or the ever lovely Instacart.

I am grateful that we live in a comfortable home, that makes quarantine not so bad at all. I am grateful for a job that I can continue to do remotely (especially during the third trimester). I am grateful to be quarantined with someone I absolutely love and enjoy spending time with. I am grateful for my health, the health of my family, and the health of our baby.

While I am grateful for all these things, I am beginning to feel a bit cooped up. And that’s okay. I can be grateful and frustrated simultaneously. I wish I knew when it would be safe to go get breakfast with a friend or go for a walk in my neighborhood without anxiety. I wish I had no worries about what the world will look like when our baby decides to make her appearance. I wish I knew a lot of things.

In the meantime, I will take it day by day. I will follow the news (but not too closely). I will continue to connect with the people I care about through FaceTime and messages. I will soak in the extra time I get to spend with my husband, just the two of us. It’s a special treat almost, before our baby’s arrival. I will continue to reflect on all the goodness there is in life.

When this is over, I will try to remember how this period of time was and not take for granted being able to hug my dad or see my friends. While this period of time is rough for some, it’s also a blessing in disguise. It’s allowed me to slow down, to rest. We don’t get a lot of time for that, and when we do, we often feel guilt. I am loving being able to leisurely read a book in the morning, or chat with my husband. My daily naps have become a highlight of my day. Taking is slow is just so damn nice. I hope to continue some of this slowness when the world is back to “normal.”

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Life Lately Uncategorized

Quarantine Day 1 Minute by Minute Updates of an Extraordinarily Busy Lady

I am extremely grateful that I live in a state that recognized that schools are a breeding ground for germs and closed us down for the next two weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be staying at home, except for walks outside (don’t worry – I live in an area where no one takes walks outside so social isolation is easy). I thought it would be amusing to do a play by play of how my first day of quarantine went. Read on ya’ll!

8:30am – Wake up startled that I’m late for my first period class. Calm the feck down and lay in bed for a while.

9:10am – Haul myself downstairs (hauling is not an understatement – I am 27 weeks pregnant). Greet darling husband, who happens to work from home. After a few minutes, he exclaims that “this is going to be a long two weeks.”

9:30am – Wrestle my duvet into the duvet cover. Have to take several breaks because my heart rate is too high. Have a thought that a duvet stuffing class would make an excellent cardio class. Will come back to this idea when the crisis is over.

9:40am – Realize I’d be a terrible housewife.

10:00am – Finish folding the laundry that I’ve been putting off folding for the last three weeks and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. (See thoughts from 9:40am).

10:30am – Eat some dope breakfast tacos (shout out to Siete for making those yummy grain-free tortillas) and finish reading Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb. I feel like a God damn scholar. Decide that after the quarantine, I will come out much more intelligent.

11:00am – Sit down to get some work done. Procrastinate by Googling “coronavirus.” Learn nothing new.

11:30am – Actually start working. At this point, I am convinced that I would not only be a terrible housewife, but also a terrible WFH employee.

11:35am – Get distracted from work and start writing this blog out.

11:45am – Get back to work.

12:30pm – After a solid 45 minutes of intense work, I take a break to watch the new Bert Kreischer special. Laugh a lot. You should go watch it.

1:30pm – Decide to go take a nap.

1:31pm – Decide that before I take said nap, I should eat a bowl of oatmeal so as to sleep better, like a baby.

1:35pm – Eat a bowl of oatmeal, with some bananas and a spoonful of peanut butter. Say “yum”! Whilst eating, the mail arrives, including a massive bag of maternity clothes. Realize I will not have to wear real clothing for at least several weeks.

2:00pm – Take my well deserved nap.

3:00pm – Wake up from nap and go for a leisurely 2-mile walk with my husband. Get spooked by how quiet the neighborhood is.

4:00pm – Do a light workout with kettlebells. Before doing so, read the news that I obsessively refresh. 55 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois, and the first death.

