Friday Faves

Friday, September 11, 2020

Happy Friday! How was your week? Mine was busy. I still think that short weeks feel long! I am linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here.

Today would have been my Dad’s 78th birthday. He passed away in December of 2018 after a short but brutal illness. I miss him so much and I think about him everyday. I keep wondering what he would have said and thought about the pandemic, but I think I know. He would have hated the restrictions and he would have doubted much of the information we are receiving. That’s how he was. I plan to remember his jokes and funny sayings today! Maybe he will leave me a penny today! Have you heard of “pennies from Heaven”? My good friend told me about it after her loved one passed away. Found pennies or other coins are messages of love. I have a collection of coins that I have found since December of 2018. My mom and one sister have found a lot, too. My other sister thinks it’s a crazy belief and she hasn’t found any . Anyway, I say to believe it if it helps you. I found two pennies the other day after a long stretch of not finding any. Coin shortage, amiright? Just kidding. I will be looking for them today.

Also, let us not forget 9/11. I will never forget that day. I was teaching at my current school when our principal made the announcement to turn on our t.v. At that time, we all had these really small t.v.s hung from the ceiling in our rooms and the school could control what channel we all watched. So, the students and I all saw the second tower as it happened. Obviously, we did not do anything school related that day. Many parents signed their kids out of school and the rest of us just changed classes like zombies. We didn’t know what other attacks might happen that day. I didn’t have kids yet but I was married and went home after school and just watched the news the rest of the day and nightand Tom joined me when he got home from work.

O.k. – on to my Friday favorites….sorry!

I got a new mask that is really great! It is made by the clothing company Johnny Was – from their leftover fabric scraps. I love the pattern and the weight and ear straps are great. If you are local it was $10 from Tunie’s in Westport Village.

I purchased a craft ice cube tray at Target. It makes really huge cubes for bourbon or whatever craft cocktail you would like to make.

I like the cafe latte Premier Protein but I have been mixing it with vanilla. Yum!

I have now had my satin pillow case for a week. I like a “cool” feeling pillow so this does not feel as cool as my old pillow case but I do think it has helped with sleeping wrinkles and creases. My hair still seems pretty bad in the morning, though. Satin pillowcases are supposed to preserve hairstyles and decrease facial wrinkles.

I love this smell!

I also purchased a fun handsoap for the hall bathroom.

I showed you my fall decor on Monday. I added candy to my candy dishes.

One of my afternoon outings this week was Costco. I am trying to go out of the house each afternoon just to get out. I am working from home and I think it’s good for me to have an outing. Costco already had their pumpkin pies out. Theirs is so good. I did not buy one this trip.

Also, this looked interesting. I did not buy it because I have two boxes of frozen fish in the freezer right now. Everything crusted cod – what can’t you put the everything but the bagel seasoning on? Anyone tried this?

I enjoyed reading my Real Simple magazine last weekend. I am curious to try these eye shadows. Anyone tried these?

And, I would like to try this Cocokind dewy-skin stick. I am really into makeup that isn’t powder these days.

And, my last favorite…

I got my first pedicure in 7 months! I took my own polish by Essie – it’s kind of an iridescent navy blue. It was a nice treat yesterday after a long work day. That massaging chair felt great after spending so much time behind the computer. I was going to treat myself to this after the boys left for college and it only took me a month! It felt very safe with my mask on and the techs mask on. Everything was very clean and sterilized.

If you missed my fall trends post yesterday I hope you will go back and read it! What were the highlights of your week? Any favorites to share?

Thanks for reading and happy Friday!

Amy

Fall 2020 Trends

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I miss talking about fashion! I hope to bring more of that to ye ol’ blog as it is something I really enjoy. It has been weird, though, to talk about it much since March. I think we all feel that. Anyway, now I am at least making an effort with my top half, but I am also trying to get out more, where my bottom half will also need to be presentable! I have been starting the process of looking at my fall clothes and determining what I should purge and what the holes in my closet are.

Are you ready for fall clothes? By the sounds of the blogosphere and the Nordstrom sale, I think many are! I did not buy a single thing in the Nordstrom sale. I had a couple of maybes but they were gone by the time I was privileged enough to get to shop – ha!

So, how about we talk Fall 2020 trends today?

