1. brekky. Reintroducing dairy into my diet with the biggest blueberries I’ve ever seen. Also, this iced coffee mixed from this cold brew concentrate is amazeballs. seriously. It’s like Blue Bottle‘s New Orleans style iced coffee….always in your fridge.
2. My desk is all set up, and very cluttered already.
3. & 4. new glasses. I visited the Warby Parker showroom last week to get my old Huxleys adjusted. My eyes are still getting worse (-6.75 now), so I took the time to try on every single frame they carry for my new prescription. Meet my new Becketts. I still really like these and still want them, but I can’t justify paying over $150 for glasses (with Rx lenses) anymore since I discovered the plethora of online optical offerings such as Warby Parker (my fave), Bonlook, Mezzmer, and Tortoise & Blonde.
5. & 6. new pullover. OMG so adrobs, right? Who doesn’t like meerkats? Yes, I know it was expensive ($80!! don’t tell my mom!), but I couldn’t resist. So. damn. cute. Sold out online, hop over to a Madewell store if you agree this cuteness is worth $80.
As you can see, I’m never perfect with nails, and it’s a constant battle to try and keep them from getting all messed up while waiting for them to dry. I enjoy the process more than the end product. I pin nail art, peruse for inspiration and get working. Inspiration for some of of these designs came from here, here, here and here.
B and I rode our bikes over to Dekalb Market today. The weather has cooled a bit and I’m getting used to riding my single-speed (no more jello legs). I know I need to stop comparing NY to SF, but the Dekalb market is a larger version of the Proxy Project in Hayes Valley. It’s pretty cool and I love the design sensibilities of a “mall” out of old shipping containers. Salvaged materials, an urban farm, artisanal foods, an Etsy pop-up with a vintage tool shop and you’ve got yourself a thriving hipster mecca. We overheard some dude with an epic beard lamenting the presence of a jump-house and screaming kids–> “there should be an adults only hour or something if they’re going to make this cool”. Like B says, at least they’re in a cage. I really wanted to buy a bike basket/Bambi holder from this shop (seriously cute stuff), but alas, the weight limit is 12lbs. Bambi is a fatty.
I have been on the search for a great pair of denim shorts for a while. Granted, I need another pair of shorts like I need a hole in my head, but I want a good fit with a high waist to offset my freakish long torso/short appendages proportions. These fit the bill, and they’re not ridiculously expensive. Normally BDG stuff is made for stick-like teenage girls and aren’t made to fit my birthing hips. Surprisingly enough though, these do.
I took the Bolt bus down to DC again this past weekend. B was in Berlin for a work meet-up, so I figured it would be a good time to visit again, and before I start working again. That’s right folks, I got a job!! I’m super excited to be joining the team at Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders this fall. Things are happening fast though…I’m heading to a week long training program in Boston next week, then immediately into teaching a summer intensive program for my new school’s ELL (English language leaders) students. So I’m waving goodbye to my summer this week.
While in DC, we celebrated my brother in law Dave’s birthday with cake and a family brunch. Isn’t my sister’s dog ridiculously cute? Woody is such a cuddle bug. Army is camera shy, but I managed to get her in the background with her tongue hanging out as usual.
We also managed to get in a lot of shopping, so I have more than a few new additions to my closet. Madewell was having a major (extra 50% off!!) sale! I got this dress right before I left, when J.Crew had an extra 30% off sale items (still going on at jcrew.com). A great deal at $24.50. Whenever B goes out of town, I go shopping. This time I did quite a lot of damage, so I need to start a new shopping ban…after I buy myself a birthday present of course!
A few things that have been tickling my fancy lately:
Kiehl’s essential oils I found on sale at the Nordstrom Rack in Manhattan (I think they’re being discontinued, thus the sale). They’re small, strong and I love the scents mixed together, grapefruit and gardenia. I once had a saleslady tell me that gardenia was the scent of old ladies there therefore it was not for me. My mom loves gardenia. I’ve been keeping these at my desk so that I can roll them on right after my morning coffee. Right away they smell like you’ve been wearing them all day…like your skin smells like grapefruit and gardenia naturally.
Small dish I got from West Elm on crazy cheap sale. I got B a “B” one also. I use mine as a coaster most of the time, but sometimes to hold my little pocket nick knacks, like my Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm. I’m not a mama, but I like the Mama Bee body oil as a moisturizer. It smells lightly of honey and lemon. I just have to remember that I’m not allowed to touch B’s iPad with my “grubby hands” after I use it.
