Lake Tahoe | Nevada & California

20 January 2018

Writing your first post in four months can be daunting! So much has happened and I don't even know where to begin. For starters, I hit 1,000 followers on Bloglovin. How that happened during my absence from the blogging world beats me, but for all you new readers, HELLO! 

The last time I wrote anything was just a few days after Hurricane Harvey. We survived, although it did give me a memorable start to my first year as a teacher! In the months that followed I threw myself into my job. I honestly had no idea I could love WORK as much as I do now. After years of searching for the perfect career, I've finally fallen into place. I fell in love with my teaching so much that I've barely given any time to myself. Blogging took the backseat in 2017. 

I don't want to spend too much time catching up. I have so many photos from the last few months that I've been dying to share! I've been spending my breaks traveling of course, that aspect of me hasn't changed. The first place I want to share with y'all is beautiful Lake Tahoe. 

Over Thanksgiving my parents treated the family to a Lake Tahoe/San Francisco vacation. I had never been to Nevada nor California and I was dying to explore that part of the country! I was blown away with the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Going in November meant we were in an off season, making it the perfect relaxing vacation I needed after a crazy few months in the classroom. 

We stayed on the Nevada side, Incline Village to be exact, but spent our days exploring both sides of the lake. Every twist and every turned provided us with a breathtaking view.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to make it my mission to start blogging again. Four months is a long time to stay away. I hope you're excited as I am for my return back to the blogging world!


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Hurricane Harvey | Texas Strong

02 September 2017

It's been awhile. 

I fell out of love with blogging as easily as I had originally fallen in love with it. It became a chore to open my laptop and write anything at all. The initial excitement of seeing this blog grow faded easily. There was nothing I wanted to share anymore. 

I realized the reason for my lack of motivation came from an unhappiness with my daily life. Sitting behind a desk at a job I had no passion for had finally taken its toll. After two and a half years, it was finally time to do something. And just like that, I changed careers and became a high school teacher. I was excited to finally use my degrees in History in a meaningful and powerful way!

Three days after I started my teaching career Hurricane Harvey made landfall. I watched in horror as the hurricane demolished my family's second home in the small town of Rockport, Texas. Within hours the rain started falling in Houston. And with the came the flooding.

I have been extremely fortunate this week. When the flood waters came and I needed to evacuate my apartment I had somewhere safe to go. I was finally able to return to my apartment yesterday afternoon and not a single piece of my belongings was out of place. I was safe, dry, and absolutely fine.

Yes, my family lost a home we had owned for 17 years. But it was only our second home. We CAN and we WILL rebuild. My focus right now is to help the community that I had just become a part of. When school finally returns on September 11th, some of my students would have lost everything. This is a time to step up. And that is exactly what other Houstonians have done too. 

I know most of you are not from Texas. It's hard to describe the sheer amount of pride I have for this state right now. In a world that often seems so negative, Harvey has reminded us that there is still goodness in people.

Being in Houston, I have the advantage of actually donating my time and effort in rebuilding this community. I have volunteered at a shelter, coordinated a book drive, and STILL have a list of events I plan on hitting up this week in order to help those in need. But many of you don't live in Houston, let alone Texas. 

There are SO many lists out there where you can donate to bigger organizations such as the Red Cross or the JJ Watt Relief Fund. Those organizations are wonderful and will have a huge impact on the recovery effort in Texas. However, there are some smaller organizations, specifically for schools, that could use your help too. Here are some ways you can can have a direct impact on helping victims of Hurricane Harvey.


On The Bookshelf | 2017

29 July 2017

How is July almost over? Time has literally slipped away from me. I was reorganizing my bookshelf (as one does when they live in a tiny apartment) when I realized I have not shared what I have been reading lately! In years past my reading goals have been substantially high. 50 books in 2015 and 40 books in 2016. Goals I either met or came pretty darn close to. This year I lowed my goal for a variety of reasons, but really what it comes down to is this: Quality over Quantity. My life has been busier than ever and when I do have the chance to sit down and read something I want it to wow me. So let's get started.

Beautiful Ruins | Jess Walter
I did not enjoy this book... at all. I know it's probably an unpopular opinion. I felt no connection to the characters or the setting, despite the fact that it mostly takes place in a beautiful Italian costal village. If you were to read this, it would be great for the beach. But honestly I can't recommend this book to anyone.

South and West | Joan Didion
I was a little put off that I disliked my first book of 2017 so much. It took me about a month after finishing Beautiful Ruins to pick up anything worth reading. I have always be an admirer of Emma Roberts and when she, along with Karah Preiss, started an online book club, I eagerly followed along.  South and West was their first pick, and I developed an obsession with Joan Didion by the third page. South and West is a collection of Joan's notes as she travelled through the southern United States. Having grown up in the South, I immediately felt connected to her observations and notes on the people and places she encountered.

The White Album | Joan Didion
My first Joan Didion book left me wanting more. I dove right in to the White Album and finished it within the day. Joan has a way of taking every day moments and events and bringing them to life. Her observations of people are accurate and sometimes frightening. The White Album was an excellent collection of thoughts on the American life in the 1960s and 1970s from someone who was there.

Big Little Lies | Liane Moriarty
After reading two Joan Didion works, I was ready for something lighter but still entertaining. Everyone had been talking about Big Little Lies and I'm a sucker for reading something before the movie or show comes out. This book did not disappoint. Set in Australian suburbia, the lies and deceit of this book are so mundane that anyone can relate. Moriarty has a way of taking ordinary people and creating an amazing story.

The Rules Do Not Apply | Ariel Levy
Again, another Emma Robert's recommendation that did not disappoint. I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this piece. Ariel Levy presents the tragedies that have plagued her life and twist them into a message of hope.

Into the Water | Paula Hawkins
I admit, I was not planning on reading this next Paula Hawkins novel. I had just finished The Rules Do Not Apply and needed something else to ready while at the airport. I picked up Into the Water and finished it within 24 hours. Set in a small village in England, the deaths surrounding one particular swimming hole are more than they seem. Paula Hawkins has a way of keeping me entertained through and through.

Marlena | Julie Buntin
Julie Buntin creates a story of two teenage girls, and how an innocent friendship ends with one of them dead. A wonderful read about the struggles girls face growing up. My only problem with this book is the character Marlena, who fits the manic pixie dream girl stereotype far too much.

Cork Dork | Bianca Bosker
I enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir just as much as the next person. The world of sommeliers has always fascinated me. I wanted to know more about the people who devote their life to the art of wine. Bianca Bosker had the same fascinations, and decided to quit her job in pursuit of a life of wine. Her story is captivating and funny, and I highly suggest it to anyone who enjoys a glass of wine here and there.

Touch | Courtney Maum
With technology advancing at an alarming rate, the plot for Touch is almost a little too relatable. Sloane, a trend forecaster, fights for her voice in a world consumed by technology. She predicts a world where human contact will be wanted more than technology. An interesting and light read.

And Then There Were None | Agatha Christie
For my birthday one of my best friends sent me a couple of books that she had assigned her students throughout the school year. A quick read, And Then There Were None is one of the greatest mystery novels I have ever read. This book left me questioning "who did it" until the very last page.