Weekly Catch Up 5.23.20

Hi y’all,

Happy Saturday!

I hope y’all had a great week. Mine was pretty busy. I finished up the last bit of virtual teaching for the school year. I will really miss my students that I had this year, and I’m really sad I missed out on the last quarter. We did our virtual promotion ceremony last night and it just wasn’t the same as being there in person.

I’ve been vlogging all this week, and will continue into the weekend, so you’ll have a new YouTube video on Tuesday!

On the blog this week:

Favorite Shoes

Grad School at UVA (YouTube Video)

What a Month of Spending during Quarantine Looks Like

Tips for Finding Happiness

This next week, I will be doing Responsive Classroom training. I’ve actually have done part of it before as I worked and student taught in a district that uses Responsive Classroom. It’s pretty hefty of 4 days, 7 hours each day.

What have y’all been up to? Let’s chat in the comments!



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Weekly Catch Up 5.16

Hi y’all,

I was thinking of ways that I could create a series and make sure y’all got to see some everyday life. This led me to the Weekly Catch Up. It’s essentially a coffee date, but I don’t drink coffee so I wanted it to be a little more realistic to my authentic life.

love and joy

This week I created my last assignments of the 2019-2020 school year! Wooo. I’m definitely going to miss this group of kids, but I still have them next week for two more read alouds and their virtual promotion ceremony. I’ll also get to see some when do belonging pick up (hopefully in June but could be later in the summer!). I also got to chat with one of my former teachers about something for the next school year. When I was in 6th grade we did Writing Workshop and I want to implement it in my classroom next year during our Writing block. Obviously, we don’t quite know what next year will look like yet (if it will be virtual or not) but I want to be prepared no matter what it will look like. Once I get the hang of Writing Workshop, I will definitely do an update post and let y’all know how it’s going.


I filmed a video going up on Tuesday! Y’all I can’t tell you how much I dislike my internet. It took 22 hours to upload the video and it’s only 12 minutes long. I guess most YouTubers have fiber internet where it’s super fast or live in major cities where they have max speed internet. Mine is horrible though.

I wrote out some blog posts:

Mother’s Day

Blogging Accounts You Need to Have

How Influencing Needs to Change

101 in 1001 List

and I also planned my June blog posts. As of right now, all I can say is June is going to have a lot of content going live!

I also went on more walks and started the process of cleaning my room. This has been super nice!

I also started the alumnae association for my sorority in my area. I’m so excited and I was elected as the President! I know it will be a lot of work, but this is something I’m so passionate about because sisterhood is not four years, but for life!

What have y’all be up to? Let’s chat!



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lifestyle, teaching

The New Normal

Hi y’all,

The Coronavirus has made the state of Virginia cancel in-person schooling for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

I never got to say goodbye to my kiddos in person, but we are continuing with e-learning. Obviously, this is very different than a normal day for my students and me.

For the past two weeks, we have not been asked to give any mandatory work. Last week, I started doing Zoom meetings with my students to do read aloud. We’re doing them twice a week for about 30-40 minutes. I read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and then we chat. We talk about everything from the book to what is going on in their lives. If they need anything, how to find books, etc.

This week, we have a “review week” where all the materials we give are review for strands we have already taught.

The New Normal

This is my daily schedule right now:

anywhere between 7ish and  8ish-wake up, get breakfast, get somewhat ready

8:00ish- start checking emails, Seesaw messages, etc. I also gave my families a Google Voice number they can call or text me on, so I check that as well. Prepare what I need to for the day.

9:00 (on Tuesday/Thursday)- Zoom meeting with my kiddos.

10:00ish-look over strands still to be taught (these are Writing and Social Studies as we’ve finished the Reading strands). Find different ways to teach these strands.

11:00ish-check email/Seesaw again. Start finding activities for strands.

12:00ish-lunch and break

1:00ish-3:00-check emails, plan, call families, continue finding activities.

3:00-clean up for the day.


4:00-8:00- read and do work for my grad classes, eat dinner, relax.

I’m trying to find activities my kids can do independently that do not require them to login at a certain time. The Zoom meetings are completely optional.

Does my day look like this all the time? Absolutely not. It is also a work in progress. As an elementary school teacher, I never foresaw myself having to e-teach. I’m very fortunate that most of my students can work independently. I’m also glad that I set up my classroom that way I did. My students actually work independently for 30 minutes of our Reading class each day. Does this mean they will handle virtual learning better? Absolutely not. It means that they have some preparation and know my expectations for the work. We also have 15 minutes (but not always) of whole group, and 15 minutes for small groups. I have been teaching Writing and Social Studies as whole group. Next year, we already know our schedule will change a little bit, as we will have dedicated writing time, and that is one of the things I am working really hard on right now. I want to have my Writing units as planned as I can before June when our school year is over. I’ll keep you updated on that one though. I’m also keeping my schedule flexible. I’m definitely keeping my “school hours” between 8 and 3, just like a normal day with students; however, what actually gets done in this timeframe changes daily.

