The first week of school is done! It was a rough week trying to get my body to physically adjust back to being in the classroom with students. I wasn’t hungry when I actually had time to eat, and I was starving during 5th period when I don’t have any breathing time till around 2:30. My restroom break schedule still needs tweaking around my teaching schedule. To help that, I’ve been forgetting to drink any “not coffee” type liquids. By the time next Friday rolls around, I will have whipped my body back into teaching shape with the bladder made of iron.
This year I’ve decided to document my entire “first week back” wardrobe. This is a fashion blog, after all, and there is no more important sartorial week in a teachers year than the first week back. Am I right? This week’s wardrobe is pretty typical for me – I start off with a few nice (read: dress or skirt) and casual it up for the rest of the days, ending with a bang of super dress-down on Fridays.
Monday: 9th grade only (I do not have classes, as I teach 10th and 12th graders this year). I forgot to take photos that day in the classroom, so B helped me snap a couple on my phone when I got home. Giant forehead alert!
glasses: warby parker – cardigan: american apparel – dress: j.crew – shoes: saltwater sandals
Tuesday: My actual first day of school. I don’t know what I was thinking putting this outfit together the night before, because I hated it all day at school. I think the shoes have got to go to a friend who has a desk job, because they were not comfortable at all for making laps in the hallways. The skirt was too tight in the waist (summer pleasures brought on a fall squeeze) and kept climbing upwards when I walked. It’s a old skirt, and I used to love it, but I think it’s passed it’s peak. The shirt on the other hand, I love.
glasses: warby parker – top: j.crew – skirt: dkny jeans – shoes: h&m
Wednesday: the short day. We have block schedule at my school on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This means I have prep periods all morning, teach only one 1.5 hr class, and then we have early release for grade team and all staff meetings. I love Wednesdays, obvi
shirt: anthropologie – belt: banana republic – jeans: 3×1 – shoes: mia
Thursday: OMG save me type of a day. Thursdays is the opposite of Wednesdays this year. I teach straight through for 5.5 hrs before I get a real break. By the end of Thursday I could barely remember my own name.
glasses: warby parker – shirt: target – skirt: banana republic – shoes: mia
Friday: Thank god the weekend is here, I survived! This Friday, I busted out a slam dunk of a first week of school t-shirt, a real gem for this science teacher. B’s mum sent over a super stuffed birthday package for me this year, full of gummy candies, gorgeous smelling soaps, gardening gloves, and an awesome science shirt! It is seriously the best, and the kids definitely liked it. The shirt is from a small Perth based Etsy shop called ScienceStitch. I think mum found the shirt in Perth, so I’m sorry if you’re looking for the same shirt online.
t-shirt: science stitch – belt: gap – jeans: 3×1 – shoes: nike (omg, like walking on clouds!)
My classroom is back! This week has been teacher report week at my school, which is our time to gear up for the upcoming school year. We have a bunch of new staff again this year, so it’s been fun meeting everyone and catching up with the old folks. This first few days where many of us are juggling physical work on our classrooms while jumping in and out of meetings can make getting dressed in the morning interesting. I’ve been taking the easy way out by essentially wearing the same thing all week and just rotating out the t-shirts.
These jeans and clogs are stylish enough to keep me from looking like I’m still on vacation, and the t-shirt is casual enough to do dirty work like science supply room reorganizing. A bonus is that the t-shirt is covered in tiny little skulls – the Cheap Monday logo. Normally I’m not into brand logos, but I’ve made an exception for this one since the skulls are just the right amount of cute and bad-ass. I picked this one up in Sydney on the way out to Bondi.
t-shirt: cheap monday – belt: banana republic – jeans: mother denim – clogs: mia, via nordstrom rack – necklace: from my mom and grandmother
I have a new pair of “classroom shoes”. These are the shoes that I keep under my desk at all times just in case my feet need a rest over the course of the day, or I just feel like a change it up mid-day. I used to keep a pair of ballet flats under there, but they have been nearing the end for a while. Luckily, Oofos emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in trying out a pair of their clogs. Yup, of course I do! I got them in the mail, immediately stuck them on, and didn’t want to take them off all evening. Clouds. Really. Comfortable. Clouds. They’re not the most exciting pair of shoes ever, but they are ridiculously light weight, squishy, and supportive. My friend Mallory has a pair of their sandals, and she wears them all summer, and also when she comes home and doesn’t want to go barefoot. These will be good for those days when I’m breaking in new shoes or just want to treat my feet at the end of the day. Hurray new classroom shoes!