4:30pm – After exerting so much energy today, decide to make dinner. Tonight is super fancy – kale a la chicken nuggets. Leave my pregnant taste buds alone bruh.

5:00pm – Sit down to watch an episode of Sex Education, while eating my super fancy dinner.

6:00pm – Actually sit down to do some work for the first time all day. Get confused about how so much time has passed, and so little productivity has happened.

7:30pm – Get ready for bed. Yes, I start to get ready for bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm. I like sleep. A LOT.

And that, folks, is how my first day of quarantine went.

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Uncategorized

2019: A Year in Review

2019 – damn were you a year. Like everyone else on the planet, there were highs and lows and days that just felt fine. 2019 brought me lessons, laughter and my fair share of tears. 2019 brought me travel and adventure with the people I care about. So before 2019 melts into the other years, I want to reflect on what happened and what I learned.

Travel

If you’ve been reading for a while, you probably understand the role that travel plays in my life. It’s always been important to me, but it’s importance grew during my first two years of teaching. I wasn’t able to find much joy in my day to day life, so I escaped by planning trips. Maybe it’s my vice or my coping mechanism, but honestly, I’m okay with that. 2019 was a travel heavy year for me.

In January, my husband and I wrapped up our road trip through Texas, during which we learned that pick-up trucks take a LOT of gas and that creative pursuits are worth spending time on. This year also brought me to New Orleans with one of my best friends, where I saw my first Banksy piece and binge watched too much Yummy Mummies.

Studio Be in New Orleans
Obligatory beignets in New Orleans

I had two trips out to Denver to see another best friend of mine, one of which had me gambling for the first time (I lost a whole $10). The other trip brought me to New Mexico to see the hot air balloon festival, which absolutely blew my mind.

The hot air balloon festival in New Mexico

For spring break, my husband and I ventured to Italy, where we ate some delicious charcuterie boards, but were overall not that impressed. We did get some dope matching tracksuits and made some pasta from scratch though!

Vintage tracksuits, vintage building (!)
Pasta making classes

During the summer, we traveled to Singapore, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Of those places, New Zealand is the spot that truly took my breath away. As my husband says, cities are cities are cities. New Zealand, however, had nature that we don’t get to see very often.

The black sand beaches of New Zealand
Marina Sand Bay, Singapore
Kawaii photo in Japan

I rounded out the year with a trip to Spain with my mom. It was great to be able to spend quality time with her, especially as I grow older and life gets busier. While we did get on each others nerves, it was a trip that I will hold dear to my heart.

Mama y yo in Barcelona

Work

2019 was the year that I finished my first year of teaching outside of Teach for America. It was the first year I didn’t hate what I did. When I decided to teach for a third year, I was nervous. What if it wasn’t where I was teaching that I hated, but just teaching in general? Thankfully, I discovered that I love teaching. I love working with kids and seeing their excitement when things click for them. I finally can say that I love what I do. I am so grateful for that – how many people can claim the same for their jobs?

My first day of my fourth year

I was unsure if teaching was the right path for me, so I completed a fellowship on career choice this spring. While a lot of paths seem interesting to me, the fellowship reinforced my decision to stay in the classroom, at least for now. It was great for me to be able to have dedicated time and space to really think out my career plan. To be honest, I don’t have much of a “plan” at the moment. All I know is that I am happy teaching right now, so happy I will remain!

The fellowship I was so damn grateful for

2019 was also the year that I bit the bullet and got my real estate license. My husband had been encouraging me to get it for quite some time, and I finally sat down and did the damn thing. Working with real estate on the side allowed me to work skills that I don’t generally have to work while teaching – like talking to adults! While I didn’t do much with it this year, I look forward to what kind of endeavors it brings in the future.

Relationships

The older I get, the more important quality relationships mean to me. This year, my husband and I celebrate four years of marriage and five years of being together. I would say that this year brought us so much closer to one another, through the hard times and the good times. Leaving 2019, I feel more confident than ever in my relationship with my husband and excited to see what the future holds for us and our growing family.