Now that so many people are working virtually, what is your schedule like?



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Workout Review: Obe Fitness

Hi, y’all!

With being socially distance, I’ve decided to work out more from home! I have definitely been trying out new places in town (like Zoom), but not everyone has access or the financials to pay for boutique studios.

I currently don’t have to work from home (this could change depending on how long we’re out of school), but I still have some grad school work to do. However, I still have time to get a workout in without leaving the house, which is awesome! As many of you now I love my Beachbody workouts. However, I know not everyone wants to do them.

Today, I downloaded the Obe Fitness app.

I did two classes: a vinyasa flow and express barre butt + legs. These classes were with two different instructors.

The flow class was definitely one that had been live and is now in their on-demand library. I did find it odd that the instructor was giving specific names of people as we worked out. Even in my workout classes, this is not typically what happens unless the instructor has formed a relationship with someone over months or years of practice together. I did like the class overall and the instructor focused on giving cues but kept saying it was your class, do what you need to do with the flow. However, it was a well put together flow and she went over the flow at least twice before leaving you to do your own thing. She did still give cues so you could follow the instructor if you wanted to. I definitely felt like I got a good yoga workout. According to my apple watch, I burned 120 active calories in a 30ish minute workout. My heart rate maxed out at 169 bpm.

The barre class was short (only 9 minutes). This was focused solely on the butt and legs. We spent the first few minutes of class doing plies with pulses and then we did leg lifts. This was obviously a very focused class. I will say since it was an express class there was no warm-up or cool down. The only other “express” class I’ve done is a cycling class at the YMCA, and it had a shortened warm-up and cool down, but still included them. This instructor was very focused on getting the workout in and done. She was not super focused on arms, which made sense for the class, but I’ve never taken a barre class without reminders to stay light on the barre.

There is no community within the app (that I could see); however, they do offer a Facebook group you can join. If you want a community; I would not suggest this app.

The cost: It’s $29.99 a month (or $200 with year’s subscription purchase). I do like how it breaks it down per day so you know how much you’re spending. Not too bad. Some influencers do have codes that they are sharing on Instagram. For reference, Peloton is $58 a month. My gym membership is $42 a month (very inexpensive for an all-inclusive gym). My class pass membership is $29 a month for 15 credits (3-4 classes a month).

Classes included: live classes (none in the afternoon from what I can tell, which is not useful for me as a teacher). Also, barre, yoga, dance, sculpt, express, pre, and postnatal, kid-friendly, meditation.

I do think that at times the music was too loud. During the yoga class, it was so loud I could barely hear the instructors voice.

Overall, my two critiques are that there aren’t enough live classes and the music can be too loud. However, it is a good price point and allows a lot of flexibility with so many on-demand classes. It was a good workout.

Have y’all tried Obe yet? What do you think?



Workout Review: M3 Core Training

Hey y’all,

I had to take a break due to some major grad school assignments being due this past weekend. So sorry for the absence!

Anyway, last night I went to M3 Core Training. This is a boutique studio in Charlottesville.

I actually went here one time before for a Megaformer class. This one was REALLY tough. It is definitely all about abs and core strength. I feel like its a mixture of total core and pilates on the reformer. You can add resistance to it and the coaches are great at making sure you are doing the exercise correctly. I would recommend this class if you have super good core strength (like can hold a plank for 5+ minutes). It is a good workout. I was not a huge fan of the moving carriage and found it super difficult to feel comfortable with it. My abs hurt for DAYS after this class.

Last night, I did Functional HIT. This class was broken up into 6 segments where you did 2 or 3 different moves and then switched. It was definitely challenging. We did 30 seconds of work, 15 seconds rest. Repeat two more times (total of 3 times through) and then we got 1 minute to break before we switched. I liked how everything was based on a normal movement that you do during the day (hence why it is functional). It was faced paced which I like. The owner actually ran the class which was really cool, she actually designed the program for the day and knew how it should be done. In my group, there was a girl that came all the time so she was able to show my friend and me how to do certain moves. I did like how it had a boxing element in it at one point. This was actually one of the most fun parts of the class for me.

It is a little pricy at $27.00/single class. They do offer class packs and unlimited packages. They also offer rowing, I just haven’t taken this class).
Personally, I can’t see myself paying for this outside of an occasional class because I already pay for a gym membership where I can get functional HIT training anytime I want. This gym has limited hours and only offers classes. With my schedule as a teacher, I’m working during the majority of their class times. Also, I’m not a huge fan of always having to sign up for a time slot because something might come up at school and I can’t make it.

