Favorite Things – March

I have a secret . . .  I’m somewhat really obsessed with watching makeup and style YouTube videos in the evenings before I fall asleep. It’s my guilty pleasure. Some people watch the Bachelor, some watch 16 and Pregnant, and then there are others who watch Primitive Technology (I’m looking at you, B). I watch people put makeup on and talk about skin care products they like. One feature I really enjoy is watching Monthly Favorites type videos where people talk about what they really enjoyed in the last month. I’m stealing the idea, because I’m tired of just writing about school, and there are some really cool things I want to share!

First:

Girl’s night out to Hop Alley here in Denver. I love this place, mainly because it is actually a really good Chinese American restaurant. Bonus points, they mix up drinks to share, Scorpion Bowl style! My mom is one of the best chefs ever, and I grew up in California – the mecca of good Chinese (and all other Asian) food in the states. Needless to say, the bar is set pretty high for me in terms of Asian cuisine, and I can be extremely critical. Just ask B – he HATES going to Asian “themed” or “inspired” restaurants with me because all I will do is criticize their terrible food, their cultural appropriation, and casually racist drink names. Take note, Cholon Denver.

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Second:

Toronto!  My BFF Abraham and I went to visit our friend Edgar in Toronto over Spring Break. Edgar used to teach with us here in Denver, but moved up to Canada last fall. We missed him, and what better excuse to do some quick traveling? My favorite bits included taking a day trip to Niagara Falls, getting drinks at the Lockhart (the best Harry Potter themed bar ever, complete with magic tricks!), and breaking my shopping ban at COS.

 

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Third:

B and I are ramping up with the gardening thing. We have been spending every weekend working in the garden. We built new garden beds in the front yard, planted a new grafted 4-fruit tree, and sowed a bunch of seeds in the vegetable garden. Waiting patiently for the summer harvest and for the peonies I planted to bloom!  Check out some of our work on B’s blog, beau.blog, and my Instagram (mostly stories though).

Fourth:

Our new lemon tree. Impulse purchase at the garden center – but it smells absolutely AMAZING. I will happily sit by this little mini tree and stick my nose in the flowers all afternoon. I really hope it does well in our living room, I love it so much!

Side note: more often than not, when I look at this little plant, I am transported back to 1996 when I spent the summer in Taipei, Taiwan, and the song craze of the summer was called Lemon Tree.  It’s amazing, check it out.

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Fifth: Material Things

I bought this NARS blush palette near the end of 2016, and I’ve been using it every single day since. I love Nars blushes, and I already own a few singles as well as the Danmari blush palette. The shades are very pigmented, and the colors very bold and strong. Even for a blush lover like me, anything more than a tiny tap of the brush verges into painted clown territory. Blended out well, these blush shades are perfect for my medium skin tone and can look very natural. It can make my cheeks look as if I just ran down the hall to the copier and back during 1st period with my fingers crossed I don’t come back to a hot mess.

Aesop…so darn “artisanal”, but so darn heavenly, I can’t even resist. I went on a ridiculous Aesop splurge whilst in Melbourne this past summer (cheaper due to the exchange rate, and country of origin!), and I’m still savoring these two: Resolute Hydrating Body Balm and Marrakech Intense Perfume. B isn’t a fan of the smell of the perfume, but I don’t care, I love it. Both scents are unconventional, intoxicating, more spicy than sweet, and slightly hippy-ish (a term I wouldn’t usually use to describe myself).

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B turns 36

My favorite person, B, turned 36 last week. We had a small backyard BBQ to celebrate the weekend before, and I hastily snapped some photos of him with some of our closest friends who happened to be in good lighting. Here are the best of them.

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I’ve been super lazy with blogging lately, I know. I got back from a spring break trip to Toronto, so a post on that will be coming up soon.  I’ve also been amassing a list of blog post ideas that will help put me on a schedule with posting more regularly. I’m determined to get better! Thanks for hanging in there in the meantime.

Miss! Are You Wearing Makeup?!

I started this post about 2 weeks ago, and then promptly forgot about it.  So here it is…2 weeks later!

