A Mild December

One week ’till Winter break!  It’s been surreal though – we’re quickly approaching fall final exams, and it’s still 63˚F outside. It’s been a mild December. I’m still fall dressing, and my winter boots are still stored away. Except for that one freak weekend near the end of November, Denver has been darn pleasant! It’s still “no-socks” weather, so I’ve been wearing the crap out of these leopard print slides and cropped jeans. To winter-ize, I painted my nails last night with a holiday theme using nail art pens that B bought me years ago for Christmas. Also, I’ve been digging my new coffee thermos B bought me for a recent Sinterklaas party our Dutch/American friends hosted. It’s kind of the best coffee thermos ever, and if there is ever a stereotype about teachers, it’s that they drink a lot of coffee. I am one of those people.

These jeans are a new purchase from black friday when Urban Outfitters was having a buy one get one half off promotion. They are worth every penny though, because I’ve been wearing them over and over. I usually wear my denim about 3-4 times in between washes, and these are thick without stretch. So they hold up really well wear after wear without getting too baggy in the knees or the bum. Also, I’ve been digging looser fitting jeans with straight leg cuts lately. Maybe it’s getting older, or maybe it’s the changing denim trend, but I’m slowly getting off the skinny jeans train. Maybe this cut isn’t the most flattering or curve hugging, but I love the high waist (long torso/short leg strategy) and the little flare at the hem. My only complaint about these jeans is that they can cause a bit of cowboy crotch, and that they are just a tad bit too cropped. Either way, I’ve decided I’m over being weird about the crotch region with my pants. It’s just how my body is built, and its ridiculous to expect anything else.

THLT kent cardigan

THLT madewell kent cardigan

THLT Zojirushi coffee mug

THLT BDG kick flare jeans

THLT madewell cardigan

THLT HEMA soft matt lip balm

THLT urban outfitters kick flare jeans

cardigan: madewell – jeans – bdg – tshirt: f21 – belt: gap – shoes: banana republic – lipstick: hema (purchased in paris) – thermos: zojirushi

Spring Sprung

These photos are from last week.  I broke my shopping ban in Toronto over spring break and picked up a second pair of Blundies.  Seriously, I need another pair of Blundstones like I need a hole in my head.  But these are black, and the pair I already have are brown. That is my thought process here, I’m not even kidding. But ALSO, they were cheaper because I was in Canada, another Commonwealth country, and I have more buying power with the current exchange rate. Justification of a ridiculous purchase! All jokes aside though, these boots will last me literally forever. One woman I know has had her Blundies since college, and I’m pretty sure she’s at least a little bit older than me.  This means my Blundies will last untill I’m dead. Just like this dress from 2012, this sweater from 2015, and this scarf from 2013.

On the school front, there are only 4 (or 5, depending on the positivity of the person) weeks till school is out!  Our kids have been testing these past 2 weeks, and the teachers have been feeling the testing fatigue. Testing at our school means 100 min blocks, all day every day for 2 weeks. I love my kids, but these blocks have felt extra long these days. I have also been planning these class blocks packed with super relaxing and chill activities such as annotating scientific texts, structured discussions/debates, argumentative writing, and synthesis.

It’s funny – every year I think I’m sooooo done, I’m just going to show movies for the rest of the year! But then a super interesting topic comes around and bam, I spend heaps of time really working to develop their thinking skills.  This year, they will be studying the potential future US/Mexico border wall, but through the lens of the ecological impacts a large physical barrier would create. These past 2 weeks I’ve been busy working on the build up – not even the juicy part! We’re still just working on learning ecological relationships (trophic levels, disruptions in food webs, etc), and I got evaluated this past Tuesday.  Ugh.  My lesson was pretty good – I had spent hours working on it myself and elicited the eyes of no less than 4 other people, which means it was “effective”. Evaluations really have a way of feeling punitive as opposed to a learning experience. It’s to the point where I have been trained to just be thankful that I’m “effective”. SAD!

THLT blundstones

THLT blundstones4

THLT blundstones5

THLT blundstones3

THLT blundstones2

glasses: warby parker – scarf: topman – cardigan: madewell – dress: gap – leggings: target – boots: blundstone 510

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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?!?

nars-heat-wave

thlt-uniqlo-stripes

thlt-nars-heat-wave-lipstick

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.

thlt-oldies2

thlt-madewell-blazer

thlt-oldies

thlt-nars-heat-wave-lipstick2

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!

thlt-nasty-woman

thlt-nasty-woman-tee

thlt-two-string-jane-nasty-woman-tee

thlt-nasty

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

This Week.

This past week has been craaaaaazy.  It started off with a holiday party on Monday, went on to a 13 hour work day Tuesday, into Finals week, and is ending today (Friday) with another holiday party.

The Fall semester is winding down to a close with the last 2 final exams taking place on Monday.  Grades are due the following day, and we are on winter vacation starting Thursday. It’s been a great semester – I’ve been growing as an educator without feeling overwhelmed, and my kids have been super awesome. Teaching AP Bio is super cool, as the kids are self motivated and more importantly excited for my class every day. Mind blowing, seriously. All my classes have been awesome – these kids man, they really warm my heart to the core every day, even when my face still looks stone cold.

I really hope it all continues to go well next semester – but I’m wary since I’m getting an additional class to teach come January. This means my average 45 hour/week job is turning into a 50+ hour/week job, which to me is not sustainable. Fingers crossed I find magical time in my day to make it all work!  Sadly, we (in science) all know there is no such thing as magic.  I crush my students’ dreams all the time when we get to the unit where we discuss the Conservation of Matter and the first Law of Thermodynamics.  It’s when I tell them that magic doesn’t exist, and while we’re at it, Santa Claus doesn’t either.  Nothing can be created or destroyed, only converted. So back in the day, the Santa Claus I thought I saw in my living room just converted his clothes from dad clothes to a red furry Santa outfit!  I’m so mean. Just to remind every one so I don’t start getting hate comments, these are 15 year olds.

On Monday, I got dressed with “day to night” in mind.  I knew I’d be at school late (hello finals week!), and that I would have to rush just about straight from school to a holiday party at the Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton, CO.  Brewery tours aren’t exactly the place for typical sparkly holiday outfits, but I still wanted to spice it up a bit. Good thing I had new boots to throw on!  I picked these up from the Madewell site recently with all the great holiday sales going on. They are calf hair, meaning they feel even more like a dead animal than just plain leather. I really am a terrible person. Lastly, I topped it all off with the goth-iest of lipsticks I own, Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Damned.  Because damn, I’m damned after that last comment about my shoes being made from baby cows. Terrible.

madewell-nadine-boot-2

animal-print-boots

madewell-chelsea-boot

madewell-nadine-boot

img_2903

top: free people – jeans: mother denim – boots: madewell