November fashion (part 3)

Is it just me, or did November fly by? Although the Chicago weather suggests winter, I can hardly believe December is just a few days away. As you may know, I participate in fashion-themed challenges on Instagram. To participate, connect with me on Facebook and Instagram to see the daily themes and join in when you can! Themes are a great way to get dressed with purpose, find inspiration through others, find unlikely outfit pairings, and wear those clothes that are neglected in the back of your closet.

I enjoyed November’s last themes – for houndstooth day, I wore my abstract houndstooth printed Forever 21 skirt. On mustard day, my whole outfit is from…wait for it…Burlington Coat Factory! I love this statement necklace with the mustard fringe top and printed pants. I wore cran on cran for cranberry day and opted for a spring-inspired dress for all zipped up day. On Thanksgiving for the thankful theme, I wore plaid of course, and on Black Friday I mixed a fun printed blazer with a classic black dress.


Why I’m Mad at Scandal’s Abortion Episode

Millions of people watched Scandal’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” episode last Thursday and for better or worse, had a strong reaction to it. Now fondly referred to as the abortion episode, the main character, the strong, powerful, driven Olivia Pope, had an abortion that came out of the blue. The 30 second clip at the end of the show shows Olivia in stirrups on the doctor’s table; it shows the doctor methodically turn on a machine and pick up an instrument; it shows Olivia’s serious, stoic face as Silent Night plays in the background, singing “Halleluiah” as the camera pans in on her face, staring up at the lights.

Olivia’s father, Rowan, is heard in a voice over saying, “Family is a burden … a pressure point, soft tissue, an illness, an antidote to greatness. You think you’re better off with people who rely on you, depend on you, but you’re wrong, because you will inevitably end up needing them, which makes you weak, pliable. Family doesn’t complete you. It destroys you.”


Digital Age Kills Textbooks

In our ever growing technological age, I understand the value of keeping up with technology and know its invaluable place in education. As a high school teacher, I enjoy using tablets and cell phones in the classroom for engaging, interactive learning, and I appreciate learning about new applications from research and from my peers. By teaching students with current technology, we will prepare them for their college years and future careers. In fact, the most successful people are ideas people, and by cultivating meaningful, problem-based learning through technological projects that promote thoughtful inquiry, we can lead students towards that path.

In an effort to stay current in this digital age, many schools are having a 1:1 model, meaning all students have a tablet or ipad that essentially replaces their textbooks. I believe as a teacher, it is my responsibility to adapt to new teaching strategies and learning initiatives, but I do not think that means I have to support abolishing text books. Can these values be mutually exclusive?

Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Controversy

Ask dinner party guests the biggest cliche of topics to steer clear of, and of course they will answer religion, politics, or money. Ask teachers why they shy away from controversial topics in the class, and they’ll answer that conversations can get too heated, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. Some bloggers and writers even make it their personal mission to avoid these topics so they don’t offend any current or potential readers. I’ve been thinking about this, and I adamantly disagree with the notion that we should avoid controversy. Instead, I think we SHOULD discuss controversial topics because the more we talk about it, the more we learn how to have productive conversations instead of stubborn showdowns.

We need to learn the tools to participate in these conversations; we need to push ourselves to be educated on these topics instead of clinging onto unfounded, obstinate opinions; we need to learn to open our minds and hearts to hearing other points of views, practice thoughtful consideration, and tactful responses to disagreements.

November fashion (part 2)

My fashion themed challenges continue! In case you missed part 1 for November, you can check it out here. The themes for last week included the following:

  • Tights: I paired a cozy pair of sweater tights with a Max Studio dress and plaid blazer for a school Open House event.
  • …is my new black: Red and black was my new black in another Max Studio graphic dress lightened up wit graduated pearls.
  • Pinspired: My “pinspiration” was mixing prints – plaid and leopard, of course.
  • All wrapped up: I love a good wrap dress. They’re very comfortable and flattering. The last time I wore this dress was almost a year ago to the day, but I was 7 months pregnant. Did I mention it’s great stretchy fabric?
  • Plaid: I love this silky, slouchy blouse – a dressier take on the beloved print.
  • Cashmere: I chose my softest, comfiest two-tone sweater and balanced its form-fit with an a-line shadow-hemmed skirt.
  • Stud: Saturday night was date night, so my stud was my date ; )

Perfect Holiday Gift: Essential Oil Diffuser

*Affiliate links included. Don’t miss the 25% COUPON CODE at the end of the post. Good from 11/18/15 – 11/22/15!

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Don’t hate me, but I finished a few weeks ago. However, I have THE PERFECT holiday gift that I now want to buy for all my family and friends (and more for myself!). I just started using Radha’s Essential Oil Diffuser with their essential oil assortment, which comes with 6 therapeutic grade oils and oh. my. gosh. I am in heaven. Anyone who knows me knows that I am very particular about smells. People always comment that I smell good, and I’m slightly obsessed with having my home and classroom smell nice, too. It’s kind of my thing.

Last year after a massage, I became fixated with the glorious, calming smell of the spa. While I love my apple or pine plug-in scents, nothing comes close to the aroma of a spa. Plus I read that the plug-ins actually aren’t very healthy for you, so the idea of filling my home with essential oils appealed to me. I never achieved the degree of scent I wanted from the reed diffusers; they emitted smells as you walked by them, but that’s about it. Well, my friends, I’m pleased to share that my quest to bring the spa home is over.

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