An evening with Friends, and Gallery Hopping in the City

On Wednesday, Annie had a few of us over for a casual get-together. We munched on a few things, and sipped margaritas. Our usual crowd was there, and it was just what I needed to finish out my week. Work has been running me pretty ragged, and it was exactly what I needed. My friends are always the cure for anything. We played Cards against Humanity, which is always a blast and very entertaining.

 

On Thursday, Roomie and I had professional development at our sister school in Hayward. I met the other two art teachers, and had a wonderful time talking shop. As I am the only art teacher at my school, and building my own curriculum, bouncing my ideas off these two guys really helped.

While the rest of the district had a second day of professional development in Hayward, the three of us met up at 111 Minna Gallery for a day of wandering around looking at art galleries.

The weather was warm and sunny, unusual for San Francisco in October. We drifted from 111 Minna to the Academy of Art, and stumbled into a ancient five story building with a multiple small galleries on each floor.

We grabbed a bite to eat at Le Boulanger on Market and walked over to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. They had a beautiful exhibit. I snapped these there

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My favorite piece at Yerba Buena was tucked into the room in the front called the Room of Big Ideas. I loved the wall that was there. I wanted to take it home with me.

I loved that last line, so I took a picture of just that. Sometimes it is very hard to live in the moment, to feel everything around me. But this wall, this wall reminded me of why.

From there we sat in the garden, and took in the glorious weather.

 

 

 

We walked back to Minna and parted ways. I walked over to Nordstrom’s, where a girl from my small group at church works in the Fine Jewelry floor. We chatted for a while, and then I realised what time it was. I dashed over to the Kate Spade section, and treated myself to a little something!

I ran errands today, and tidied up around the house. Last weekend my family and I celebrated my birthday. My parents gave me a stand mixer!!! So, tomorrow I plan on baking up a storm! Annie is coming over and we are tackling a long list of yummy treats! Tomorrow I’ll show you what I picked up from Nordstrom’s and whatever tasty things we bake!

I hope you have some exciting plans for tonight!  Saturdays are always the best night to have a little fun.

Love,

-S

 

Work, Testing and Becoming a Yearbook Teacher,

Work has been busy, and it occurs to me that I haven’t really talked about what the Roomie and I do during the day.

The Roomie and I work together at a small charter high school in san Jose. I teach two periods of intro to art, and then work as the site testing coordinator for the rest of the afternoon. I tackle a combination of paperwork from MAPS (Measure of Academic Progress), CELDT (California English Language Development) CAHSEE ( California High School Exit Exam) and most recently added PSAT and SAT Testing for our school. I organise, assist proctor, proctor the tests, and then collect and ship all the documents back.

In one aspect, it is nice that I teach for a bit, and then get to format the rest of the day any way I choose. But, it is also a lot of paperwork to read through (Dull stuff too), and mind-numbing test proctoring. I have been playing a lot of catch-up in both sections in addition to starting my BITSA training.

Also, I am the yearbook coordinator for our school. Getting that program ( a club at lunch really) up and running has been a lot of fumbling in the dark since there aren’t many notes left from my predecessor. He has been helpful, but I am making a lot of decisions that I hope will pan out well!! We shall wait and see.

The Roomie is also working hard, and teaches the girls soccer team after-school. We get home most days around 6, and dive into dinner and cuddle time with the pups. They sorely miss us, so we try to give them lots of love when we are home. Our days are long but the weeks tend to fly by. We have been very busy with the quarter ending this past Monday, so writing posts has somewhat fallen to the wayside. Now that I have had a few weeks of work under my belt, I am hoping to build gym time and blogging time back into my daily life. I also just got a Canon Rebel Xti from work to play around with for yearbook, so expect more photo saturated posts coming soon!

Today and tomorrow Roomie and I are at a professional development session at our sister school in Hayward. Tomorrow my group (the art teachers), are hitting up museums in San Fran, so expect a photo filled entry tomorrow!

Happy almost Friday! (it feels like one to me since we don’t have students for two days!)

Ps. What should I be for Halloween? I have no clue! 

Love,

-S

All In-Vested

A few weeks ago, the Roomie and I hit the mall on the first day of a long weekend. We did some serious damage! The Roomie walked away with a super cute red vest from Gap, and she raves about it. I was jealous then, and still plan on getting a red one myself at some point. I picked up my first down vest last year from J.Crew and now I am totally on the vest train! Pinterest has been showing me all sorts of cute mixes of collared shirts, sweaters and vests in cute but bold color schemes. I like wearing vests because they keep me warm in the morning, but later in the day they are easy to take off when it warms up.

I have been loving these vests, and have really been holding back on getting every single one of them!!

J.Crew

J.Crew

J.Crew

Gap

Gap

 

Banana Republic.

Banana Republic.

 

Do you have any vests? Do you love  them as much as I do? Do you like any of these vests? Would you get any of them?

I am thinking about making a board on Pinterest solely for outfits involving vests!

Love,

-S

Gold Dots Errrywhere

Ever since I saw this gold notebook in a Kate Spade email, I have been seeing gold dots everywhere.

Initially I was like eh……over-rated!

