Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween, everybody! 
The day that I've been waiting all of October (and most of September, if I'm honest) is here!
"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines... The smallest one was Madeline."
I dressed up as Madeline, my favorite literary character as a child, and while my yellow brimmed hat is not pictured, I do have one! 
Instead of wearing a hat to class, I opted to wear a big yellow bow:

My hair is super red in the sunlight! Just like little Madeline!

I even dressed Cannoli up as a banana, but she hated it so much that I just snapped a picture and let her run free. No banana suit for my pup!

A last minute decoration - found this last weekend for $1! Can you say super cute and such a steal?

Another view of my costume
I hope that you all have a wonderful night of trick-or-treating, passing out candy, watching scary films, or whatever you're doing to celebrate! 
Happy Halloween!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Operation: Fall Cleaning

My home is a mess. There's clothing all over my room (a result of not planning my outfits in advance but still wanting to look nice for class... whoops.), I'm still not entirely unpacked/situated in the new place (I moved in May!), and I am desperately needing to clean, well, everything
So I decided to make up a list (above!) of things that I need to get done before this Sunday, so that I will not be entirely embarrassed if I decide to have a few friends over for a study group... So here we go, Operation: Fall Cleaning!

What is on your fall cleaning list?


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween 2013: Apothe-scary Jars & Potion Bottles {DIY}

Halloween is almost here! Just two days away now! Here's a quick craft for those of you who tend to lean toward the procrastination-side of things. I made potion bottles and I have some apothecary jars to decorate still, but haven't had the time to do it this year. 
For the potion bottles,
you will need:

-bottles in fun shapes & sizes
-Halloween-themed stickers
(I found mine at Michael's)

Then you mix and match the stickers and voila! Instant Halloween decor for years to come! I have a bunch of stickers left to use and I can't wait to build up my collection of potions and witchy-things!
[Enter witch cackle here.] 

What are you doing to celebrate All Hallow's Eve?


Monday, October 28, 2013

Quote of the Week: 10/28/2013

"Your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding..." 
-Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

It is soon to be Halloween, and that means trick-or-treats, b-rated horror films and all things spooky. This quote just fits perfectly in the "spooky" category, if you ask me. 
Disneyland is in the midst of their Halloween theme, and while I haven't been during October yet, I'm hoping to next year! They add huge mickey pumpkins all around the park and transform the Haunted Mansion into the Nightmare Before Christmas (which is super cool - they keep that up until New Year's and it's a great add on to the Christmas decor). Anywho, I'm getting all caught up in my Disneyland withdrawals.
The Haunted Mansion starts off really spookily, you enter a room where you are introduced to your "ghost host" and then you choose a gallery room which stretches. Most people think that you're still in line at this point, but it is technically a part of the ride! My favorite part, too... It's much spookier than the part in the ghost buggies. One of the very first things that our "ghost host" says, though, once the doors to the gallery are shut and the rooms start to stretch, is: "Your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding, almost as if you sense a disquieting metamorphosis..." 
Spooky, yeah?

Enjoy your Hallo-week!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Five: Halloween Costume Ideas

ONE | minnie mouse
Minnie Costume

TWO | wendy darling
Wendy Costume

THREE | rosie the riveter
Rosie the Riveter Costume

FOUR | gondolier
Gondolier costume

And last, but not least, what I will be dressing up as next week:

FIVE | madeline

Halloween Costume: Madeline
I can't wait to see my preschoolers' costumes and their reactions to me being dressed as their favorite book character!

What are you dressing up as this Halloween?


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween 2013: Pumpkin Patch!

Last weekend, I went to the pumpkin patch with my mom and a couple of friends. It was simple and just what I was looking for! I like the funky-looking, unconventional pumpkins, so this patch was just right. (Although, I must admit, a conventional orange pumpkin is perfect for carving, but I don't have the time for that this year). 

I mean, seriously, isn't this pumpkin great?! I don't know how this one did not end up on my porch, but I'm glad I got a photo!

They were certainly ready for Halloween! And my goodness, look at the size of those pumpkins! 

These gourds (or were they squash?) looked super creepy and interesting!

Overall, it was a wonderful day at the pumpkin patch and I am so glad we made it before the weather changed - it is freezing now! Autumn is upon us!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pre-K Wednesday: Sunflowers & Pumpkins

This week we have been focusing on nature in Autumn- sunflowers, pumpkins, and apples have all been featured. Pictured above, we have sunflowers with petals made of each child's handprints, paper plates colored brown by the kids (though we found out that dot paint looks better!), then we glued real sunflower seeds in the middle. They look so cute!

