Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up!


Summer time has arrived, and as usual, I have difficulty finding ways to simply enjoy it. I'm someone who always feels like I should be doing something.  As a teacher, there's ALWAYS something that can be done during the school year.  In a way this is a problem for me because I could easily work 24/7.   Cody always has to tell me to stop working.  When summer comes around, I find myself thinking, "Come on Diana...all you do is pretty much eat, go to the gym, browse the internet, and watch tv."  I'm slowly learning to embrace this time off.  This summer is especially difficult because I can apply for jobs, yet since I'm adding on another credential this upcoming semester, I can't exactly do that yet.  I could apply for mild/moderate special ed teaching positions since I have my credential for that, but then I couldn't finish up my moderate/severe credential.  What I am doing is applying for moderate/severe teaching positions as an far I've applied to 4.  Since I'm not fully credentialed to teach in a moderate/severe setting, I'm not sure how good my chances are...yet nevertheless, I'm just going to see what will happen :)

This past week was Cody's little brother's high school graduation.  It was super sunny and hot during the ceremony.  Luckily we were able to get seats at the top of the football stadium, so we had a pretty good breeze compared to the people sitting below us.  Here is Cody and I with a trusty umbrella...that happened to invert itself at the most opportune times during the ceremony.

Here is a pic of the graduate and Cody's family.  As much as I love my small family consisting of my mom, dad, and older brother, it's always a fun time to joining Cody's big family during special events.  Having 4 brothers and sisters makes life pretty crazy!

Yesterday I attempted to give my hair a blow out.  Well...since I have so much hair, it took quite a while.  Normally I just let my hair air dry and it carries it's natural wave.  Sectioning my hair into pieces and blow drying each piece with a round brush takes so long.  Finally...I finished.  I think it turned out pretty well. It definitely could use improvement, but I did a much better job of blow drying my hair this time than ever before.  I really need to invest in a large, round, boar bristle brush.  I have read many reviews that those brushes are great for a great blow-dry.  I guess I'll have to see the difference myself.

After I blow dried my hair I decided to take a trip to Target because I was reading this beauty blog and the writer raved about Revlon's lip butter lip stick in Sweet Tarte.  I never used to be a big lip stick person, but recently I've enjoyed trying new ones.  Within the past few months, I've tried an orange, coral, and bright pink.  According to the review of the lip butter, it appeared to be a really pretty pink - not too bright like the last one I bought.  I found a $2 off an Revlon item coupon right before I left to Target - SCORE!

At Target, I also wanted to get slightly smaller curling iron than the one I have been using with my hair.  I was hoping to buy a wide, tapered Remington iron that I had seen before, but of course, it was out of stock.  I browsed through the other irons they had and I came across a BedHead Curlipop 1-inch tapered curling wand. It was $5 more than the Remington iron, making it $30.  While $5 isn't a whole lot, it did make me think things like, "I bet it's only $5 more because it's by BedHead".  I looked up reviews on my phone, and I couldn't find many.  I found a video created by BedHead, but of course they are going to make the wand seem absolutely fabulous.  I considered the fact that the wand is smaller than what I have currently been using, yet larger than another curling iron I've had in the past.  It was tapered, but very gradually tapered.  The Remington iron I originally wanted had a much more severe taper to it....if that makes sense. I liked the idea of a 1" iron, and I was feeling a little bit like "I came to Target and I'm leaving with a curling matter if it's the one I intended to get or not!", so I decided to take the risk and buy it.

Here is the fruit of my labor, my new curling iron, and my new lip butter! The curling iron was so easy to use.  I've had experience with a curling wand, so it wasn't to difficult to handle.  I just had to keep on eye on where I was putting the wand.  You can't see the lip butter too clearly - but I must say that the color "Sweet Tarte" is a winner.  It's a really pretty, natural pink. 

I am satisfied with it. 