I’ve been back in the states for a bit over a month, and part 4 of my Aussie trip is finally up! The last stop on our great Aussie Adventure was Sydney. B’s brother lives in Sydney, and we had planned to spend a few days with the new Mr and Mrs. Lebens on the way back to the States. Timing got in the way though, and ironically the whole time we were in Sydney, they were in the States off on their honeymoon to Los Angeles and New York. All was well though, Kai and Jill graciously opened up their Chippendale (centrally located!) apartment for us to crash in while they were gone.
Sydney was a nice round up to our Aussie trip. Sydney is the big metropolitan city, while Melbourne is the cultural center. Sydney is to Melbourne as New York is to San Francisco, and Perth is Denver (minus the strict social rules). I did some of my shopping here, making stops at Aesop (cheaper with the exchange rate), COS (only store in the US is in NY), Priceline (more Lucas’s Paw Paw), and a shop called MDRanking, that sells Korean and Japanese skincare brands.
The food in Melbourne and Sydney were amazing AF. Name any kind of Asian cuisine you want and you can find it done well in Sydney. The best ever was a small alley called Spice Alley, were there is a long strip of individual stalls that sell Asian street food. Malaysian, Japanese, Chinese, Singaporean, and Thai styles are represented with their own stall. This alley was so good, we tried them all over three separate visits – I insisted.
Sydney is absolutely beautiful, and each suburb (neighborhood) has a different vibe. We spent time in Glebe (my favorite), Chippendale, Bondi, Manly, and the CBD area. We could have done and seen more, but we were nearing the end of our trip, so we dragged our feet a bit in the mornings and wasted a lot of time just hanging about.
Day two, B and I took the train (fantastic public transit system!) out to Bondi Junction, did a bit of shopping (hello Cheap Monday store!), then walked down to Bondi Beach. It felt like were were in a totally different city the moment we got off the train. The Bondi suburb seemed more like a sleepy beach/surf town far away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Granted, we were there in the middle of winter, so I bet it gets a bit crazy during the peak months. The homes on the cliffs reminded me of San Francisco, and the street art was pretty cool (Melbourne takes the cake though). I love the smell of the ocean, so hanging out in Bondi really hit the spot and made me miss SF so much.
Our last full day in Australia, B and I took the train all the way out to the Blue Mountains National Park. This place is absolutely breath taking. The Blue Mountains isn’t actually a bunch of mountains – it actually a large vast canyon, kind of like the Grand Canyon in the States. The canyon is deep and lush with hiking trails that snake all along the edge. B and I booked tickets on an Explorer Bus to shuttle us to the various lookout points, but we ended up just hiking the whole way. By the end of the day, we hiked a total of 11 miles and saw 5 ridiculously beautiful waterfalls. By the end of the day we were practically sprinting through the bush to catch the last bus to take us back to the train station.
Now that our big Aussie Adventure is over, I’m setting my sights on moving to Australia eventually. Right now it would not be very reasonable, since B travels so much for work within the US. In addition, Bambi would not enjoy a 6 month quarantine period, so we’d have to wait till she “moves on”. Lastly, moving to a different continent would be a huge undertaking with acquiring a working visa (B is a dual citizen, so at least he’s got is easy), selling all our things and our house, and juggling Stateside/Australian assets and taxes (headache!). When I think about it logically, it doesn’t make any sense for us to move to Aus. But I still really want to one day just chuck it all and go live on a boat somewhere in Australia. Seriously.
My friends Sara and Pedro got married recently, and I was so excited to be there to celebrate with them. I know Sara from Brooklyn, as she’s one of the Leaders High School super stars. B and I clicked with S & P almost instantly, and we are very lucky to have them in our lives, even though we are now separated by a few thousand miles. I managed to capture a few moments from their lovely wedding on a farm in Minnesota. I ended up wearing a dress from ASOS, and it was perfectly comfortable and swishy enough for all the bachata dancing that came later. Sadly, I ended up with just one photo of the dress from the event, since I was the one behind the lens the whole time!