New artwork I got from this Etsy shop called Retrowhale. I love it, it makes me smile on the inside every time and sometimes on the outside also when I look at it. I’m totally rooting for Team Darwin, all the time. It reminds me of Eric Chase Anderson‘s illustrations (the shop also has a lot of work straight from the Wes Anderson movies) . I want to get this one and this one also.
Cheap $2.50 tanks from F21. I like the fall colors, the slight 70′s V-cut at the bodice and the soft smooth fabric. Not to mention the price. Ridiculously cheap, because they’re probably made in a sweatshop with little tiny children hands. Joke, but kinda/probably true. I’m a bad person.
I love carbs. I really do. I love carbs so much I would marry carbs. I am a rice queen, pasta addict and bread lover. When I gained 20 lbs “out of the blue” after high school, it was because of my bread and butter diet. Then I started baking a lot and that didn’t help. The first thing I bought when I moved out of my mom’s house in my early 20′s was a rice cooker. I eat carbs for every meal, and lots of it even in between meals. So when I met B — who is 6’4″ and rail thin, I was shocked when he told me that he doesn’t eat bread. He claims that bread in Australia (where he’s from) is superior in taste and texture, and he just doesn’t like the bread we have here in the US (even amazing Tartine/Acme bread). “What a freak”, I muttered under my breath at the time. Guess who’s been on a carb ban for the last 15 days? me.
30 Days: only whole foods, no sugar, no grains, no potatoes, no beer.
Now anyone who knows me well, also knows that I do not have the greatest level of self control ever when it comes to food and alcohol (and in the past, cigarettes). My willpower is basically crap. So I’ve cheated. Pizza and beer in DC, beer on 4th of July (and the day after), and a handful of Swedish Fish the other day. So my 30 day challenge is turning into a 26 day challenge, but I’m ok with that.
I miss noodles and rice the most. I can eat carbs again on July 23rd. I plan on changing my diet permanently though and eating less carbs over all and trying to stick to a low-glycemic diet (thanks Eric, for that article!).
Some visuals of what I’ve been eating lately: 10+ veg stir-fry, chinese greens with mushrooms and bacon, chicken-kale-cabbage-zucchini-yellow squash-onion-pepper curry, aussie style breakfast
To date, I’ve lost 0 lbs. Fat or otherwise. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.
I’m a ’90s kid, coming of age in a time when 14.4 kbs modems were the shit, webpages were super basic and Yahoo ruled the interwebs (Netscape still only had 3 colors). Iomega ZIP drives backed up my documents, I wanted to be Acid Burn, and Logo was so 10 years ago. My parents bought our first home computer (Apple, of course) in 1986, and that was when I first learned to spell my full name correctly, without the big huge letters. Like any other 5 year old, I just wanted to type my name over and over and watch the little turtle cursor go across the screen. So it should go without saying that I’ve always felt at least comfortable with technology.
It’s always shocking when I meet other teachers (around my age or even younger!!) who have no clue how to use simple technology such as an electronic grade book, email, or PowerPoint. Throw in an electronic whiteboard and you’ve just introduced a dinosaur to a spaceship. #facepalm
There is a plethora of educational technology out there now, from test score tracking and school management to online courseware and curriculum sharing. I’ve yet to find one that I love, is aesthetically pleasant and blows my mind with its capabilities. There is so much crap out there, from Blackboard to ilearn to Moodle, and I haven’t adopted a single one. Am I just behind the times? Am I missing something here? In terms of using technology in my classroom, I rely on the basics: PowerPoint (Prezi!), TED/Ted Ed, YouTube and other videos like these, animations like these and my favorite, PhET (amazing science simulations, fun to play with).
One of the requirements for teacher cedentialing in California is a technology requirement. Prospective teachers could satisfy the requirement by: taking a 6 week long course (and paying $600 for it), take a semester long course (and paying $1500 for it), or take a technology exam that would give you a waiver ($60). You can guess which option I took. That exam was a total joke — there were seven tasks: print a page from the web, set up an Excel grade book using functions, format a prewritten letter in Word with proper font size and margins, find something using Google search, write 2 paragraphs on appropriate technology use, create a PowerPoint slide using a graphic from the web, and the last one was to send an email. I was in and out within 30 minutes, even though the exam allowed up to 4 hours. The clincher? Everything about the exam – registering, score reporting, payment – was paper based. I had to snail mail in a money order!! #facepalm
Anyways, I digress. Hanging out with B and his crowd this past year, it’s pretty obvious that I am not part of the tech industry in-crowd. I don’t know any languages, I don’t know what they mean when they talk about developer stuff and I’m like WTF, mate? when B jumps on my computer and pulls up Terminal. I use wordpress.com, not wordpress.org. I may get there one day, with B’s help.