I did some “research” on fall trends and I was pleasantly surprised for a couple of different reasons. One: Many of these trends can work for my age group – between 40 and 50. Two: I have some of these trends already in my closet.

We don’t exactly know what the fall will look like…will anyone even see our clothes? I don’t really know. Maybe we pick a few that we love just for ourselves?

Now, before I do anything I have some jobs to do:

1)I will look over all of the spring/summer clothing in my closet and purge anything that I didn’t wear this year unless it’s really special and I want to keep it. I will also challenge myself to wear as much as I can until September 22 or when it feels like fall. I like to start transitioning to more fall like colors and over the last couple of years I have looked for summer clothes with more of a fall vibe if that makes sense.

2)I will inventory my last season fall clothes and ask myself some questions. Would I buy it now? What did I wear the most? What are the holes in my closet?

3) I will make a list in my phone memo.

Here are the trends I found along with my thoughts:

Metallics – this could be a blouse or even metallic threads running through an item of clothing. It could be a clutch.

Prep School – argyle socks or vest maybe. Maybe a silk blouse with argyle design. I probably will not be able to pull this off – plus, I think this could go horribly wrong and make one look like a lady of the night if you know what I mean.

Patchwork – I love the idea of this. It could be a tote bag, a pair of pants or jeans. Hey, maybe I could even repurpose something in my closet.

Cape (as a coat) – Maybe this is because we all need a super hero right about now. I have loved having my ponchos or shawls for winter. I think my most worn piece of clothing last year was my camel colored Universal Thread poncho as seen here:

I already have a Target Universal Thread poncho from this year’s collection on its way to me.

Plaids – Yes! I love a fall colored plaid

Fringe – Sign me up!

Tweed – Um, I’m not wild about the feel of tweed but I used to have a beautiful tweed blazer

Floral – Definitely! Pioneer Woman blouses, amiright?

Victorian Era – lace, high necks, frills, bows – I will proceed with caution so it doesn’t look like a Halloween costume

Jewel Tones – Yes! Beautiful!

Sequins – I will proceed with caution

Built in Baubles/Jewel Encrusted – My sister used to have the cutest t-shirt with printed on necklaces. I could go for that. Maybe I used to have one, too? I also remember having a t-shirt with crystals in the neckline. I could also do this again.

Geometric Design – Love it! I didn’t like or excel in Geometry but I like its design, you know?

Bows – I could do this in a tasteful understated way.

I think I’m most excited to find something patchwork – maybe Free People or Anthropologie?

What is your favorite of the trends I mentioned?

I have needed better cardigans for years – like maybe 5. I can’t find the right quality, length, weight, you name it. I have a promising cardigan in three colors from Target Universal Thread on their way for me to check out. I plan to extend my fall colored sleeveless and short sleeve tops by throwing a cardigan on top.

What else am I buying?

I hope to make these a member of my closet:

I looked at them in person last year and didn’t pull the trigger.

I have also added a few cute things to my closet recently but you will have to wait to see those!

What’s on your list, if anything? Anything you want to recommend to me?

Amy

Fall Scents

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Today we are talking about one of my favorite topics – scents! I have always said that due to my large nose I am very good with smells and that I am very sensitive to smells. I still stand by that statement.

What a fun idea Emily and Sarah had to do a series of fall link ups this month! The other topics will be fall decor, fall fashion, and fall entertainment.

I hate anything artificial smelling or too sickeningly sweet.

I gravitate toward more earthy, masculine smells. I hate saying masculine because how can a smell have a gender and that does not sound very 2020, you know?

I highly recommend Bath and Body Works mahogany teakwood. This is a good candle to burn outside if you find it a bit intense.

I discovered this last year and fell in love. I am not a big fan of the apple cider smell by this brand. Acorn Spice all the way!

Cashmere Woods by Glade. I decided I do not like their apple scent candle and it smells artificial to me. But, I love this smell so much! Glade, will you make a perfume?

I think this has been my personal fall/winter scent for three years? It is called L by Soft Surroundings which is a brand that Pioneer Woman likes for their fun tops. We got a store locally and I went in and smelled this and it was love at first sniff. I bought a small rollerball of this, went back and bought another one, and then last year I bit the bullet and bought the bottle. It hurt because I feel like I am wasting money sometimes on scents but I realized that it makes me happy so it is worth it. Use this sparingly. It is tobacco flower, and some other things and it is an earthy kind of musky scent.

