Friday, June 12, 2015

Things I'm Loving Friday XXXVII

Hola from Mexico! Cheyney and I arrived on the island of Cozumel yesterday afternoon, where we immediately checked into our hotel, changed into our bathing suits, and hit the beach for our first open water dive of the trip. It was absolutely incredible, and within minutes of going underwater, we ran into a seahorse, a stingray, a puffer fish, and so much more. I'm obsessed.

Don't Be Like Me
I absolutely loved this article. And I plan on reading it with my kids at the start of this upcoming school year. Bill Gates is the poster child for those who aren't so fond of the education system. I can't tell you how many of my students jumped at the opportunity to write about how education is not necessary in order to be considered successful. And I'm sure you can guess who they used as their examples. While I absolutely believe there are many definitions of success, I also strongly believe in the value of a college education. Or some form of higher education. Because we live in a world where basic skills just don't cut it anymore. And even more than the specific skill set that is gained, students learn how to see something through to the end. Something that I watched my students struggle with day in and day out.

Merona Reversible Tote Handbag
Okay, I know I'm supposed to be refraining from shopping. But one, I did say clothes - nothing about bags - and two, I have actually been on the lookout for a big, fun-colored tote bag ever since Amira brought one with her on our trip to San Francisco. And I felt as though I deserved something while making a return at Target. Sidenote: Shout out to Target for making a return no problem without me having had a receipt. Anyway, this bright pink (and taupe! It's reversible!) tote bag caught my eye, and after looking at the price tag, I couldn't resist buying it. It's roomy, it's such a fun color, and it is going to make the perfect back-to-school teacher bag. I'll admit it - normally, I'm a bag snob. But this one was just too good to pass up.

Whether it's my favorite quinoa [pronouned: KEEN-wah] salad with salmon from Hungry's (or Zoe's Kitchen), or the quinoa I whipped up myself to use in one of my own salads - recipe to come - I can't seem to get enough. It's easy enough to cook, it is extremely versatile, and it is full of important nutrients. It tastes great, and it's so easy to incorporate into so many different recipes. Salads, chili, breakfasts, and meatballs - the possibilities really are endless.

52 Reasons to Run a Marathon
Remember that marathon I signed up for? It's still a ways away, but it's still constantly in the back of my mind. There are so many articles out there that highlight the reasons why running a marathon is not a good idea, but why put such a negative spin on something that is such a positive force in so many people's life? After reading this article, I braved the Texas heat and went out for a five-mile run. I had to laugh and nod along with numbers 9-12, but number 26 was my personal favorite. I run because I can, because I have that option, and that will keep me lacing up my running shoes every single time.

15 American Habits I Lost in Barcelona
It's been awhile since I studied abroad. Three summers, in fact. But I've been living vicariously through the photos of my friends who are gallivanting around Europe this summer, anxiously awaiting my turn to go back. And as I think back to my time in Barcelona, I think about all that I learned, and while Europe and America share many qualities, there are many differences, too. I am notoriously bad with directions. If I didn't have my iPhone GPS, I truly wouldn't know in which direction to go half the time. But in Europe, I turned off my data, meaning I had to (gasp!) actually learn how to read a map. And not to toot my own horn, but I got pretty good at it. I absolutely loved the Subway system, and it was refreshing to nix the gym and run outside, discovering many of the hidden gems that Barcelona had to offer. I think this article so clearly highlights the many, many things that can be learned while spending time abroad.

The Things They Carried
I'm well on my way to crossing yet another book off of my Summer To-Do List. And this is a book that I should have picked up a long time ago. In fact, it was one of the choices on one of my own summer reading lists many years ago, but I passed right over it, dismissing it because I thought a war story just wasn't really my thing. And while the novel is of course a war story, it is also about love and emotional baggage, the memories that we carry with us, life, death, loyalty, and the power of stories. Not only am I absolutely loving the novel itself, but I love getting out of my "book comfort zone," and picking up books that I once would have shunned.

Hasta luego!

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