My incredible husband

In terms of friendship, I invested in the relationships that mean the most to me and drew myself back from those that did not bring me joy. The older I get, the more I realize that one or two solid friendships is all I need. If I’m not truly thrilled for a person when good things happen to them, then I know that I can’t be a true friend to them. 2019 is a year that brought me a tight circle whom I truly trust and care about.

Self-Improvement

I worked on myself a lot this year. For the first time in a long time (maybe ever), I felt comfortable in my skin. I attribute a lot of that to hot yoga. One of my friends convinced me to give it another shot and I fell in love. The fact that in one hour, I can sweat, meditate and grow stronger absolutely amazes me. The funnest aspect of yoga is watching myself improve. To see my body move into positions that it previously couldn’t made me think about how incredible the human body truly is. While I’ve had to take a break from hot yoga during the pregnancy, I am excited to head back in 2020!

My happy place
My form isn’t perfect, but damn was I proud of my body

In 2019, I also invested in my health in other ways. I (very casually) took up meditation and mantras, and found peace and relief through acupuncture. My body and mind had gone through quite a lot this year, and I am grateful that I found coping mechanisms to help me rise above it. Listening to and making music helped put my soul at ease. Books helped me get lost when I needed to escape the most. Writing played a role in my self improvement as well. While few people may read this blog, every time I post, I feel relief. Writing makes me feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I hope to do more of it in 2020.

Cupping therapy

Overall, 2019 has been wonderful to me. I had new experiences, both good and bad. I felt low so that I could feel really high. I surrounded myself with people I love. I became a better version of myself. 2020 has a lot of changes in store for me (cough motherhood cough) and I’m excited for it all. But for now, I pay respect to what 2019 brought me. Cheers to 2019, and to 2020 vision.

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Life Lately

Life, Lately – Winter Break Edition

One of my goals for 2020 is to write more. I think I hesitate to write because I want it to be “pretty” – if I don’t have a cute photo to use as the headline, whats the point?! I want to get away from that. I feel better when I write (and ramble). Right now, I just want to do all the things that make me feel better.

As a teacher, we get two weeks off every winter which is glorious and something I count down to from the first day of school. Unfortunately, we go back a few days early this year to make up some of the days that we missed while striking. While I didn’t get my full 16 days off, I did get a nice 12 day break.

Prior to finding out I was pregnant, I had booked a trip to Sweden and Ukraine. I had to cancel that and was disappointed AF. I live to travel. I thought this break would be terribly boring without a trip. To be honest though, it has been exactly what I needed. A period of time to step back and relax. To sleep. To (unfortunately) get sick. To spend time with my family. To watch too much TV.

As I transition into this new role of motherhood that will be arriving in the next five months, I think about how my life will change. I’m sure that after baby is here, 12 days of peace, quiet and no responsibilities will feel like the best damn vacation in the world. So here I am, reflecting on the last two weeks (in picture form of course).

During break, I took care of myself. I had massage appointments (my body has been feeling rough the last few weeks), acupuncture sessions and a few yoga classes. I took walks outside to enjoy this incredible weather we’ve had the last few weeks. I let my body feel something other than pregnancy.

During break, I rediscovered this incredible food combo. I used to buy cut up fruit with chili powder outside of my college dorm often and this brought me back to that period of time. Thankfully, Trader Joes carries a chili lime seasoning that doesn’t have chemicals!

During break, I bravely ventured to Home Depot to buy a few items for my husband. I did not do so well but ya’ll, I tried! On the bright side, I did discover that Goof Off works wonders on your car when it comes to removing paint!

AND I bought this cute Carhartt hat on sale! Who knew Home Depot was so trendy?!

During break, I popped over to Lush and bought a few things. I got some shower melts which I enjoyed and the therapy massage bars that I had read about on pregnancy forums. Not a huge fan of the shower melts, but the therapy bars are incredible! I’ll be continuing to use them throughout this pregnancy!