Also, look at this awesome pumpkin that I found at the pumpkin patch over the weekend - we are going to cut it up and count the seeds! I can't wait!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

101 in 1,001: My Signature Scent

As mentioned in prior posts, I have created a list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days (my list ends midway through 2016) and one of those things was to find my signature scent - and I did!
The brand is called Lollia, and I actually enjoyed almost all of their scents, but I was particularly taken to Wish. According to Lollia's webpage, it smells of vanilla bean (a long-time favorite scent of mine), rice flower, sugar pastille, jasmine and sugar cane, as well as ylang ylang and amber woods. It smells soft, sweet, and delicate; I adore it.

My mom bought me the hand creme as a gift, which I love. My hands are so soft! Which, during Autumn, and with winter approaching, makes me so happy.

And look! The pattern on the box & side of the perfume is so adorable. I love it and I'm so excited to have found my signature scent.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Quote of the Week 10/21/2013

"Not all those who wander are lost."
 -J.R.R. Tolkien

 I have been a bit MIA lately, and it's not just been on here; school had me completely stressed and it was horrible. I was on the verge of just dropping out entirely. However, I talked to a friend who has been through this before and she told me to look over all of the majors my school has to offer, pick out a few, and she will help me decide on one. Unfortunately, while I loved learning Italian at my community college, it did not translate well at university: the language is all-of-a-sudden way beyond my grasp. 
Anywho, I'm wandering right now... I thought I was lost, beyond help; it was just the situation I was in. I let it take over my life when in reality, it is one small part of my life. So that is my advice this week: step back from a problem that has you entirely stressed, and ask yourself if this is really going to matter in the grand scheme of your life story? Sometimes it is, and I'm sorry for those times, but they make us stronger. But other times, you will come to realize it's not that important. 

It's okay to wander. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pre-K Wednesday: Our Bunny!

Meet our bunny! 

She is just so fluffy and adorable, and the kids love her a lot. Mostly they watch her hop around in her crate, but every so often we let the bunny hop around our large rec room. The children have to be reminded often not to chase her but they certainly enjoy tip-toeing behind her around the room. Petting and feeding the bunny is always an exciting task, and more than once a child has tried to give her carrots from their own lunch! 

This week, we did an activity that included our bunny:
What do bunnies like to do?

We received a variety of answers, but the most common answers were: "Hop!" and "Eat carrots!"
That was perfect because we were writing the answers on carrot construction paper. 
I liked doing this activity because it reminded the kids of how much they are involved with our class pets, and they love talking about the bunny at home!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Quote of the Week 10/14/2013

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you." 
-Walt Whitman

It's hard to be optimistic sometimes, really hard, but I would rather strive to live my life as happy as possible than be miserable. Sure, some days I just want to sit in my bed and wallow, but usually I have too much to do and am unable to do that. So instead, I take a little bit of advice from Walt Whitman and find the sunshine in my day. I keep this quote in mind often and it usually reminds me to think positively and live my life to the fullest. 

Happy Monday!


Friday, October 11, 2013

{Friday Five} Songs for Halloween


 The most famous Halloween song, pretty much ever. It's also a personal favorite.


This song is wonderful. It reminds me of an old friend who was obsessed with this song, and I think it's great for a Halloween mix!


I found this song after watching Red Riding Hood; the movie was mediocre but the music was wonderful! This one makes me want to dance around a bonfire and howl at the moon.


There's nothing like the Nightmare Before Christmas to get someone in the mood for Halloween! And Christmas! This song sets the tone for the whole movie (and holiday, for that matter). There's also a very great cover by Marilyn Manson that you can hear here


Oh, the Thriller. This song is a must for any Halloween playlist. 

There's many more - Halloween is my favorite so I'm always collecting music and movies - but I couldn't list them all. 

What are your favorite Halloween songs?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pre-K Wednesday: The Halloween Frenzy begins!

October is here and so our Halloween activities have begun! We dug out some Halloween themed books and have found plenty of Halloween crafts and snacks to keep us busy for almost the whole month!

Pictured above, as well as below, were our smoosh-paintings: we just used Halloween colors: black, orange, and white, then let the kids put the paint wherever they wanted on construction paper. After that we fold the paper and let the kids "smoosh" it with their hands, and voila! Weird shapes in fun colors. 

There were lots of outcomes and funny shapes; the kids really enjoyed this activity. My example piece (above right) looks like lungs!
These collage pumpkins are silly and so cute:

We also read a variety of books, including:
Rattlebone Rock
And we sing the song in this book:

Five Little Pumpkins (Harper Growing Tree)
So far we teachers have been having just as much fun with Halloween as the students!

What are your favorite Halloween activities to do with kids?


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Halloween 2013: Decorations!

Love that pumpkin! And I'm making more jars like the one pictured!
Bought at Marshall's.
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Perhaps it's the spookiness, perhaps it is the dressing up, maybe the candy... I'm not sure, but there's just something about Halloween that makes it my favorite holiday! Decorating for Halloween is always an event in my house: we make a playlist, dig around for the boxes in the shed, and then go a little crazy with the decorations. 