I’ve done a few more different “boutique” style fitness classes, so look out to some posts on those. Charlottesville is definitely cardio crazed, so I plan on trying some cycling and yoga.

What’s your favorite style of workout?


The Rose: Bachelor Week 5 (Part 1)

Hi y’all,

Welcome to week 5 of the Bachelor. This was part one of a two part episode, Wednesday night part two is airing.

We watched a one on one with Sydney, a group date photo shoot, and a one on one with Kelley. There was also a Rose Ceremony.


> Thank you, Alayah is gone (hopefully this time for real).

> Sydney is a liar. Before I even saw all the stuff on Twitter about how she hated beauty queens and was severely bullied, I knew she was lying about something. I was okay with their one-on-one date. She didn’t seem super significant to me and I was not impressed.

> Kelley is definitely not who we thought she was. Kelley definitely was rude and short with Peter during their one-on-one. Peter was obviously unnerved and was short back to her, but I understand why. Kelley on the other hand is the one holding back. I think that she is trying to deceive Peter to make sure she stays longer, I do not foresee her opening up. If I was not impressed by Sydney, I was even less impressed with Kelley. She seems like she is in it to just be on tv, and couldn’t care less where she actually was or what she was doing.

> Tammy and Kelsey obviously have their issues. I do not think it is at all appropriate that Tammy was making comments about Kelsey to the other girls. That kind of drama is unwarranted on every level. I do like that Kelsey went and talked to Peter about it instead of letting someone let it slip. I’m actually glad that I saw someone step up and saw Peter. These girls complain so much about not having any time with Peter, but no one has yet to take any initiative toward fixing that problem, until Kelsey. I do not think Kelsey needed to go and talk to the girls about it, but I think she handled it well, considering the feelings of the girls and what was being said about her. Tammy was definitely defensive before the Rose Ceremony which told me she felt apprehensive about whatever has happened. I also thought it was wrong that the girls blamed Kelsey for not having a cocktail party. If you didn’t start drama and make girls feel like they needed to say something on their own time, it would have been fine. I am surprised that Peter kept Tammy since there has been so many truth/lying incidences, unless he is still trying to figure out who was telling the truth.

> Mykenna. If you do not make some time, it’s not going to happen. You keep saying you need time, but I have not seen an instance where you’ve stepped up. When you did step up to talk to her, I cannot believe that you really didn’t take advantage of it, from at least what we saw on tv. Please stop crying! This girls has literally cried at the drop of a hat.


> Madison. No drama central right here. She has managed to keep herself out of all the drama, which is quite impressive at this point.

> Hannah Ann. Please I’m just as shocked as you are, but she stayed out of the drama, and for that I am impressed.

What are your thoughts?




Hi y’all,

As many of you know, I teach 5th grade, which means I end up teaching kindness. This week I did a really cool lesson kindness that was super simple, but very thought provoking. It was even thought provoking for me as an adult.

I took a blank piece of paper and put it on the ground in front of me. I gave one quarter of a paper to each of my students. We all wrote down one thing we have either said to someone, or someone has said to us. It could be something mean or it could be something kind.

We then crumpled up the papers into balls. When then tried to “iron” them out. However, my students realized the paper would never be like it was when they got it.

This created a conversation about how everything you say affects the people around you, whether it is who you say it to, how you act, etc.

We ended up talking about how we could show kindness more toward each other. We also talked about how social media does not always show kindness towards everyone. This lead to a conversation on if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, maybe you shouldn’t say it. The talking kept spiraling to how we need to be kinder to each other, and we were able to give examples of what true kindness is.

This was eye opening for some, and as a teacher, I now ask my kids if they are giving a “positive wrinkle” since everything wrinkles anyway, we can at least make it a positive, kind wrinkle.

Have do you show kindness?



Dates Aren’t Found on Apps

Hi y’all,

Dating apps are all the range. Most of your friends have them or tried them. You probably have too.

Being in Charlottesville, there are actually not a ton of eligible men hanging around, or if there are, I’m looking in the wrong places.

So, I asked my friend one night after watching The Bachelor if she thought the TV show or dating apps would be more helpful. Keep in mind, neither of us have applied/have been on The Bachelor. Of course, this is when I found out she’s never used a dating app, and she suggested this blog post.

I feel like there are 2 major dating apps and then a handful that are randomly used. Tinder and Bumble are definitely the two biggest apps used nationally. Tinder is definitely more for the hookups and Bumble allows for the woman to be in control. Tinder is all about looks, while Bumble gives more opportunity to learn a little something about the person before swiping.

I hopped on to see if I could find anyone who I would want to have a conversation with.
Granted, I live in Charlottesville where the “young” adult population, aka between the ages of 25-30, is dominated by transient people who are here for school at UVA, predominantly for Medical or Law school. They typically have no intention of staying in Charlottesville or have no clue where they will end up.

