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
Summer Vaca – it is more than half way through, and it feels like it’s been rushing by at warp speed. This summer, B is also on a “summer vacation” with a 3 month sabbatical from work. B and I started off the break with a month long trip to Australia, hitting up both coasts and a little island along with way. It’s all too much for one post, so I’m breaking it up into 4 parts: Melbourne/Queensland/Perth/Sydney. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen some of these already, but get ready for photos overload!
First, some background info: B is Australian (with dual citizenship), but he’s been living in the states since the early 2000s. I’ve been to Oz before, but in the 5 years we’ve been together, we’ve never traveled back to his motherland together. So you can imagine how excited I was to be going back there with him, my ultimate Aussie boy-mate. I’d been pushing to make a summer for us/winter for them trip to Oz for about a year already, and then good timing kicked in. B’s brother Kai was getting married! B had a 3 month sabbatical waiting to be taken! The stars were aligned right around my summer vacation, so we booked tickets with the miles we’ve been saving up especially for a trip down under.
We started the Aussie Adventure with Melbourne. Melbourne is the San Francisco of Australia – it’s got the weather, the diversity, and the culture. All that was missing was the hills (Sydney’s got that one). My favorite bits of Melbourne were all the interesting tucked away alleys. Almost all the really neat coffee shops, restaurants and bars were in tiny alleys that in the states we only associate with garbage pick ups and muggings. The alley ways of Melbourne are places for public art (sanctioned or not), and so much of it was right up my alley that I had to remind myself to take photos of only my absolute favorites.
B and I spent 5 days in Melbourne, and we stayed near the CBD at Fraser Place which worked out well in terms of location, price and comfort. Right around the corner was a great cafe, and stop #1 in Oz always has to be coffee – Flat White, specifically – which they do perfectly. For the rest of the trip, B and I started off every morning and broke every afternoon hunting for a cool coffee shop. One in particular I liked, as it was styled like a little Japanese cafe. B and I looked very much like the giants that we are, surrounded by tiny furniture in a tiny room. Stand out coffees in Melbourne: League of Honest Coffee, Little Rouge Coffee, and Brother Baba Budan.
Prior to leaving Denver, I started a temporary Pinterest board of all the sights I wanted to check out in Melbourne. First was the Old Melbourne Gaol (jail), a sufficiently creepy but cool place to visit, complete with wax busts of prisoners made post-hanging. We splashed out and took the tour, and I learned about Ned Kelly for the first time. The next day, we went to Queen Victoria Market, where I did most of my souvenir shopping. I didn’t buy Ugg boots but B did buy a classic Aussie hat, and we picked up a kangaroo skin – which B instantly modeled for me in stereotypical Aussie fashion. Since B and I love the Denver Botanic Gardens, we also spent a day at the Royal Botanic Gardens. My favorite part was a little nook called Fern Gully, where I imagine is were all the fairies of Melbourne live. We ended the walk through the garden at the Shrine of Remembrance. If you ever find yourself in Melbourne, I recommend jumping in on a I’m Free (tips only) walking tour. B and I did it and it was pretty cool.
Asia is to Australia as Mexico and Central America is to the US. So you can imagine how excited I was to eat all of the yummy asian foods. I made a list, and we went to all of them and ate all of the things. I was a very happy camper, though our wallet very quickly was not. Australia is not cheap. Standouts were Din Tai Fung (they also have locations in CA and Seattle), the Dainty Sichuan, and Gami Chicken & Beer. As far as drinks, B and I checked out a couple bars but were generally disappointed with the cocktails in Australia. Berlin Bar was worth the trip in that first you had to ring a bell to be let in, then you had to chose which side of the bar to sit it: the East German minimalist/survival side or the West German posh velvet chairs side. The bar itself was really neat, and so was the stairway leading up to the bar. Cocktails were interesting on paper and presentation, but pricy and not particularly tasty and drinkable. Whiskey & Alement had an overwhelming 5 page whiskey menu which B liked, but I generally go for whiskey cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan and Im not a fan of peaty, smoky flavored rye whiskeys. The bar standard Old Fashioned I ended up with was exactly that. I choked it down anyway. B was a big fan of this place, though it was weird/confusing with 2 bars in one. There is a side bar within the bar that serves only Japanese Whiskey, but you have to pay at the main bar and convert AUD to Yen.
That’s it for Melbourne! Part 2: Queensland up next!
Teacher appreciation week came and went recently at my school. I got a few hand made cards, churros for breakfast, and a pasta lunch! It was a sweet week, especially once I threw in a BOGO beer for teachers at Factorum Brewery here in Denver along with a BOGO burrito at Chipotle right after.