Since this is my first year in my new place, I do not have the amount of decorations that I'm used to, but I am doing all that I am able to give my house a little bit of spooky flair!

For example, what seems like your ordinary (although purple) Magic 8 Ball is actually...

A monster Magic 8 Ball! Muahahaha!
It's the little things in life. 

More Halloween to come! 
What is your favorite part of Halloween?


Monday, October 7, 2013

Quote of the Week 10/7/2013

"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle."
 -Jon Acuff

Life gets rough sometimes, but you have to teach yourself to keep your head up and to tough it out. You cannot compare yourselves to others; we are often our own worst enemy and comparing an idea you have of someone else's life is not going to make your life any better. 
Do not look at the lives of others to figure out how to make yours better.
Look only to yourself.
Then you will find what it is you are searching for, and it is your job to find a way to make it happen.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Recipe: Basic French Toast

Basic French Toast Recipe
5 or 6 thick slices bread
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt
1. Mix together eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt.
2. Lightly grease a skillet and put over medium heat.
3. Dunk each side of bread in the mixture, making sure to soak both sides. Place in the pan and cook on both sides. Serve warm with (maple) syrup.

Adapted from
Enjoy! Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Five: Autumn Movies I Love

Friday Five: Autumn Movies


A good movie for Halloween. Or Autumn in general. It has a wonderful cast and an interesting storyline, about sibling witches (and there's even some feminism dashed in for good measure) who are very bonded to each other. It's not just a story about witches, but also about family and love. 


This movie is excellent. It takes place in a prep school in the middle of Autumn of 1959... And I just have to say: it has poetry and Autumn? No wonder I love it.


Not exactly an "Autumn" movie, but I just love love love this movie, especially when it's rainy outside and I want to curl up in a large knit blanket and drink hot cocoa. 


It takes place in a school... so that makes it Autumnal, yeah? Another one of my absolute favorites. And the darling Heath Ledger (RIP) is in it, so...


The quintessential Halloween movie, in my opinion. It has pretty much all you need!

What are your favorite Fall movies?


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review: The Carrie Diaries


Synopsis: Most people (in the U.S., at least) have heard of Sex and the City... And so, Carrie Bradshaw. This book tells Carrie's story before she moved to New York City to become THE Carrie Bradshaw. The book starts in Carrie's senior year in a small Connecticut town: Carrie and her friends are inseparable, at least, until Sebastian Kydd moves to town. He's older, a bad-boy, and intrigues Carrie right from the start. Their relationship is great, the one she has always wanted - but then a friend's betrayal has her questioning everything. Amid all of this, high school is coming to a close and it is time for Carrie to go after everything that she has always dreamt of.

My review: I was really young when Sex and the City first came out, so I haven't seen more than a few episodes, but when I knew that The Carrie Diaries was coming to the CW, I bought this book. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. It wasn't my favorite, but it was certainly a cute and even realistic coming-of-age story. I can see this matching the story of many young girls (as far as what happens to her in her high school). The internship in New York was a bit far-fetched to me, but perhaps that is because I live in California and nobody I knew received an internship in San Francisco until college. But as far as her friends, school, boyfriend issues, etc. goes, the book felt very real. It was a light read and it was open-ended; I want to read the sequel soon because I want to learn how Carrie develops into a young woman in NYC.

My rating: 3/5


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recipe: Turkey Meatloaf

Not the best picture, but it was delicious! New photo coming soon! (:
We had turkey meatloaf and green bean casserole for dinner the other night. It was like a mini-Thanksgiving in here! Delicious!

2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp packed brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 5x9" loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together beaten eggs, bread crumbs, milk, salt, pepper, and ground turkey. Feel free to add an extra dash of bread crumbs if the mix is too runny. 
3. Place in loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. While that is cooking, mix together 1/4 cup ketchup and 2 tbsp brown sugar. 
5. Remove meat loaf, remove white fat that has been baked out, cover in ketchup & brown sugar mix. 
6. Bake for another 5-10 minutes. 
7. Enjoy!

Adapted from


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First Day(s) of Classes

Last week, my classes began! We only have ten short weeks to learn all that we need to, so I have been reading like mad and trying my best to stay focused. There is a lot of coffee in me at almost all hours of the day.
I have found that success in my classes also has to do with something else: how I present myself. I am a firm believer in dressing for success. When I wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt, all I want to do in class is snooze. And with professors who call on me (supposedly at random) often, I cannot afford to snooze in class. So I will dress for class, even jeans will do, and down some coffee.
And study until I can keep my eyes open no longer.
What do you do for success in class?