I really want to get more into diffuser blends and essential oils. I am a bit overwhelmed because there is so much to learn!

What scents do you recommend to me? It could be an essential oil or blend, a candle, a fragrance, a cleaning product, anything, really!

Amy

Weekend Wrap Up

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

How was your weekend? I did post yesterday if you missed it – here – all about my fall decor!

I had a very full weekend so I am going to give you the highlights today. I’m excited for a four day week but what is hard to believe is that at the end of this week it will already be mid-September, friends! How is that possible?

A fun thing came together Friday for me. I was off work because traditionally we have off the day before the Kentucky Derby. My friend B was able to do lunch so we picked this quaint patio of a Mediterranean restaraunt called The Grape Leaf. We sat for three hours and talked. It was so nice. They don’t have a liquor license so you can’t blame it on the alcohol, o.k.? We drank water and caught up!

I really liked my food. I got a vegetarian dish – a mixture of vegetables with spices and a Greek salad.

I also made homemade chocolate chip cookies for my boys!

When Tom got home from work I suggested a few things and he picked this one… we drove to this neighborhood with a walk up bar…

and I got my first frosé. You are allowed to walk around with it so we walked all around the neighborhood and admired houses and landscaping.

It was starting to look like fall!

How cute!

I thought we would also get dinner but everywhere was packed so we went home and made Totinos pizzas. The empty nest life is glamorous, right?

Saturday morning coffee on my patio – Sorry if you get tired of these photos.

I was a bit bummed Friday and Saturday morning because Saturday was my boys’ 18th birthday! We had tried to work out a time to do dinner and gifts but they had conflicting schedules and Labor Day was a school day for them, so we had finally settled upon Monday night after their classes. Well, when I called to say happy birthday it turned out that Saturday lunch would in fact, work. It is weird when you have spent all the other birthdays together and I knew it was more important for them to be happy and with friends so I was really o.k..

I love this photo I posted on social media- I think they were 9.

Mason wanted to try the same restaurant I went to Friday because he loves Mediterranean food and his said his mouth was watering when I told him about my lunch Friday! They kept masks on in the car and at the restaurant until it was time to eat. Their college made them take a pledge to be able to keep campus up and running and they are taking it very seriously.

We opened presents at the car and I gave them their cookies. They were really happy. They had plans with friends after lunch so it all worked out. It was really nice to spend some time with all four of us together. Even though they are close, we really are letting them do their thing.

That evening was the Kentucky Derby. My friend had a small party with a few couples. She did sliders from Drakes and everyone brought an appetizer.

She got Derby cookies from a bakery.

I had some Whispering Angel rosé.

Sunday we went to the cove with my friend. Her husband was busy so it was just the three of us on our boat and Ernie, too. We tied up with my sister in law, brother in law of Tom and niece and other people they knew tied up, too. Look at the long line of boats in the distance. We stayed for a few hours and then headed back to our boat ramp.

Then my friend and I decided to do happy hour on the patio of River House.

It was a really nice day.

I went home and relaxed on the patio with my magazines.

Monday was all about meal prep, laundry, errands, and I finally used my Taco Bell gift card from my student. I got Tom some lunch and I got my favorite that reminds me of my 20s…

the Mexican pizza without meat. I started eating it like this because my roommate was a vegetarian and then I decided I liked it better like this. They are getting rid of this menu item! No!!!!! Of course, now I never go there, but still. I want to know it is there, you know?

and the rest of the day I worked and read and just piddled around to get ready for the week.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Come back tomorrow for the topic of fall scents – I am participating in a link up! And, Thursday I am talking about fall clothing!

Amy

Fall Decor (So Far)

Monday, September 7, 2020

Hi all! I am still weekending, but come back tomorrow for my weekend recap. Instead, today, I thought I would show you the fruits of my labor yesterday. I didn’t have to be anywhere until afternoon so I decided to do my fall decor. I didn’t buy a single thing – YET.

I was excited, but I was dreading it. For many years now, my holiday tubs have been a mess. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that. I mean, they weren’t even labeled and I had to look through so many to find what I wanted. I labeled every bin I own and I went through all of my fall bins and put anything I didn’t want anymore into my donate pile. I also went through every other bin except Easter and Christmas. Those are a lot.