During break, hubby and I bought a couch! We had held off on purchasing one for years, and had tried other seating arrangements instead (such as a Japanese tatami mat and 2 recliners). We bought this beauty at Costco and are pleased by our decision to follow the mainstream crowd! Movie nights are much comfier now!

During break, I got sick. Being sick while pregnant equals misery, as you aren’t allowed any of the good medicine. What would typically be a 2 day cold turned into a 5 day death bed visit. I ate my weight in pho and binge watched season one of You (which was insanely good, albeit creepy)! While being sick royally sucks, it’s also a good time to slow down, binge on media and take it easy.

While this break wasn’t what I had thought it would be, it was exactly what I needed. I spent quality time with my husband, watched a bunch of movies, relaxed and took time for myself. (Side note: I also think I felt the baby kick for the first time, which was mind blowing). That is my life, lately.

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Uncategorized

A Casual Day at the DMZ/North Korea

We have a scratch off map at home with all the countries we’ve been to, and I’m having a serious moral dilemma. Can I scratch off North Korea now that we’ve been to the DMZ?!

When we were in Korea a few weeks ago, we booked a tour to go to the DMZ – the area between North and South Korea that serves as a buffer zone. The tour included stops at the Doransan Station, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, the Dora Observatory, Imjingak Park. The tour itself was $40 – so quite a good bang for your buck, in my opinion. Now let’s break it all down.

Dora Observatory

The Dora Observatory is an observatory (duh) that you can see North Korea from. Well, usually. The day we went was extremely hazy so this was the best that we could do.

View of Dora Observatory

According to our tour guide, on a clear day, you can actually see a North Korean town (although she claims it’s a facade and not an actual town). From the viewing deck, you can also hear North Korean propaganda music!

South Korean Artwork

Downstairs, they had videos playing about North Korea, as well as artwork made by South Koreans. All of the art centered around how it felt to lose family in the separation. The picture above was one of my favorite pieces. (For anyone looking for a latte – this is the one of two stops on the tour where you can get one. You’re welcome, in advance).

Imjingak Park

I will preface this by saying this is the second stop on the tour where you can get your coffee fix. Aside from that, this park is located in Paju, South Korea and is known for the Freedom Bridge there.

Train shot by North Korean military
A train that was shot by North Korean military that sits within the park
Train sign to North Korea
Prayer ribbons
Prayer ribbons put up by vistors
Prayer ribbons
South Korean army man
Obligatory South Korean cheerful army man near the entrance to the bridge

While Imjinak Park is an important landmark, as an outsider it was just an okay stop along the way. I think my favorite part would probably have to be seeing all those prayer ribbons, because it made the war and the separations that followed feel real to me. It made me understand that there are people, to this day, that are hurting because of it.

Dorasan Station

The next stop was a train station. Random, right? It’s actually the last train station in South Korea, and if trains were allowed, it would continue on to North Korea. Not so random after all, my friends!

Dorasan Station map

At the station, we learned that South Korea refers to itself as an island. If you look at the map above, if it weren’t for the inability to go through North Korea, you could hypothetically travel Europe via train from Seoul!

Dorasan station and tickets

At the station you can purchase a “ticket” to get inside the station. I guess it was cool to see where we would hypothetically catch a train to North Korea.

Ticket to Pyeongyang
The ticket – pretty official ya’ll

3rd Infiltration Tunnel

After the Armistace Agreement, South Korea found a series of tunnels that the North Koreans dug into South Korea. Most of them routed themselves to Seoul, making the South Korean believe that they were planning a massive attack on their largest city.

DMZ sign
Peep the soldier with the peace sign between the M

Interestingly enough, North Korea claimed they were mining for coal, and after getting caught, painted the interiors of the tunnel black to look like coal.