BUT, they have been growing on me. And…now, I love them. I’m not really sure how it happened, but they are officially awesome.

Like these:

How do you feel about gold dots? Have you caught onto this crazy style?

Love,

-S

Chaos, Engraved Pencils and Classroom Decorations

This week at work was insane!

Granted, I had been gone most of the previous week, but still! This week was all over the place between giving benchmark tests, CELDT testing/ PSAT testing, and grades due as the quarter ends Monday. I had put a lot of time in to get everything organised for Wednesday, which was the day the whole school was in testing.

Seniors worked on college apps and essays. Juniors took the PSAT test. Sophomores were with my CELDT team testing and Freshman were taking their annual PE test. It started off well, but then twenty minutes into testing everything exploded. Our CELDT booklets did not match our administration booklets,  which was a crucial step as much of the test is read aloud to the students. After running around like a chicken with my head cut-off our amazing district testing admin noticed that there were three testing versions in the book, and we were on the wrong one. With that simple fix we were back on track. I had spent so much time organising students, training my test proctors and sectioning out the answer sheets, test booklets and pencils that it never occurred to me to check that we had multiple versions. Oh well!

 For most of the week I have been working on getting my classroom settled. They will start on drawing a still life next week,  and I just finished backloading all the lessons we had done in the last four weeks into a while you were out binder. Additionally, BITSA and staff development has been taking up time as well. But on Friday I felt like I had finally found ground beneath my feet.

This whole week I have had a cold and this morning I finally gave in. I slept in till 10 (!!!) and it felt glorious. I swifferjet the apartment, tidied up my room, did laundry and ironed, baked banana raisin bread and cornbread. I watched Now You See Me and Iron Man 3 (i loved both of them!).

While watching tons of tv I looked over the internet for some fantastic wall art.

I have been loving these three!

 

One of my favorite thing used to be getting back to school supplies before school started. There is something about having engraved pencils, cute notepads, a fresh backpack and a rockin’ fall closet that makes the start of school that much better! These just keep popping again and again on my Pinterest and I love them all!

Have any suggestions as to where to get some great wall art? Any good band or art posters you just can’t get enough of?

Let me know where!

I hope you are taking a break and getting some you time this weekend!

Love,

-S

Backyard Photos, Reflections and Forgotten Memories

I swear, as I am getting older, my memory is getting worse! Remember when I talked about making lemon bars for my friend’s wedding? Well, Robert came over and took some photos of me both in the backyard and getting the lemon bars prepped.

I completely forgot that he had sent me the final set a few days before my New York trip. Silly me. Here is another example of how ridiculously talented my best friend is. #bestfriendsforlife

In case you missed his other shoots, they are here and here.

This one is my favorite:

Watch: Miami Beach

Dress: Anthropologie (similar here and here)

Earrings: Kate Spade

Necklace: Kate Spade

Shoes: Steve Madden Flats 

The mornings are crisp and cool here in California, and mellow into a beautiful sunny 70 degrees by early afternoon. I love being able to pull on my boots and a cardigan in the morning, but still enjoy the sun on my face as I leave work.

What do you love about where you live?

Love,

-S

Emma Ward, Hidden Waterfalls and Apple Picking

On Saturday Uncle Chip, Dad, Mum, Richard and I explored downtown troy. We started off with some hot coffee from Spill In The Beans, a local joint. We walked through a lovely farmers market and picked up a tasty goat chevre. From there we checked out a local all-girls high school called Emma Willard. The campus was unbelievable!

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Next we took a short walk down to the local stream, which used to be used to gather energy for the town. We enjoyed hopping from one rock to the next as I tried to not fall into any of the puddles.

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The streambed

The stream bed

 

The trees around this town looked like they were on fire. The spectacular colors that make the East Coast look dazzling were on full display for our visit.

 

We hugged my uncle goodbye and sent him on his long drive back to NC. Richard and I dropped my parents off at their hotel and set off to go apple-picking, one of my favorite childhood activities. We munched on fresh apple cider and apple donuts as we picked 9 varieties of apples. The sweet smell of ripe apples and the lazy sunshine on my sweater made the day feel perfect.

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On Sunday I waved goodbye to Richard, and to my parents, who were flying to Pittsburgh. They will enjoy a few days with my Grandfather before coming home later this week.

Today I jumped headfirst into work, coming home around 6. A long day, but it’s good to be home!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Happy Monday! (The Bones episode tonight was really good!!)

Love,

-S

Sharon Springs, Niagara Falls and Statue Climbers

Before the wedding my father, Uncle Chip, Richard and I decided to go explore a local town called Sharon Springs, in search of coffee and breakfast snacks. The cafe wasn’t open when we arrived, so we wandered down the street to peek at the little downtown section.

The town used to be a big vacation spot for a famous bath house.

The town used to be a big vacation spot for a famous bath house.

This old funky hotel was beautiful, but showing its age.

This old funky hotel was beautiful, but showing its age.

 

It was also for sale, at a great price! (if you need 10acres)

It was also for sale, at a great price! (if you need 10acres)

We grabbed donuts and cappuccinos at the Black Cat Coffee shop.