In the mean time, I’ve discovered a few really fun web-based photo editing apps. Technology is kewl. By the way, don’t try using these sites with Chrome. Shockwave crashed every single damn time when it came time to save my work. So I started using Safari, and it works fine.
befunky – stupid name, cool effects and filters to make your photos look better/hipper/artier/prettier. It’s like Instagram (you can find me on there as akires), but for your desktop, and with more stuff like adding text, frames and stickers with a bit of basic Photoshop style editing.
gifpal – exactly like the name, it makes animated gifs using either your webcam or pics from your computer. Super fun, just like my two t-shirt twins here, Nelson and Matt.
pixlr — basic Photoshop on the web. Layers, cropping , blur, select, adjust, etc. I use it to create photo collages, which is not ideal and time consuming, but I haven’t found a better app for just that yet. (top MBC photo taken from here)
Any other cool apps I should know about?
B and I took the bus down to Washington DC (4 hours!) for the weekend to visit my sister Kris and her hubby Dave. We were blindsided by a freak storm friday night, just after we arrived. The storm and it’s 80 mph wind gusts knocked out power to Kris and Dave’s house, felled a tree into their backyard, and freaked
us me all out. They just got their power restored (a full 3 days later). So we were stuck all weekend with no AC, 100˚ plus heat, cancelled plans and a fridge full of slowly rotting food.
All wasn’t lost though, we busted out the camp stove to cook, cuddled with the doggies and played candlelight Scrabble. We also attended the Japan Embassy’s annual BBQ at the Ambassador’s residence where we stuffed our faces, melted in the heat and hobnobbed with various DC peeps.
The weekend snaps: 1) somehow (and it’s happening more often than I’d like lately), B and I managed to dress independently and still end up looking like twins 2) downed tree, hot sad pups, Scrabble by candlelight (I got 4th place!) 3) Embassy of Japan judo and martial arts entertainment, yummy food 4) me and B trying not to look like total sweaty messes in 100˚ heat 5) Kris and Dave, at the Pig 6) feeding my caffeine addiction on the way home to Brooklyn from the Bolt Bus drop off
There’s my favorite horsie shirt again.
B and I live in Brooklyn now, about 3 (Avenue) blocks from Prospect park, which I would say is roughly
the size half the size of Golden Gate park in SF. We’ve been in and out of this park already, checking out the farmer’s market and riding around the loop on our new bikes. B snapped these photos the last time we strolled over to the Farmer’s market at Grand Army Plaza. The park is such a nice reprieve from the noises of the city (even with the 200 family BBQs that happen all the time there, and the crazy screaming little kids on their razors). I’m thankful to have an apartment close to park. I plan on getting a lot of use out of my new super awesome park ready timbuk2 bag.
By the way, Saltwater Sandals are seriously the best summer sandal ever. Super comfy, never rubs, never pinches, lasts forever and super affordable. Same can be said for these new Native shoes that B and I bought. They’re like crocs, but way cooler looking. And, they’re beast free, which I know would please a few of my friends. They’re squishy (absorbs impact), waterproof (perfect for the NY summer rains), breathable (lots of holes for ventilation) and grippy (great for bike riding).
sunnies and tote: f21 – horsie shirt: urban outfitters (hella old) – shorts: j.crew – my shoes: saltwater sandals – b’s shoes: native
I’m thankful to live in a city where marriage discrimination hasn’t existed for the past year. What’s up Cali? What keeping you so backwards? People are people so why should it be? Anyways, B and I checked out the NYC version of the Pride parade yesterday, and these are a few pics off his camera.
After escaping the crowds, B and I headed over to the Bowery Hotel‘s rooftop bar, where we caught a set by my hometown faves, Geographer. I’ve gushed about them already here. I found out about it last minute, from their FB page. Good thing! The show was intimate (only about 50 people, max!), fun and all around awesome. Cool venue too. I was soo excited to see them play. I’ve been missing SF loads lately, so their set was a welcome reminder of SF. I was major SUPERFAN.
It was the perfect cap to our weekend. So was this awesome mural B and I happened upon while walking over to the Bowery Hotel. It was fate, these shorts matched perfectly.
sunnies: f21 – v-neck: threads for thought – shorts: unknown/forgotten brand from tobi.com – bag: freitag – sandals: sweedish hasbeens for h&m – lipstick: nars heat wave (appropriate name considering the new york weather lately, no?)