DMZ

We decided not to go down into the tunnel as it was incredibly crowded but did watch the video that South Korea made to discuss the tunnels. Holy propaganda guys! If you get the chance, go to the tunnels and watch the video. Bring some popcorn. It’s pretty damn amusing.

DMZ chocolate
Didn’t purchase this, but was mildly amused by it.

Also – pro tip, buy the hoodies at the gift shop there. They are the comfiest hoodies I’ve ever owned.

In Conclusion…

No travel post would be complete without a food pic, so here ya go! For lunch that day, we had a choice between bulgogi or bimbimbap. We both went for the bulgogi and it was surprisingly delicious. Lunch was served in what looked like an old government building and was buffet style. I would just like to point out that they had cherry tomatoes in the dessert section. I did not snap a pic because I was too infuriated by the fact that someone could call tomatoes a dessert.

Traditional Korean lunch

At one of the many gift shops, we picked up a bottle of North Korean liquor. It was fine. It tasted like plum wine and communism.

North Korean liquor

That’s all folks! I personally enjoyed the tour, although I don’t know how much of that is just because I can now (kind of) say I’ve been to North Korea. If anyone is looking to book it, book it far in advance as they do tend to sell out! We went through a tour group called Kooridoor, although there are numerous other tours that go out that way.

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Life Lately

Life Lately

I have been neglectful AF towards this blog – which is audacious considering I pay to have it! I don’t even have a good excuse – I’ve been on summer break for the last two weeks doing nothing but going to yoga and annoying my husband.

I thought it’d be fun to do a quick scrolleroo (can someone with the hook up at Websters get that word in please?)through the phone and use my pictures to show you what life has been like lately.

First things first – I got licensed as a real estate broker. My husband works in real estate and it’s a nice little side hustle for me, especially with the down time I get with teaching. Plus I’m super nosey and very into HGTV so the fact that I get to sneak peek into people’s homes and lives has been a great lil perk!

I mentioned this before, but when my friend and I went to New Orleans, we ended up binge watching practically the entire first season of Yummy Mummies. (Side note: Yummy Mummies is NOT fun to watch alone – you must have a companion whom you can trash talk with) Last week, we had a private viewing party (real talk – it was me and her and a few bowls of carbs) to watch the second season. We made it 80% through. In my humble opinion, there was just not a whole lot of drama happening which made it not as enticing to watch.

In more royal news – last month someone told me that whenever Meghan Markle goes on tv, they’re reminded of me. I have been riding incredibly high on that compliment horse. The combination of joy that I got from that compliment, combined with my abundance of free time has resulted in me making too many photos to show off the similarity that I, a simple Muggle, have with royalty.

If you’re local, you need to check this place out. I had it last night with my mom and ugh, it was so good. It’s basically Chipotle style bimbimbap! Definitely go with the beef over the chicken though. Also – they have free miso soup! Like $0.00 free! GO NOW!

What a great introduction into my next photo, which is an image of the 50,000 Korean Won. I have never felt so wealthy. In reality, that bill is $40. BUT IT SAYS 50,000! WOAH! We’re heading to Korea next week and I am so excited. Stay tuned for a review comparing Korean bimbimbap to that of the previous photo!

Lastly – I am obsessed with these pants. They were $10 at the Gap and I am looooooving them. I have recently discovered that I do indeed like shopping which I thought was a problem, but it’s only a problem if you say it is. I will continue to allow myself to purchase clearance items because why the feck not? Maybe this will turn into a pseudo-fashion blog?!

That’s all for now folks! I’ll be (hopefully) keeping this blog more updated – especially with our upcoming travels! Enjoy your tans, ya beautiful people!

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Sparking Joy

I’m Not “Just” a Teacher

It’s bizarre how much of our identity is tied to our profession. Maybe it isn’t so strange – we spend so much of our time at work, getting ready for work and unwinding from work. Work is where people tend to spend most of their days. It makes sense that our self worth is so deeply tied to our jobs.

