Dear Students

Dear Students,

When I think about my school, I smell the wafting scent of freshly cut grass, eucalyptus trees, and hear the pitter patter of rain on a thin roof. I hear the hum and chatter of my students as they move from classroom to classroom, punctuated by a shriek of laughter or a bell ushering us to class. A small breeze drifts its way into my classroom, stirring my gauzy white curtains. I feel the sticky hot cold leather of my chair on my back and legs. I turn a worn down pencil in my hands round and round. “This pencil belongs to Miss Mahler” it reads, in cheery navy blue writing on a smudged white background, its eraser down to a small nub.  A back to school gift from my mother, who knows that school supplies will still make me excited for Fall.

I’ve finally perfected my first day of school smile, outfit and teacher sayings, after starting my first day once in September and twice in August here. I have no words to describe the pain of hearing that my school isn’t a viable option anymore, that the school board can’t measure the weight of my students smile’s and their sticky hugs like they do enrollment numbers and SAT scores. I have stood painfully in heels for dreadfully long back to school nights, but I would give all the shoes in my closet to have one more back to school night at my school with my rising seniors.

Just last week I was planning my fall rosters, gleefully picking which students would return in my honors class and which would return in my AP and actually looking forward to having three sections of sophomores. On Monday, I listened to 32 parents, students, graduates and siblings describe the impact that our school has had on them, tearfully begging and pleading with our school board to change their mind about making the 2015-2016 school year our last for our San Jose campus.

Most people have a job where they have “love to hate” conversations, where they bash things about their job, myself included have vented to my parents about various things. I’m human after-all. But my mother had to deal with my tearful phone call last week describing the immense and overwhelming loss I felt upon hearing that we, and our hard work over the last few years has been deemed not enough. It has been in the 1.5 weeks since hearing that our school will be closing, that I have really understood the “burnout feeling” that has been described to me by former teachers. The heart can only take so much before closing down or putting up walls. My students and I trudge towards the end of the year with a heavy heart. I am trying to treasure every last minute I have with them, and take mental pictures of their cute faces, of my classroom and it’s messy, loud, artsy, warm feel. I want each day to last forever, because I know I only have 12 more days with my seniors and a few more than that with my underclassman.

I hope to take enough pictures to last me a lifetime, because this is a hurt that will take a long time to heal.

Your blonde, quirky, loving art teacher, forever and always yours,



Straw Totes

Straw Totes

One thing I’ve been keeping my eye on to pick out for summer is a new straw tote. They are perfect for loading up a bunch of things for a day at the beach, or running a few errands. I found a few at different price points, that all scream summer to me! They also seem so adorable, and perfect for different summer events, like picnics, or a light summer lunch out with girlfriends.

How do you feel about straw totes? Do you have one that you use when you spend a day at the beach with friends?



Summer Staples

Summer Staples

Summer is a time to look effortlessly cute! I tend to go for simple, clean lines, and layer a few things. California in the summer can be cool in the morning and evenings, with blue skies and endless hot days. When I know I’m going to be near a pool later in the day, I try to wear a cute suit under a romper or crisp gingham shorts.

Recently I’ve been into protecting my face from the sun (#wrinklesalready!) and Nordstrom’s has so many cute sun hats these day. I picked up a floppy black and white striped one for our Mexico trip last month and I think I wore it every day! With two more fun beach-y trips in the next few months, I have summer and vacation looks on the brain!

Also, these water bottles are just too cute. One of the admin at my school has this one, and it seems the perfect size to tuck into a straw bag or a tote while running errands.

How do you stay fresh during long blistering hot summer days? It’s already high 70’s here in the Bay Area!



Girls Spa Day


Two years ago A and I went up to the city to spend a day at a Spa. We loved it so much that we booked another day there this year. We started off at Cocoon Urban Day Spa with massages, and finished with a mani-pedi’s. I felt so relaxed after it was all done, perfect for heading into the week before AP exams! The whole place is beautiful and calming, with tea and cookies while you wait. I went for summery colors.



We followed our spa appointments up with a delicious dim sum lunch at Yank Sing. We took some silly photos while we were waiting for a table.



I find taking a Sunday day off from babysitting and grading to be with a girlfriend is exactly what  I need heading into a stressful time at work. I feel like the week starts off so much easier!

How do you find time to relax and unwind?



Brunch Parties


There are only a few people in my life, that are true hostess’s. Meaning, they love the cooking, the prep, the stress and the fun of throwing a really, really, good party. My good friend A, is one of those people. Last weekend, she had an intimate brunch with just a few of us. It was a posh brunch, so I enjoyed the chance to go all out!

I loved all the decor, from the handwritten AND watercolored menu’s and food labels to the bouquets of flowers lining the table to the mimosa bar! I feel like it’s only in the last two years that a few of us have really matured in adults who throw fabulous dinner parties, and in this case, a fabulous brunch.


A is a devoted chef, and the food was the highlight of the morning next to the mimosa bar! My personal favorite was the fig and pistachio tart (pictured below!), but really everything was delicious.






And finally, the people are what make the event fun. A has a great group of friends, and that helps!

I think I might steal a few of her ideas and host my own fun brunch over the summer. What do you think of hosting friends for brunch? Any must have brunch food ideas?





Recently I’ve had a few lovely visits from former LPS students. I feel so blessed to have so many of them still here in the area, and love to see what they are up to.

One student from my first year at LPS came the week before break and kept me company at school. I have moved classrooms since he was there, and have two new art classes that I offer. I was very excited to hear how he has returned to college courses and is doing well working and being a student. It makes me so pleased to see them doing well as adults, kinda like a proud parent I suppose. :]


A few weeks back, two darling alumni from last year came and surprised me at my dance studio. They had decided that watching me tap was an entertaining way to spend their Monday evening. They brought me balloons and make me posters. It was such a sweet surprise!

I feel so lucky to have such sweet alumni! Have you ever had some great surprise? Or planned any fun surprise for someone else?