Keep in mind, I believe the purpose of dating is to lead to marriage. While I know plenty of people that have “dated around”, I know that lifestyle is not for me. I believe that you should be serious about whomever you are spending time with.

So, here are my thoughts:

Tinder: the hookup app. Not something to take seriously, more of a game.
Bumble: Relationship. You want someone for the long term, and you’re taking it more seriously.
Hinge: Relationship. Again, you definitely want someone for the long term, and you’re taking it seriously. Hinge allows you to answer questions for your profile, so you know more about the person before you like them, which is a serious plus as well.

I will say, there are outliers on these apps, so this is more of a generalization of what I saw most often. I do have friends that have serious relationships, and have even gotten married from a Tinder match.

There was only a handful of guys I would be interested in. However, I do think the location has something to do with this. Living in a “small” city, there are only so many people to choose from. Since I drive so far for work every day, I am not super interested in dating someone that lives 45 minutes to an hour away from here.

I will also say safety is a big thing when thinking of these dating apps. I would say, Tinder is definitely the most sketchy. It is the one where I saw the most fake profiles. I will say they all connect via Facebook, and you can connect other social media sites and apps. From the profiles I saw, it was super easy to tell which ones were faked. Hinge I did not see a single fake profile, but there were far fewer options on this app. Bumble is where the woman is in control: the lady must message first. The idea behind this was to make it safer for women; however, I’m not exactly sure how making the woman message first makes it safer.

They were all easy to set up a profile and use. I could easily connect my Facebook account and go from there They were also pretty easy to “verify” who you are. Tinder offers this option to make sure that you are who you say you are.

While, yes, I think dating apps could potentially work in a large city, I do not see them working in smaller cities/towns. I would also suggest not using Tinder. This was by the far the worse experience of the three apps.

Have you ever used a dating app? What was your experience like?



Lilly Pulitzer Resort Release

Hi Y’all,

As I mentioned in my APS post, I’ve been a Lilly lover since I was a wee one. Well, yesterday was Lilly’s last resort release. This means Spring is coming! I’ve picked a few pieces from this release that I love.

This release is full of purple/light lilac which is often not my best color, but this collection is stunning.

1. Dillon Pullover || This was a must have item for my closet. I can honestly say I have nothing like it in my closet. Plus, it goes perfectly with leggings and jeans. This fits very true to size.

2. Short Sleeve Bay Dress || I LOVE the Bay Dress. It is flattering and I’m loving the colors.

3. Romona Fringe Sweater || This is THE sweater, y’all. It is hands down one of the most flattering sweaters I own. I already owned it in black, and had to jump Periwinkle Purple.

4. Luxletic Tank || This top will always be a favorite of mine. It is always comfortable and looks good with everything.

5. Weekender High Rise Legging || I got these in the previously released True Navy. Love them. They are the perfect length for me (I’m 5’2″ so any bottom can get too long pretty quick).

What are your must haves from this release? Remember, Spring often means larger releases/collections and more often!


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Winter Clothing Essentials

Hi y’all,

Since we’re in the middle of winter, I wanted to take a minute to talk about my winter clothing essentials. As a teacher, I can’t wear jeans except on Fridays, which has drastically changed my winter wardrobe.

For my essentials, I try to buy staple items because I want to be able to buy them year after year.

1. J.Crew Factory Gigi Pant || I always buy the one with the side zip closure. These are super comfortable, fit well with boots (a must in the winter for me), and I can wear different shirts and sweaters with them. Bonus, they are almost always on sale.

2. Pullover/Crewneck sweater || I love these. I wear them all the time. There is a bonus if they have length to wear I can wear them with leggings.

3. Swing Dresses || Honestly, these are a staple all year long, but especially on warmed days in the winter. I do find that they cling to tights, so I tend to wear them on warmer days or when I’ll be inside most of the day. Lilly Pulitzer’s Ophelia dress is hands down one of my favorites, but Old Navy also makes an affordable option.

4. Boots || I live in boots in the winter, especially boots that have more of a rounded toe versus a pointy toe. I do like the LL Bean Boot, Frye boots, and Hunter boots. For my Hunter Boots I tend to wear their boot sock with them to keep warm when I’m outside. Last year, I bought my first pair of short hunter boots and I LOVE them. I can definitely get them on/off better compared to the taller ones. I also wear a thicker sock with my Bean Boots if I’m outside for a long period of time. For reference, I bought the 8″ bean boots to make sure that my ankles feel supported.

5. LL Bean Mountain Classic Down Parka || Mine was a Christmas present this year, and I love this thing. I still personally love my Barbour coat, but this one is amazing too (and still available unlike my winter Barbour coat since it was limited edition. I love the length of this coat as well.