When it comes to careers, how does one decide on one? What should I do? It’s a question I’ve asked myself often over the past few years. I began to teach right after college through Teach for America. The first two years were brutal. Every day on my drive into work, I would ponder how much time off I would get if I crashed my car. Not just a little crash either – I considered slamming into highway medians at 80 miles per hour. Those two years were rough.

Instead of quitting teaching altogether, I decided to give it a shot in a different building. I started working at a school that I absolutely adore this year. It’s been great – I have an amazing class of kids and far less anxiety than I had the first two years, but I was still asking myself what I should do next.

I’ve thought about it a lot and I realized that I kept saying that I was “just a teacher.” I saw peers leave teaching to become lawyers and doctors. Some went into tech. It made me question why I was still here, “just” teaching.

I’ve made the decision to continue teaching next year. Why? Because teaching is not “just teaching.” Teaching is something I am good at. Teaching allows me to give something to this world. Teaching is where I am meant to be right now.

Throwback to my first day teaching!

Teaching isn’t easy. It’s emotionally draining. The stories that my students bring to the table – often stories of struggle and hardship that no child should ever have to face – weighs on me daily. I worry about them, and for them. Teaching has opened up perspectives that I had never even considered before. Teaching has made me a better human being.

I’ve considered leaving to do something less draining, like work in an office. But the phrase that powered my through my illness during high school continues to come back to me. No rain, no flowers. I blossom where I have struggled, and I do that through teaching.

So this is me, saying that I am a teacher. Not just a teacher. And you know what – I’m pretty damn proud of it.

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Five Thangs Friday

Five Thangs Friday #7

Anyone else exhausted? I can taste spring break on my tongue, but it’s not quite here yet. My patience is running slim, and my student’s are antsy to be out for the summer. It’s been a rough week in my classroom. On the bright side – three more Fridays until break! Lets get on with the post – here are the five thangs that have humored/amused me in the past week!

#1. This podcast!

This podcast is gold ya’ll! I am not an entrepreneur but this makes me want to be one. It’s quite interesting how prominent the “side hustle” is amongst millennials. There’s a good amount of people who do something on the side. Recently, I started working part time on an analyst position, and it’s felt really good to be so productive. The extra cash doesn’t hurt either!

The woman behind it is a local Chicago photographer, and she talks all things freelance! She’s covered anything from fear, starting a business, to tax advice! Definitely give it a listen, if you’re a hustler or if you’re thinking about doing some freelance work!

#2. This book!

I fell off the reading wagon for awhile. Okay, honestly, I didn’t just fall off. I got on the opposite going wagon. I didn’t pick up a book pretty much for the entirety of February and it did not feel good guys! I love reading. As cliche as it sounds, it’s such an amazing escape from real life. I did manage to finish this book and it was spectacular. I did not think I would like it as much as I did, but it was the perfect blend of romance, history, and plot line. If you’re at all interested in the Holocaust, you’ll love this one!

#3. What this kid said!

On the subject of reading… let’s flashback to Tuesday afternoon. We’re in eighth period, which is typically where kids can either finish up work or have some chill time. Anywho, I find myself reading a story to a kid (real talk – I was reading Harry Potter to him in a British accent – I am that teacher guys!). I hear a gasp from the other side of the room, and see a kid with his jaw dropped. “Ms. Maydan – YOU KNOW HOW TO READ?!?!”

Guys. I’m a teacher. I have a bachelors and a masters degree, and this child thought I did not know how to read. I’ll just leave this here to sink in.

#4. The fact that Philz is coming to CHICAGO!

I. AM. SO. EXCITED. I somehow missed this story and found out this week. This summer, they will be opening two locations – one in Hyde Park and one on the North Side! GUYSSSSSSSSS. Have you ever had mint in your coffee? It is taaaa die for! I am jazzed, to see the least!

#5. My new EMF reader!

