Friday, February 27, 2015

Things I'm Loving Friday XXIII

F R I D A Y! We made it! And just ask me how much of a struggle walking up three flights of stairs was this morning. And then I had to walk back down and up again because I left my set of classroom keys in my car. Maybe I'm in long-distance running shape, but I'm nowhere near being in Felipe shape. You win some, you lose some, I guess. And today, I'm definitely losing. But as my students would tell you, "failure can strengthen a person because it motivates them to do better next time." You can tell I've got expository essays on the brain. And I actually sat down and wrote one myself the other day. More on that later.

I selfishly love Fridays, because the day doesn't really start until after lunch for me. I give my reading classes a quiz every Friday, though today I am going to have to spend a little bit of time going over affect vs. effect, as evidenced by the practice they did yesterday, and I give them the entire class period to do it. When they finish they have time to catch up on homework for their other classes, kind of as a "Congrats, we all made it to Friday!" And even in English, I've been doing essay conferences with my kiddos, so they have been responsible for reading the last four chapters of A Lesson Before Dying and completing the study guides on their own before the exam on Monday. Some have been responsible. Others, not so much. But today I'll spend the last 20 or so minutes of class reviewing for the exam, and those who pay attention will really benefit from it. So, a relatively easy Friday. And it's Go Texan DayYou know I couldn't continue onto our regularly scheduled Things I'm Loving Friday without mentioning that. The Rodeo Cook-off kicked off last night, and the first concert of the season is Tuesday, March 3rd. I absolutely love Houston Rodeo season, and though a lot of the concerts that I want to attend are not during my spring break, I am still hoping to make it out to a few of them. I guess I can handle getting a little less sleep than usual! And you better believe I'm sporting my boots today. I'm a Texas girl through and through!

Now, let's move on, shall we?

Things I'm Loving Friday

Scary Close
Guys, I started and finished a book in three days. DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR. That's how good Donald Miller's Scary Close is. Seriously, if you do one thing this next week, purchase a physical copy from Barnes & Noble, order a copy from Amazon, or download a copy to your e-Reader. This book made me think in such a new way about relationships. And not just romantic relationships, but relationships with people in general. Friends, family, co-workers, and everyone in between. How we can't put up a wall if we want to have real relationships. Vulnerability is hard, but it's absolutely necessary. I can't tell you how many quotes I wrote down while reading this book. And because you guys know how much I love a good quote, I'll share a few of them with you.
  • "Those of us who are never satisfied with our accomplishments secretly believe nobody will love us unless we’re perfect."
  • "Life is more about connecting with people than it is about competing with them"
  • "Sometimes the story we're telling the world isn't half as endearing as the one that lives inside us."
Like I said, it will change the way you approach relationships. And if you want another book to go along with that, read Love Does by Bob Goff. Love Does Stuff, y'all.

Red Velvet Oreos
Oreos are one of the only cookies I can actually eat, thanks to the fact that it contains no milk byproducts. How that is possible, I am not entirely sure. But every once in a while I let myself indulge in one or two. And though these limited-edition Red Velvet Oreos feature a cream cheese center, there is neither cream nor cheese present within these cookies. That being said, I did not taste test these cookies, because I had to use every last one of the 20 cookies that came in that $4.50 box. Yeah, I know. But these Red Velvet Oreo Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction looked too good to pass up. I surprised a couple of my CPA-studying friends with them, and fingers crossed they brought some good luck along with their good taste.

New Houston
It is no secret that I love Houston. I was born here, I was raised here, and to be honest, I would be perfectly fine if I never moved out of Houston. Moved out of my childhood home, of course, but the city itself? I love it. And so do other people, evidently. Yes, the traffic is a huge bummer, but find me a big city without it. Seriously, I might consider moving there. Anyway, our fine arts scene is top of the line, our restaurant selection might, dare I say it, be better than Austin, it is diverse, in many senses of the word, and the people here are some of the friendliest. Again, though, probably not on the freeway. If you're going to live in Houston, you have to be an aggressive driver.

Harry Potter Magic
If you're new around here, I love Harry Potter. I hope that doesn't offend you. But I wish I could make all of my students read at least the first book, so that their eyes could be opened to the magic of this world. Literally and figuratively. So, Harry Potter combined with BuzzFeed? Yeah, that just can't be beat. This article featuring 34 of the Most Magical Sentences in the Harry Potter Books almost had me in tears. Seriously. Magic. And you can't deny the valuable lessons found within the 7,000+ pages.

Lavett & Chinn Original Sea Salt Texturizing Mist
And for those of you who don't want to mess with purchasing three products, or put three different products in your hair, I have found a new curly hair product obsession, courtesy of J. Crew. Let's be honest, who doesn't wish she could recreate those perfect and effortless waves that form after a day spent at the beach? Especially in the frigid (am I being too dramatic again?) temperatures we are currently experiencing. And I may even like this product a little bit better. It makes my hair more wavy than curly, which suits my rounder face much better. Plus, that gives it a little added length, which is much-wanted after recently chopping off a couple of inches.

I hope your Friday is a great one! Tonight is sure to be low-key, because some of my friends have a belated birthday surprise scheduled for tomorrow night. I have absolutely no idea what it could be, but you know I'll be back with a full report!

And before I completely sign off, I am absolutely puzzled over #TheDress debate. What color do you see? Black and blue? Or white and gold? Please weigh in, because the whole thing just baffles me. In the words of Ellen, the world may forever be divided between those who see black and blue, and those who see white and gold. For the record, I see white and gold, but there were instances where I glanced at it and saw black and blue. And I really can't wait to hear what my students have to say about this pressing issue.

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