This past Tuesday, I wore makeup to school – like I do every day. On this day, however, it was a big deal to 3rd period. The “Do-Now” conversation turned into “Miss! Are you wearing makeup today?” “Miss! do you have a date tonight, is that why?” and “Miss! you look pretty.”  Thanks for the ego boost kids!

The truth is, I wear makeup every day, but that morning, I decided to add bit bit of eye liner – one extra step that I don’t normally do. My everyday morning routine consists of hitting the snooze about 4 times, dragging myself out of bed to brush the teeth, wash the face, moisturize said face with SPF, and get dressed. Once those things are done, it’s makeup time. I slap on a light skin base of some sort, stave off the inevitable oily sheen with some powder, run some brown goop over the brows, and dab some life in the form of blush onto my cheeks. Then I head downstairs to pour about 32 fl. oz. of coffee into travel thermoses (I set the coffee maker the night before), grab a snack bar for lunch and head out the door.  20 min later I’m on my way in to school.

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sweater: j.crew – blouse: madewell – jeans: j.brand – boots: h&m – belt: banana republic – everything old and not currently in stores

Spring Forward

I’m already looking ahead to Spring, and it’s not even really here yet.  B and I started plannning our new and expanded #discoverygarden in the middle of February, with snow actively falling.  In the fall, B and I broke up our front yard (old dead lawn) and right-of-way to make room for more garden space. We’ve now tripled our previous garden square footage! I can’t wait for when we can finally plant at the end of April and the start of May.

The weather here in Denver is still frigid though, so I’m still dressing the part with dark colors and wool. The bright late 2000’s J.Crew style lipstick is still going strong, today with Nars ‘Funny Face’.  I’m also still on my shopping ban though, so everything here is old or a hand me down from my sister. I did break my shopping ban to back this kickstarter project though – It was just too good to pass up!

Last 2 Days

I’m on a shopping ban till June – no shopping of any kind. No new clothes or beauty products, no extras of anything I don’t actaully truly need. It’s going to be tough, but it’s also forcing me to “shop my closet”. It’s a ridiculous phrase, because it feeds into our consumerist addiction of shopping by not shopping – the exact habit I’m trying to break! On the plus side though, I’ve been rediscovering loads of old loves.

I watched this Valentine’s Day make up tutorial the other day by Chrissstttiiine, and it reminded me of how much I drooled over the J.Crew style makeup back in 2010. Bright matte lips and minimal everything else – exactly what I love.  The next day I went rummaging through my lipstick collection (it’s embarassingly superflous) and dug out my old trusty NARS lipstick in Heat Wave. It’s always been a “summer color” for me in the past, but it’s been worryingly hot here in Denver this past week. In fact, we hit the record for the hottest february day ever last Friday at 80˚F. I’ve worn the same lipstick 2 days in a row now – something that almost never happens.

Today, on her way into 5th period, a kid said “Miss, you look like a character out of something today…your lipstick and the stripes…I don’t know, it’s a look”. I’m not sure what that means, but I interpreted it as, “Miss, you look super chic today, like straight out of a French-y scene in a J.Crew catalog!” right?!?

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shirt: uniqlo – jeans: f21 – belt: banana republic – shoes: mia – lipstick: nars heat wave

Yesterday, I dug out all of the old favorites. Everything I wore yesterday has been in my closet for at least 4 years if not more. My old favorite Madewell wool flannel blazer I picked up in DC while shopping with my sister. The oldest pair of Forever 21 jeans I bought back in my first year of teaching (worn 2 days in a row). The first pair of ankle boots I bought back in 2009 when everyone was all about tall riding style boots and I thought I was so hip to wear low ankle booties. The oldest t-shirt I own, so thin it’s almost too risque for school. All to match one of my oldest lipsticks. This is a lot of talk about old stuff. I’m approaching middle age. The next step to to buy a motorcyle (I reeeeeaaaaaaly want one again!) and wear all of my oldest and favorite-st clothes forever. In fact, I wore this same exact outfit back in 2012 on a trip to NYC before we moved there. So old.