Here is what I decided to keep all spread out on my dining room table so I can see it. Now I’m really glad that I moved my work station down to the basement desk area.

Do you take pictures and place your decor the same way each year? I definitely do not do that. I kinda wish I were that organized!

The mantel. I will take the apples away after September.

Dining Room table. I need more for the tiered tray.

Side table. I need votives for the little spiders. The horrible pumpkin was made by me in 3rd grade – around the time that I realized I had no artist talent at all. Sorry to my mom the art teacher and to my sister the art teacher. I think it’s funny so that’s why I have it out.

The other side table. Archie, our first fur baby, when he was just a puppy. He was with us for 12 years and died when the boys were 10. The middle picture I just love. I got corduroy overalls and plaid shirts at the twin moms’ sale and they looked so cute. And, the last one is our professional family photo done when the boys were 11 by my former student who is now a professional photographer.

I have an idea! I am going to try to find photos of every single Halloween costume the boys ever had and put them in matching black frames. I am so excited! All of them should be printed out and I think I will probably do ages 0-12?

This needs work – coffee table. I will probably add a B and B candle in a fall scent and move to the kitchen table.

A super easy idea for you: “Borrow” letters from your Scrabble game. I chose to do “Autumn”. Look at that – I scored 17 points!

I have a pumpkin flag outside in the front and I have some apple decor on the patio.

I still want some pillows for the living room and patio, but I am super picky about pillows I have found. I have looked at Target and Kirkland’s so far. Any other ideas?

Have you decorated? Do you decorate? I am big on changing my mantel: January – white twinkle lights and snowmen, February – Valentine’s stuff, of course, March – St. Patrick’s Day, April – Easter/Spring, May – Derby, then Memorial Day, June – Summer, July – 4th of July, August/September – Summer again or apples/back to school, fall, October – Fall and Halloween, November – take down Halloween, leave fall, and add Thanksgiving (over the last few years I have collected several Thanksgiving things!), December – Christmas. My decorated mantel makes me happy. I must admit that I let March, April, May, June, July, August decor stay very plain. I just didn’t have it in me, but I should have done it, you know? Now that I am more organized I think it will be so much more enjoyable!

Keep enjoying your weekend, friends!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday September 4, 2020

Happy Friday to all! How was your week? I am linking up with Andrea, etc. right here!

It is really hard to believe but as of today I am an empty nester of 3 weeks. The timing was good because as soon as they moved out my work really ramped up. Otherwise I think I would be worse off. Also, I know that they are moving home November 25. That is not really that far away. I hope it is not any sooner due to the virus. As hard as it is, it was time for them to spread their wings.

Here are some favorites from the week. I hope you had some, too! Many of you have kids back in school in person or virtually I know! I hope everyone is doing well with whatever program you are on.

I continued working from home but halfway through the week I changed my workstation to the basement desk with its more comfy chair and now I have my dining room table back. I started getting a better routine. I walked with Ernie most days and went out around 4:00 each day to tackle some errands. I left the house each afternoon except for Wednesday.

I found this at Kroger!

You guys – it is so good! I poured a half carton over ice the first day I had it and it was a treat! It does have the same amount of caffeine as coffee so you have to be careful if it makes you jittery.

I apologize to the blogger that first showed it – I take a lot of screenshots and forget who it was from. Rumor has it that there is pumpkin spice! It was not at my Kroger – Boo! Would mixing these together be a bad or a very good idea? Let me know if you see this anywhere. I have not tried Target, CVS, or Walgreens yet.

I have most luck with crockpot recipes on weekends when I can watch it a bit and stir. I made Dr. Pepper pulled pork and it is so good! Tom said it was a lot of pork – yes it was – especially for two people! I froze half. We had it on buns one night, open faced on french bread one night, and finally I made quesadillas with it. Poor Tom. He had to eat a lot of pulled pork.

The night we had it on buns this was our side. Yum! See if you can find this. It says it is “slawsome” so how can you resist?

Look at this face! Have you ever seen anything cuter? Now that Ernie is an only child he is getting a lot of attention.