Stop three of our great
Summer Winter Aussie Adventure 2016 took us to Perth in Western Australia. Perth is seriously beautiful, with white sand beaches that made me wish it was summer. The sun was out almost every day and considering it was winter, it was still quite warm. B and I packed our days with strolls in the CBD and other hoods, visits with family and friends, with trips out to Freemantle and Rottnest Island. B is from Perth, so we spent the most time here staying with Mum and Peter.
Perth feels like the smaller, cuter, but much more conservative sister to Sydney and Melbourne. There were security cameras everywhere, PSAs against anti-social behavior, and checks for paid train tickets at multiple points. Everything was very clean, well manicured, and absent of any graffiti. Hooliganism and Hooning are strictly prohibited and can result in steep consequences. It felt a bit odd at times and provided for many moments of “srsly?” It’s a cultural difference from the States that I seem to have missed the first time I visited Perth 6 years ago.
Mum and Peter are vintage car collectors, so I got to ride around in style all over Perth! My favorite was the ’62 Panhard, a little French car that is just too cute for words. Then there is the Alvis, the Jaguar, and 2 Bentleys. The pride of the family is the 1927 Bentley 4.5 Liter. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to actually drive any myself.
Of course, no family visit or celebration is complete without a little family portrait time. Mums like that kind of thing =) So here are the Lebenses (and a Schenck)!
One of our last stops in Perth was Rottnest Island. I just HAD to go and see the Quokkas. B couldn’t understand my obsession with going to see them – he kept trying to tell me that they were just like giant rats. They are exceptionally cute rats though, so I took a million photos of these guys. Also, it
rained bucketed down rain on us the entire time we were on Rottnest. Next time, we’re going in summer!
Part 4 – Sydney coming soon. Also, first day of school in 2 weeks!
For Part One, check out this post here.
After Melbourne, B and I headed up to the Sunshine Coast for his brother Kai’s wedding to Jill. I’d met Kai once before, but only knew Jill via social media. I’d also never met B’s dad (he doesn’t travel out of Aus much), so this was pretty exciting for me. It was great to spend time with B’s parents and creep on how many behaviors and mannerisms B picked up from his mum and dad. B’s dad Craig runs a dive shop down in Bremer Bay, which is a hot spot for Sea Dragons. After many years of observing and tracking behavior and distribution of Sea Dragons, he’s probably one of the world’s leading experts on these delicate and beautiful organisms.
The wedding itself was of course absolutely beautiful, taking place in the temperate rainforest, by a lake. Checkout their wedding video here, to get a feel of the setting and the event. I got my first taste of Australian wildlife here, when possums came to visit us at night looking for a treat. They are really, really cute. I round out the hard way though, that they actually have sharp claws. oops. For the wedding, I chose to bring a dress I found at Anthropologie that seemed appropriate enough. I had a ridiculously hard time finding a dress to wear that was not white, black and was not covered in flowers. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I spent too much time having fun at the wedding, and forgot to get any full photos of me in the dress. Jill and Kai looked amazing, as they always do, as did all of the Lebenses. The wedding was a 2 day affair, and the next day we spent time at Aussie World running around jumping on rides and driving bumper cars.
Our last day in the Queensland, we stopped by Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo for a few hours before flying out of Brisbane. Oh my god, I was so happy. I got to pet Koalas! and Kangaroos! So ridiculously cute and amazing. I spend the whole time there running from animal to animal, and poor B, Mum, and Peter had to jog at some points to try and keep up. Crickey!
Part 3: Perth coming soon! Teachers report back in 2 weeks! I’m not ready.
It’s been HOT in Denver lately, with temps in the mid 90’s every day. There was never much of a summer growing up in the San Francisco fog, so I’ll never get used to the thick sweat/sunscreen coat I end up wearing everyday. Plus, now that I’m older, my feet swell in the heat. YAY. Who really cares though, when there is so much fun to be had in Colorado during the summer. B and I have been hiking, working on the garden, grillin, and riding bikes to breweries. We are heading on a 3 day canoe/camping trip in western Colorado this Thursday. Don Henley’s been playing in the background all summer, and I’ve been obsessed with 80’s/90’s soft rock. But seriously, how awesome is this song?
I went shopping the other day and J.Crew was having a 50% off sale items sale. This dress was long enough, and fit well, so I picked it up on a whim. It was a hit with everyone, even random strangers on the street. As I was photographing this in the backyard, B commented that it looked like a hippie wedding dress. I can live with that.
dress: jcrew – clogs: mia via nordstrom rack – sunnies: wordpress.com swag via b