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blazer: madewell – tshirt: threads 4 thought – jeans: f21 – belt: gap – boots: nordstrom bp – lipstick: nars heat wave

Nasty

Nasty Women of the world unite! I saw this t-shirt a while ago on the Instagram feed of a woman I watch on Youtube – Stephanie Villa (#stylecrush). I loved it so much I absolutely had to pick one up for myself even though I started a shopping ban at the start of the year. I wore it yesterday, and turns out it played right into the spirit week theme for the day – black out. Winning.

Speaking of winning, I’ve decided today that it’s ok to give myself some pats on the back more often. Over the years I’ve been so well trained by evaluation rubrics (like LEAP and Danielson) and professionalism rubrics (that’s a thing here in Denver) to think only in terms of what I coulda/shoulda/woulda have done better – because unless you’re a unicorn, you are not a good teacher (or at least just effective). So well trained, in fact, that I’ve completely forgotten to remember that sometimes, I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! 

Today I hosted a learning lab through PEBC, where about 15 teachers and administrators came into my class and watched me teach. I was so nervous, my hands were shaking a bit at the start! The focus of this learning lab was on teaching students to use thinking strategies in a Science classroom. The content for the day was gene expression, so I taught it through the lens of supernumerary nipples, with some reading, discussion, and grappling. The kids were great – they did everything I planned, and asked the best questions. They performed so well they even all remained in their seats and kept discussing the prompt while I went into the hall to break up a fight! Seriously. Never a dull moment. Today’s learning lab was more learning for the observers than my own learning, but I did get one valuable lesson out of this – that I’m actually a pretty darned good teacher sometimes, and it’s ok to admit that to myself more often. It’s ok to be a Nasty Woman!

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glasses: warby parker – t-shirt: twostringjane (etsy) – cardigan and jeans: uniqlo – boots: madewell – bracelet/cuff: julia szendrei – belt: urban outfitters

Taking a Chill Pill

First off, thank you everyone for the outpouring of support and shared thoughts. The flow of responses both publicly and through email has helped bolster my spirits this past week immensely. I’ve been more zen about trying to do it all, and I’ve learned a few things about what teaching might be like in other areas around the world. I think teachers are inherently an empathetic bunch, and more often than not I just need a good shoulder to cry on/with before hitching up again for another wild ride at school.

This past week I participated in the Global Women’s March, took 10 teenagers from school snowboarding, worked a 50 hour work week, and taught my students a little bit about Chinese New Year in between all the science. I would call it a successful week. To ease out of the work week, I dressed super chill today with stretchy jeans, sneakers and a sweatshirt.  Kids responded with: “we can’t even tell that you’re a teacher, miss. You look just like us today!” and “Ms. Schenck’s got the second best shoe game in the building!” I have no idea who is first. I’m ok with being second.

I picked these up at the tail end of last year while out shopping the holiday sales. I needed another pair or shoes like I needed a hole in my head, but I had a moment of fashion weakness. Stan Smith sneakers have been back in trend for ages now, and I finally caved. It’s funny how Adidas sneakers have made it into 3 rounds of trends (that I’ve noticed directly) since I’ve been alive.  In the 80’s, these exact shoes were all the rage amongst the asian kids who played tennis, and Adidas shell toes were gracing the feet of hip hop legends like Run DMC. In the mid 90’s, Adidas sneakers were once again all the rage amongst my friends and the skater boys. In the early 2000’s, old school Adidas shell toes were all my friends and I wore – to concerts, on the motorcycle, to parties, all day every day. Now I feel like Adidas sneakers are in the midst of a new resurgence. I’m pretty glad I still had a pair in my closet from the last cycle in the 2000’s, but I of course “needed” to add these to the collection. I’m sure once the current Adidas craze dies down, they’ll be back out for another round in about 10 years. I’ll be prepared.

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sweatshirt: automattic (present from b) – t-shirt: ??  (stolen from b’s closet) – jeans: f21 – belt: gap – sneakers: adidas