I love rain! I am sure I have mentioned it before; I apologize but I just love it! I had two wonderful mornings of coffee on the patio listening to the rain before my work day began. I am really trying to find balance. I have found that if I check my work email too early I am in work mode. Work can wait until after my coffee and quiet time. Amiright, friends?

See if you can see the rain coming through my rain chain from the gutters.

In this one you can probably just see the wet grass.

I love my new Kirklands wooden charger? It was only $7!

New work space at my desk.

This makes me kind of sad. Our days will start getting shorter. That coupled with the virus – I just do not know. I am hoping for the best as we head in to fall. But, in all reality, we will probably still be in the thick of this. How is your mental health? Talk to people and do things that make you happy. Take care of yourself. I talked to two co-workers on the phone this week and that was nice. We are in this together.

Sorry to go so deep on a Friday! Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby. There are no fans. This was supposed to be the first Saturday in May and it was postponed. It is also Labor Day weekend and it is also my boys’ birthday! I hope that people are smart and safe!

Have a wonderful weekend all!

Amy

A Case for the Night Shower

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Are you a morning shower or a night shower person?

My life/routine has drastically changed since March, but I have been a night shower person while I am working full time for a long, long time. I will give you the main reason: wet hair in the morning is too time consuming. You can seriously shave off major morning time if you start with dry hair! Plus, most people say that their hair does better styling if it is not squeaky clean. Bonus!

During the months of March, April, May, June, and July I was often a morning shower person. I missed my night shower to be honest.

Let me make a case for the night shower.

Do you suffer from allergies? I have fall allergies worse than spring and I live in a horrible place for allergies. This baby right here – Simply Saline is my best friend. I was told years ago to not ever sleep on hair that could have pollen or whatnot in it from being outside. It makes a lot of sense. You are breathing it in all night long.

Are you ever too tired to wash your face at night? One hack is to wash it immediately after dinner or after work and not wait until you are too tired, but my solution is to keep your face wash in the shower. I love this cleanser. It smells so good!

I love getting in my sheets when I am clean and I love going to bed with slightly damp hair. I take my shower right after dinner when life is normal – so around 7 or 8. I sleep in a tank top and shorts and never socks – please! I love having the added coolness of damp hair.

Plus, this fan has changed my sleeping life. I love having a ceiling fan and I am just sorry that I waited 48 years.

And, guess what is on its way to me? A satin pillowcase! Amanda of That Inspired Chick posted an $8 deal on Amazon. I had not wanted to spend a fortune on one so patience paid off – I think. I will let you know. Satin pillowcases are supposed to help with facial wrinkles and with keeping hair smoother.

I think I have gotten smart. I put my creams on in bed now. I just was not taking the time to do it if I waited until too late so now it has become my get in bed routine. I spray my pillow with lavender sleep spray when I can (I have to be careful because I have sprayed Tom in the face before and he did not enjoy it!). I next put on lip stuff, eye stuff, facial wrinkle stuff, and lavender lotion.

I am trying not to be too dependent on this routine but I do it most nights. I am trying to avoid becoming too high maintenance.

O.k. – so my morning routine when I shower at night. I swear I am not lying. I was not rushing and I was not even looking at my stop watch. I fact, I have timed myself before and I had some haters – just kidding – they were not really haters but they questioned my timer.

I wash my face with the same cleanser.

I brush my teeth.

I clip up the sides of my hair and curl the bottom, take clips down and curl the top, I use hairspray.

I do a bit of foundation, concealer, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, blush, and lipstick.

Here was the time it took to do these steps:

Finished product:

I am not dressed yet. I am still in my sleeping clothing. So, getting dressed maybe takes another 5-10 minutes depending on how decisive I am.

What are your thoughts?

Try taking a night shower!

Try timing your routine!

It is eye opening!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Hello! How is your week going? Mine is going. I am slowly getting more into a routine. I have not been back to my classroom since that second day. I am finding I like the ability to teach from home. Plus, we have crazy long breaks between live classes and it seems to make more sense to do some chores and work from home where it is more comfortable, you know?

I would say I have been loving the kimono for the last week.

Olive shorts, olive shirt, kimono with olive and pink flowers.

This was a weekend outfit. I am looking for the perfect wide leg cropped. These are not it. I sent these back to QVC – They were Lisa Rinna pants! Real Housewives, anyone? Anyone have an idea for me for what I am looking for?