Teacher perks are pretty awesome and always make me feel like a special unicorn. Normally though, teachers don’t look like special, sparkly unicorns. Usually, we stick to teacher outfit staples such as button downs, pencil skirts, and cardigans with large tote bags. At least, that’s how most people think teachers dress, or should dress. I have my fair share of cardigans and button downs, but the frumpy teacher look is not for me at all.
glasses: warby parker – necklaces and blazer: madewell – top: kit and ace – belt: gap – jeans: mother denim – boots: cole hahn
Last week, NEA Member Benefits contacted me to help promote their NEA Member Appreciation Month. As part of this promotion, they gave dramatic style makeover to 3 teachers, and put out videos with fashion tips specific for teachers. Many of these tips are kind of no-brainers though, such as “blend comfort and style” with dark stretchy jeans and soft leather ankle boots. The last tip I checked out was to”look polished and professional” by making sure your blazer can button across the front. Check, check, and check. In my head, I have the perfect emoji for this moment, but I’m going to just let your imagination run with it.
I blended style and comfort with a
stupid expensive but I super love it because it’s really warm and comfy Kit and Ace sweater B bought me for the holidays this past year, with the stretchiest pair of dark skinny jeans I have that were on super sale at Anthropologie. My ankle boots were a steal, as they literally cost me a penny. Seriously. There must have been a glitch in the tagging that day at Nordstrom Rack, because when I got home and looked at the receipt (I’m horrible and never pay attention at the actual register), they were listed for a penny. The blazer is an old faithful that I will wear the crap out of forever. All in all, this was a super comfortable outfit.
Sooooo, NEA Member Benefits is offering registered NEA members a chance to win up to a $1000 shopping spree with a Visa reward card (25 $100 gift cards are also being given away). Click here for for information on how to enter.
Disclosure: In case you haven’t figured this out by now, I’m getting paid a small sum (for the first time!) for this blog post. My learning community class will be getting treats next week because of this.
A couple weeks ago B and I went to the Denver Flea, where I picked up this gem of a t-shirt from Mile High Clothing Co. I love craft fairs/flea markets for finding t-shirts, and this one has quickly become my new favorite. John Muir is one of my favorite naturalists, second only to Charles Darwin.
The mountains are calling and I must go. I have been so antsy for summer. In two and a half weeks, we will be administering final exams for our 9-11th graders. Summer is calling my name, loudly.
cardigan: jcrew – tshirt: mile high clothing co – belt: banana republic – jeans: mother denim – sandals: mossimo
I’m on a countdown to summer. I have actually been on this countdown since spring break! After tomorrow, there will only be four Fridays till the last day of school. I have a couple posts still waiting to go up. Last week I took photos and couldn’t find time to post them. I’ve been busy gardening everyday after school. I totally get the whole “gardening is my zen time” thing. Its physical, it’s quiet, and I get to pull things out by the roots (oddly therapeutic). Bonus: pretty flowers like these!
I bought this cardigan a week ago in store and on sale (as always), and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I had this picture from Pinterest in mind and I was hoping I could copy the look with this cardigan. I think it falls aesthetically short though with its thick fabric and too slouchy shape (too big for me). No compliments from kids so far either. It does make a good classroom sweater though, since it has pockets. What do you guys think?
sweater: madewell – t-shirt: zara – jeans: mother via anthropologie – shoes: swedish hasbeens – necklaces: f21
I’ve spent every evening this past week in my garden digging, destroying, and planting. It’s my “discovery garden” as Rossin so aptly put it. I have no idea what I’m doing or if what I plant will even grow. In college, I got an A in Botany. Botany ≠ Horticulture, so I’ve managed to eventually kill almost every house plant I’ve ever had. Fingers crossed the bulbs I finally finished planting today will give me beautiful flowers come July.
This was Monday. Because, love will tear us apart, again. I think this blog will be slowing down again with summer approaching. B and I are heading to Oz for a month then a staycation for the rest of the break. I see myself spending a lot of time in our yard with summer and much less time staring at a computer screen.
jacket: h&m – t-shirt:hot topic – jeans: 3×1 – belt: gap – shoes: worishofer
This is what I wore today. It was 80˚F today, and we are forecast to get up to a foot of snow over the weekend. This weather is cray, and my legs haven’t seen the sun in months. At least I got to test out my new sandals this week. B and I were at Target for what I promised to be “just a quick trip for essentials” when I spied a buy one get one 1/2 off sale in the shoe section. Obviously, I had to take a peek. I walked away with these bad boys and B walked away from Target swearing he’d never fall for that trick again.
sweater: j.crew – dress: f21 – sandals: mossimo/target