Another new thing I've decided to do this week is try grocery store coffees that I have to grind myself.  I've always been curious of whether or not the coffee beans at the grocery store are worthy of being put into my coffee maker.  The first coffee I tried was from Wholesome Choice. I chose a hazelnut flavor, since my dad and I both love the Hazelnut coffee at a local bagel shop.  Well...sad day.  It didn't take like hazelnut at all.  My dad thought I might have been mistaken in which coffee I chose, but I know for a fact that I wasn't.  Either the store made a mistake or their hazelnut coffee is a a big fail.  My dad and I have too high of coffee standards for them.  Moving on to today, I tried a hazelnut coffee from Albertson's.  That would be the coffee in the "Java Delight" bag.  I made sure to not get too much, in case of a chance of a coffee fail numero dos.  When I got home, I brewed the coffee for my dad and I.  I smelled it smelled better than the coffee from Wholesome Choice, yet I still didn't smell much Hazelnut.  My confidence this coffee had already dropped. Then I took a taste...and it was meh.  Much better than the Wholesome Choice coffee, but still not as good as the bagel shop coffee.  I don't think anything will ever top that.  I'm beginning to like this coffee judging game.  I just hope I don't find myself with a bunch of coffee bags with all the coffee I've tried and dismissed.  I could easily see that happen.

Last update of this week....I tried a new nail polish!  It's a Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polish in a mint green color.  This is supposed to be a texturized nail polish.  I sampled it at Target, and it seemed pretty cool, so I decided to buy it and try it out.

Application of the nail polish went pretty smoothly.  I've always had a pretty successful time with Sally Hansen nail products.  The only problem was that the polish was a bit thicker with the sugary texture, so I had to be careful on not brushing my nail too much.  If I brushed it too much, the polish would be more concentrated in one area of my nail than another.

Here is a picture of my nails after it dried.  You can see the "sugary" quality of the nail polish. This nail polish definitely isn't for everybody.  My mom was not a huge fan.  She likes smooth nail polish. When I asked my dad to feel my nails, he freaked out a bit.  Personally, I liked the texture of the nail polish.  It's different, and I don't own any other "textured" nail polishes.  I'm happy with it.  :)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

I did it :)

Although it seems like it's taken a bit too long for this to happen since I graduated from UCI, I can finally say that I have earned my special education teaching credential.  What should have taken one or maybe 1.5 years took me from January 2011 to May of 2013.   Still, the two years plus that I have spent getting this done has been full of great experiences I would never regret.  I spent 2 amazing years as an instructional aide  at a school in Irvine, which had (and still has!) the most amazing team of teachers and staff who truly are a part of a big family.   My past two student teaching experiences would have been so much more challenging, if I did not have my experiences as an aide and the support of the teachers from that school.  It was so sad to leave last June, but everyone, including myself, knew that I had to leave my "safe place" to complete what I set out to do in the first place.

This was the amazing teacher I worked with at Irvine!

All the staff leaving that year were surprised with a cake! 

After two semesters of student teaching in a transitional kindergarten class and an RSP classroom (at my old elementary school!), I'm finally done!  I have earned my "education specialist" teaching credential, and I can teach students with mild/moderate special needs.  

Now I could start applying for jobs right now, however I decided a long time ago that I didn't want to be stuck teaching kiddos with mild/moderate needs. As fabulous and fun those kiddos can be, what about all of the other kiddos who need just as much support, if not more? So next semester I will be adding on a credential to teach kiddos with moderate/severe needs.  There's something about teaching these kiddos critical life skills that really gives me a feeling of purpose.  I have not spent as much time working with this population, so I know next semester I will definitely find myself in situations I've never seen or experienced in the past.  Another reason why I'm choosing to have both options is because I truly don't know what path is right for me. I have enjoyed working with both populations, yet both teaching jobs have their own set of challenges. What would be really amazing is if I finished next semester and I know for a fact which path is for me.   Nevertheless, at this point in my life of constant uncertainty, I think the picture below sums up my thoughts perfectly :)


A big thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way!

Monday, May 20, 2013

surprise road trip!

Let's go back to three years ago :)

Cody and I had just began dating... I had just graduated from UCI. Summer nights were spent at Disneyland and in this picture, we happened to be at one of my brother's band shows.  

Fast forward to now....this is us on a surprise road trip Cody planned for us to celebrate our 3 year anniversary this past weekend.  I didn't know what we were doing..but he said it'd be a whole day thing.  My guesses included going to the beach, going somewhere in LA, or going to the Aquarium.  Also, I asked if I could wear a dress and he said yes!  In my world, if I can wear a dress, it's going to be a good day hands down.   Turned out we were going to Santa Barbara for the day :) 

This is the only picture I took of us ...  I need to remember to take more!!

Cody knows how much I LOVE road trips and simply driving in the car listening to country music.  That's exactly what we did :)  Thanks to my trusty iheartradio app, we pretended we were in Texas and listened to radio stations in Houston, Austin, and Dallas.  The commercials were pretty crazy and so fitting for Texas radio.  For example...never in Southern California have I heard an advertisement for Obamacare911. That's Texas for you! Gotta love it.  