Look at this lovely kimono outfit. Um, she is 5 foot ten inches according to the article in Southern Living!

Another day, another kimono.

Another day, another kimono.

I have also worn some of my swing dresses with kimono over.

What have you been wearing lately?

Amy

My Take on Distance Learning

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

I have mixed feelings about writing this post. It makes me incredibly sad. I guess I want to remember this time in my life, though? And, maybe this will also help some parents and other teachers out there? Anyway, let’s jump right in. You can take a pass today if you want to! Ha!

First, a little back story. I started teaching when there was NO INTERNET! I even remember my first school still had a mimeograph machine – I think we called it – the thing that made the purple copies of my childhood – ooooh the smell of that fresh purple ink. I am also the girl that sniffed her markers and put glue all over her hands so she could peel it off. So satisfying. Maybe I should do the glue thing now for self-care?

Anyhoo, don’t judge. This is my 27th year and the new methods and technologies I have learned in that time period is simply mind boggling. I remember using a typewriter for my handouts my first year because I didn’t have a home computer. I can remember thinking how bizarre it was that I was given such a big job at age 22 and absolutely no resources. I had to buy my own everything or take handmedowns from other teachers.

I have some strong thoughts and you may or may not agree with me. I am also going to be talking about high school level – the only level I know as a teacher. Good teaching has not changed. There – I said it. I still use some of the methods I learned as a student teacher. Kids have not changed. There – I said that, too. In the 90s they passed notes and now they send Snapchats or group texts. They are the same content, though, for the most part.

High school kids want teachers that care about them. In fact, they can’t learn until they know that the teacher cares and they can’t respect a teacher unless the teacher shows them respect, too. They don’t want to be talked down to. And, we shouldn’t. Teens today are smart, sensitive, compassionate, creative, funny, and so much more. If you don’t believe this you shouldn’t be teaching high school. Now, there are a few tough kids. I have been cussed out and I have been made to cry – only once and it was in the bathroom. I have had to have a pretty thick skin. I have also made the point to many a colleague that women have to be tougher than men in this gig. Some things kids will try with a female teacher and not with a male teacher.

I also think that maybe the tenants of teaching a language may have stayed the same – you still need to be immersed in the language. You still need to memorize things. You still need a community to speak with and who will listen to you.

Our first experience with distance learning in April and May was pretty basic. We could hold live classes or Q and A sessions but we couldn’t make it mandatory and there was no school schedule. We mainly posted 3 things a week for kids to do for our class.

This time around, we have a set schedule. We have a 7 period day and the kids go to 4 classes one day and the other 3 the next day and then they do it again. So they will meet with each class twice a week.

During our 2 weeks of training so many apps, platforms, websites, and ideas were being thrown at us. My colleagues were spending 8 hours making a Bitmoji classroom. I was intrigued and I was listening but it didn’t feel like me. In fact, it was really stressing me out.

I knew that I wanted to use Zoom so I could see all their faces at once. I teach Spanish III and AP so I wanted an interactive and communicative virtual class. I am really lucky that my district is letting us teach from our classroom or home and they are really letting us decide how to teach. I love that autonomy.

I decided to try to teach as much like we were in person as possible and to keep as many of my routines and traditions as possible. We are currently supposed to go back October 6, but most of us don’t see that happening. We think it may be January or February at the earliest.

I actually had a great first week. I would say I taught old school style using new tech. I called roll and had them pick a Spanish name. I had them write on paper to answer their daily journal question and then some volunteered to read. I had them do a mini presentation of objects that represent them. They were willing to turn cameras on and speak. I showed a short video clip by sharing my screen. I posted handouts on Google Classroom.

Once I decided to be me/do me/ teach my way I was more at peace. Teaching is really an art form and we don’t all have the same style – nor should we.

The best thing was getting to “meet” many of their pets. We always talk about pets during the school year but I’ve never gotten to actually see so many! The worst thing was not getting to see each other face to face, ask about summer, compliment them, talk to them one on one, and feel that energy that a new school year brings.

I had almost perfect attendance! I have to keep my live sessions engaging and worth their time. We still are being very sensitive about equity – some may not have WIFI or devices and we can’t really penalize a student.