Yum.

Yum.

 

On Friday, Richard and I picked up my cousin Andrew and his wife Katie from Jeannette’s house. We drove  4.5 hours from Troy to Niagara Falls. I was the only one that brought my passport, so we stayed on the American side. We stopped for pizza and wings for lunch, and munched on Dunkin’ Donuts as well.

Our lunch on Friday

Our lunch on Friday

We walked around the Falls for a bit, snapped tons of photos, and  got tickets for the Maid in the Mist tour boat.

 

 

It was amazing! I loved how the water was rushing so loud, and disappeared off the edge. I know sometimes doing the touristy-thing can be lame, but this time it was fantastic!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

 

 

Despite the blue ponchos they gave us, I was totally drenched.

Katie and I.

Katie and I.

 

We walked back to the car and saw some cool statues.My cousin and I had matching converse shoes! Can you tell which are his and which are mine?

Matching outfits, totally unplanned.

Matching outfits, totally unplanned.

Naturally, my cousin crawled onto a public monument while I took his photo.  #ilovemyfamily

My cousin Andrew is awesome.

My cousin Andrew is awesome.

 

We drove back and crashed. It was one very long, but still lovely day! Did you do anything fun on Friday? Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? Have you been to any touristy places that you really enjoyed? (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, White House, etc)?

Love,

-S

Family Dinners, Table Toppers and a Fall Wedding

I brought my work laptop on this trip, thinking it would be light and easier to carry. Which it was, but it also has some settings on it that blocked the hotel’s internet the whole time. So, I will play catch up for the last few days.

Dad and I flew out to New York very early (6.30am flight out of San Francisco!!) and got in around early evening. We met up with my friend Richard and drove from Albany to our hotel in Carlisle. We met the rest of the family and bridal party for Italian food.

Dinner the night before the wedding

Dinner the night before the wedding

Everything about their wedding was very cute. She had gotten a lot of ideas from Pinterest. The ceremony was outside at this beautiful venue, and we munched on apple donuts and hot cider before. This was the reception venue a few feet away.

The fireplace decorations

The fireplace decorations

The bridesmaids and family had made the table toppers.

The bridesmaids and family had made the table toppers.

Our party favors were maple syrup that Michael and Jeannette had tapped from the trees on their farm.

The wedding cake

The wedding cake

The wedding booklet.

The wedding booklet.

Michael is a big fan of candy, and so they had a “grooms cake” for him which was this candy take-out bar with to go cartons. It was pretty cute and tasty! They had a good variety of candy.

The "grooms cake"!

The “grooms cake”!

I thought her dress was absolutely perfect for her. Simple and elegant and totally beautiful!

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We have one more day here in Troy and then I have a 6.30 flight out tomorrow. If I have time later today I will do a post on our trip to Niagara Falls yesterday!

Hope you had a lovely week! Happy Saturday!

Love,

-S

Shopping, My 25th Birthday, Dinosaur Muffins and Cooking on Sundays

This week was insanely busy, which is why I have not had a spare minute to post about everything.  I hope that with time I will get better at balancing work and blogging. If you have any tips, let me know!

The Roomie and I had a five day weekend from school, which was perfect timing as my birthday was smack dab in the middle of it!  On Thursday we slept in, to the gloriously late hour of 9am. We did a few things around the house and then went off to the mall. The Roomie and I found many cute things. We scored at pretty much every store.

Our shopping haul.

Our shopping haul.

On Friday I hit the gym, and it provided a much needed round of happy endorphins. Since I started working full time, getting to the gym every day has fallen to the way side. Starting in a week I hope to build it back into my routine. From the gym I went to my parents house to get Lightroom 5 set up on my mom’s and my laptop. For dinner we grabbed tasty greek food at Opa’s in downtown Los Altos. We had tickets to see Les Mis at the Saratoga Theatre, where two friends of mine were in lead role. I look forward the most to shows with actors I know personally.

After another glorious sleep-in, I set off for the grocery store. I picked up some snack but most everything was for my birthday party later that day. Around 4, people started trickling in, and we munched on tasty Mexican tacos and guacamole. We drank margaritas and horchata and enjoyed the warm evening air. We took a group photo, and I had everyone sign the frame that I would eventually put it in. People drifted in and out, and it was a glorious melding of friends, food and fun.

I made pumpkin spiced dinosaur muffins!

I made pumpkin spiced dinosaur muffins!

Our group photo.

Our group photo.

This morning after the Roomie and I tied up the house I wrote my thank you notes for my birthday gifts. We went over to the Castle and I tucked into cooking with my dad. We made ham and shrimp croquetten, mac’n’cheese and quiche lorraine. After a long round of dishes ( i swear we used every cooking utensil possible!) we tasted the mac’n’cheese. It was delicious and I look forward to munching on it after a long day at work next week.

Tomorrow I will be babysitting the whole day and Tuesday we start back  at work. I have one day of teaching, and then I fly out at the crack of dawn (have I mentioned I hate mornings?!) for my cousins wedding in upstate New York. More details on that later.

How was your weekend? What did you do? How do you balance getting you time and getting your errands done?

I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Love,

-S