What should have been a 2 hour trip to Santa Barbara...turned out to be more like a 3.5 hour trip thanks to traffic.  I wouldn't have had it anything other way.  I just feel so lucky and thankful. He is just so darn good at finding ways to make me feel special. Honestly, I would have been happy to just drive to Santa Barbara....walk dinner at Chipotle (since there was one)...and then come home. I realize that Santa Barbara is a pretty touristy spot, and although it would be nice to eat at a restaurant on the main street, I definitely didn't NEED that.  That definitely would be considered a luxury, and while I do like to feel luxurious sometimes, this surprise trip to somewhere new for both of us was a gift itself.  Well, we ended up eating at a mexican restaurant on the main street..had then flan!  I kept telling that boy, "I don't need it!!"  He's a for sure keeper :) 

 If you're reading this Cody - this is for you! Thank you! .  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

only 2 more weeks :)

Two more weeks of student teaching and I'll be just about done with my mild/moderate teaching credential program! The next two weeks will also consist of state testing for half the time, so really I'll only be teaching for one more week.  These two weeks are going to go by so fast.  :(

What have been the highlights of student teaching?

- realizing my ridiculous amount of patience when a kiddos daily says he is GOING to play a game even if he hasn't earned it.
- a student asking, "What does Mr. Clean do?"
- becoming confident about teaching writing!
- becoming friends with Woodcock-Johnson III
- hearing a student say, "I've just about had it with Ms. _____" (me)  when he didn't earn his game.  That made me laugh.
- being able to go back to my old elementary school every day the last 8 weeks
- making students laugh and enjoy learning
- calling my master teacher by the wrong name for the first 3 days because I got confused with another teacher...and the students never said a word about it when I referred to her.  Poor kiddos must have wondering who I was talking about!
- having a terrified 3rd grader come running in the classroom saying the bathroom lights weren't on
- having a kiddo ask me if I knew of his parent's company, and when I said I didn't, he rolled his eyes and said "look it up"  I'm sorry but I am not educated in all the companies of the United States
- Presenting the main idea of "Police officers are helpful", and when I asked for supporting details, a student says they aren't and all they do is eat doughnuts.  Needless to say...I had to find a new main idea because we were not going to get anywhere with that.

One thing I love about working in a can never predict some of the things that kiddos will do or say. I'm just glad I can roll with it, and make humor out of everything that happens!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

prepping for a new season :)

This past week's warm weather makes me super excited for summer outfits! I just ordered a pair of these....

I can't wait to wear them!!

Also..just so I don't forget about it...I heard this song on the radio last night in Cody's new set if wheels {yay for a new car baby!}.  I had never heard this song before, and if you love country as much as me, you should listen!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

golden light lies ahead :)

The secret to being happy.

Today is just one of those days where I feel motivated and hopeful for what is to come.  I'm the type of person who likes to be constantly busy with something - whether it be school, work, or some other outside activity.  While I LOVE my breaks, I also have grown to realize I become somewhat depressed sitting around until school or work starts up again.  I'm doing my best to keep myself busy with Lovebug Lane and studying for the RICA.  I just have to keep reminding myself of what I'm working towards and where I'm headed.  I had lunch yesterday with my master teacher from this past semester, and it felt so nice to talk with her about how things were going in her class and what my plans are for the upcoming year.  She's awesome, and I left feeling very excited and motivated for what is to come.  Yes, I may not have a full time job right now that is keeping me busy 40+ hours a week, but that will come in time.  Until then, I need to focus on where I am in the moment and what I can do to embrace it.   For example, this morning I woke up and realized I actually have time to go to the gym, so I need to do it.  What did I do?  I went to the gym!  What else did I do?  I made sure to listen to my current favorite song that is so motivating to me and I think it could be very motivating to other people as well! Just listen :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pandora finds I can't forget

While studying for the RICA  (Reading Instruction Competence Assessment) today, I was listening to my "Easy Listening" station on Pandora and I hear the  most beautiful songs.  I'm a big fan of the "thumbs up" I can hear my favorites all the time! Here are a few of the ones I must never forget...they're so lovely and they calm me like no other.  They make me want to go on a road trip through Montana, Idaha, Colorado, and other naturalistic places.