So, the teaching part and the student part was great!

Here is what was not so great….

We were told we could use Zoom or Google Meet (we are using Google Classroom so Google Meet is a part of this and flows really well with it but it has some limitations). I chose Zoom for day one. At the end of the day we were told we had to use Google Meet. I switched to Google Meet for day two. At the end of day two, we were told we had to switch to Microsoft Teams by Monday. We had a few students in a few schools that shared links and went to classes that weren’t their and did bad things or showed bad things on camera. So, a few bad apples are ruining the whole bunch.

Microsoft Teams is the worst of the three I have tried in my opinion. On certain devices, you cannot see more than 9 faces. I have classes that range from 22-31 kids.

Whew – I am tired! I’m sure I forgot something! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. I would love to hear from other teachers!

Amy

Hello Monday – Last Day of August!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Hello all! Can you believe September is tomorrow? I have mixed feelings. I think we all thought life could maybe be a bit normal by September and it is really not, is it?

I am linking up today with Heather, Tanya and many more here.

I have a post coming to you tomorrow on my experience as a teacher trying to do virtual teaching – if you are interested – but, this is a photo of what I did Friday after at 4:00 p.m. after another surprise training that should not have been needed. I have my sangria with a splash of ginger ale, my book, and a fan on me. I set my sangria down and fell asleep! It was lovely.

Shortly after this it started raining so I ordered Panera soup and half a sandwich for Tom and I and we watched the telly. Now I am back on the same level as Tom on Fridays and understand why he is fine to stay home! I did not drive my car anywhere on Friday. I think I had two days like that last week – Tuesday and Friday.

Saturday morning I was up early. I decided to hit the Farmer’s Market earlier than I did a couple of weeks ago. Two weeks ago I arrived at 8:30 and it was packed. This time I was ready to arrive at 8:00. I couldn’t believe how many people beat me!

The one I go to is in a church parking lot. There are also booths with jewelry, honey, kettle corn, flowers, beer, wine, and other cool things.

I had a nice time and this was my haul:

watermelon, kettle corn for Tom, white wine for me, corn, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, and a pimento cheese biscuit.

I also stopped by Walgreen’s to get my son’s Europe trip pictures developed. His trip was last November but I recently thought I should get his memory card out of our nice camera because he had mentioned admiring my photo albums. I had a coupon code and printed all 600 photos for him. I thought he could do something with them on his semester break.

I also picked up two fall magazines – my guilty pleasure.

I cleaned and did some school work and then had a snack on the patio. I love Triscuits! Do you like them? I once saw a meme that said “Triscuits – For those people who have always wondered what wicker tasted like”. I firmly believe they taste better than wicker.

I made a trip to Target after that to check out the Magnolia fall stuff. I wasn’t a big fan. Or, my store didn’t have much to see. I need to go to TJ Maxx and Home Goods. My fall decor is not doing it for me anymore and I really want to try to clean out my seasonal bins and donate what doesn’t fit my taste.

Saturday evening we had one of our couple friends over and I moved my early fall apple decor outside to the patio. We had bourbon slushies and food from a Cuban/Spanish restaurant.

I put my white hydrangeas and twine apples on the table. I also got mustard colored placemats at Target.

I went to pick up the food.

We had guacamole with plantain chips.

salad, short rib flat bread, ham croquettes, fish and pork tacos, and spicy potatoes. We took everything outside and just passed it. I also made a chocolate chip cookie and served it with ice cream for dessert. You can see it on the left below. I took the break and bake cookie dough and just pressed it in my pan and baked it. Yum!

We turned on our patio lights and stayed outside talking until almost 10! That is quite a record for us. It was so nice.

Sunday morning was sweatshirt weather and I took my coffee and book to the patio. I finished Eliza Starts a Rumor and I liked it. It was deeper than I expected. The writing style was a bit choppy but I do recommend.

I think this is my next book. I have so many library books right now. I really should return some.

And, Sunday was back to work to get ready for the week. I like to work on Sunday morning so that I can feel more free the rest of the day. I also went to the grocery and came home and put Dr. Pepper pulled pork in the crock pot.

Then, we went out on the boat for a bit and it was really nice. Tom and I enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, half a baked potato and slaw for dinner.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Amy