Okay guys – lets nerd out for a second. I read a lot of the Wellness Mama blog and she’s talked about EMF before. That sent me down a large rabbit hole and here I am today, the owner of an EMF reader. For those who aren’t hypochondriacs like me, an EMF reader reads the signals that electronics give off, such as phones and computers. There also tends to be EMF “hotspots” in homes due to wiring, wifi and all the other comforts of the modern world. These EMF’s are known to disrupt our bodies – some studies suggest higher risk of cancer, and others suggest ADD and other behavior issues. I’m pretty jazzed to see what types of signals we have in our home because there are ways to mediate it! I’m sure I’ll be posting in the future about this! In the meantime, if you’d like to know more, this book is a great starting point!

So there ya have it folks – my week in four photos and an anecdote! I hope ya’ll have a gr8 weekend, filled with sunshine, sleep and all the nice things in life!

XO,

J

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Sparking Joy

Don’t Give From Your Cup, Give From Your Saucer

Is your cup half full? Half empty? I want neither. I want a cup that is so full, that it overflows onto the saucer beneath it. With the self-love, respect and energy that overflows, I want to give to others.

I recently heard this quote on a podcast. People always say you can’t give unless you give to yourself first, and I whole heartedly believe that. When I am at my best – excited about life, energized and healthy, I am the best teacher I can be. I am noticeably more excited about the lessons I deliver, and the kids are equally as invested. On days or weeks where something is getting me down, the energy in my classroom mimics that. We don’t get through as much. There are more arguments. Less laughter and less smiles.

The same rings true for the other people in my life. I am a better wife, friend, sister and daughter when my own cup is filled. I have the energy to be all that.

Some would say taking care of yourself first is selfish, but I disagree. How can I care for anyone else if I don’t care for myself first? More importantly, how can I make sure that I am taking care of myself?

I’ve noticed a few things ensure that my personal cup is full. When all of the following are happening, I’m able to spill into my saucer.

I need to be healthy – which means I need to be eating right. I feel my best when my diet consists of lots of vegetables, some meat, some fruit and tons of water. When I move a lot, whether its a lot of walking or consistent gym visits, I have more energy. I need to be sleeping at least 8 hours a night. Which means, I may not have time for late night dinners with friends or conversations past 7pm.

I need to be excited. I need to have things on my radar that invigorate me and thrill me. Personally, that’s usually a trip on the horizon that I can plan for and dream of. It means I’m reading and learning about new things, and having new ideas constantly floating through my head. It means I’m writing about all of it.

I need to be calm. When things are disorganized and chaotic, I am not at my best. My cup lacks. I need to know that my calendar is organized, that my lessons are planned and that my outfits are laid out the night before. I know myself as a person who does not work well under pressure, so I plan for that. Instead of doing a big project all at once, I divide it into manageable chunks.

I need time for myself, as well as for others. I love my husband, my friends and my family. I appreciate the conversations I have with them, and grow from them. One of my favorite parts of the day is the 20 or so minutes before sleep, when my husband and I are in bed chatting. Sometimes about nothing at all, sometimes about something one of us learned. Sometimes we discuss our plans for the future and sometimes we reminisce on what we’ve done so far. When we have these talks, I go to bed with a full heart. Same goes for the discussions I have with others that I love. And while I love conversations, I also need time for myself. In this time, I think. I play music. I read. I energize myself for the conversations I want to have with others.

I need to feel like I am growing, professionally or personally. Preferably both. Right now, I am pursuing my real estate license, which is making me feel like growth is on the horizon, which is helping to fill my cup. Personally, I am searching for hobbies. Hopefully, when the right one comes along, I will feel growth in that department.

When I do all of that, I feel good. I feel energized and ready to give. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, regardless of what that means for you. Don’t look at someone else’s self-care plan and mimic it exactly. Think about how you feel when you do things in your daily life, and the things that bring you joy, calmness and ideas are the things you should incorporate more.

When you do that, when your cup is so full that it overflows, your saucer will be ready for others.

Question: What do you personally do to fill your cup? How do you know when your cup is overflowing?