Monday, January 26, 2015

Less Than Stellar

Where oh where did 2014 go?  And where oh where did I go?

I was on a hot streak at the beginning of the school year (read: back in October) and had fully intended to stick with a "I'm gonna blog this school year" attitude.  Unfortunatley this school year has been less than stellar.  And by less then stellar I mean it has been the worst school year in the history of school years.

Seriously I have miserable in my new job since about September.  Which is a very strange feeling for me because well, I've never hated a job before.  I've never wanted to quit a job before.  I've never gone home crying because of a job before. I've never complained so much about a job before. 

There are multiple reasons for feeling this way about my job. Mostly I think its because I unknowningly got a job with the worst middle school in our district. 

Here is what I've had to deal with on a daily basis:

1. Disrepectful 13 and 14 year olds.  Ok I remember being in 8th grade and I never dreamed of talking to one of my teachers the way some of my students talk to me.  I've been called just about every bad word there is.  (Not directly to my face, save for 1 or 2 times, but I'm not deaf as my students seem to think I am and I can hear every word they say). 

2.  8th graders are mean.  Story time.  I got bangs for a hot second back in like Oct or Nov.  Just wanted something a little different for a while.  So throughout the day I had students tell me some nice things but mostly it was, "MS!  What'd you do to your hair?" in a not so nice tone.  Fast forward to 7th period.  A students comes up to me and we have the following interaction:

Student:  Ms. Norris can I tell you something.
Me: Sure ______, go ahead.
Student: You know how everyone has been complimenting your hair and telling you look nice today.
Me: Yeah.
Student:  Well, they're all lying.  Your hair actully looks really ugly.
Me: Shocked face and no words. 

I actually did have a lot of words to say to this student, mostly along the lines of how disrespectful and rude her was.  I think he did feel bad after he said it.  But still never in my life would I have dreamed of telling a teacher that.

3. Rough area of town.  My school is in a very ghetto area.  Again a fact I was not aware of when I took the job.  Most of my students come from pretty rough homes which I sympathize with 100%.  I think it takes a very special type of person to work with and be able to handle students who need as much extra help as the majority of these students do.  And I am just not one of them. (Sorry if that sounds a little selfish!)

 I do want to say that not all of my students are little terrors.  I have a few who have been absolute delights and have really helped me remember that teaching is what I want to do. It's for those students that I'm able to get up in the morning and get to work, rather than do what I've been tempted to do since about week 3 and that's quit.

Luckily for me, I had a great first year of teaching last year.  So I know it's not the teaching profession that I dislike.  It's simply my current work location.  And thank goodness there is a fairly easy fix to my current situation, which is.......get a new job.  I'll be spending a portion of the Spring the way I spent last Spring, job hunting.

Because if there is one thing I've learned from teaching 8th grade this year, besides the fact that I'm pretty sure I dislike children between the ages of 12-14, it's that you absolutely must love going to work everyday.  It makes getting up everyday so much easier.  Feeling your stomach drop down into your butt every morning on your commute to work because your job makes you feel anxious, stressed, and disappointed doe not. So if you learn nothing else from this post, learn this:  love your job and don't settle until you find the one that makes you love getting up in the morning.

**Sorry for the lack of pictures in my post.  This is another way you can tell I dislike my job, I have like 2 pictures from the school year on Instagram.  Whereas last year I took like 5 a day.  The struggle is real y'all.  The struggle is real.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

EuroTrip 2015

The summer of 2004 was one of the best summers of my life.

I was 16 and two of the best things ever happened.  First I got to see Tim McGraw in concert for the first time.  He was and still is my all time favorite singer.  Second, I went to London, England.  Now obviously London was WAY better than Tim McGraw, but I was trying to be dramatic, thus why I mentioned it second.

It was the BEST TRIP EVER!  My mom and I went with my school and were gone for 1 week.  It was not nearly enough time to see everything. But here were some of the highlights:

-Windsor Castle and Eton
-Buckingham Palace
-Tower of London
-The Globe Theatre
-Hyde Park
-Kensington Palace (pre Princess Kate, sadly)
- The London Eye

Here are a few pictures from my trip.  Please keep in mind I'm 16 in these pictures! Yikes can't believe this was 10 years ago!!

And the most exciting of all......I SAW THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND!!  Yes, I saw her riding in her little carriage in a canary yellow suit down the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace just like you see in pictures and TV.  It was literally one of the coolest experiences ever.  Especially for someone who has been obsessed with all things British and Royal since about the 5th grade when I got to do a project on Princess Diana.


There she is! Along with her husband, Prince Philip. Prince Charles and Princess Anne were following them on individual horses.  Sadly no Princes William or Harry.  If I remember correctly they were at the funeral for Princess Diana's father or something like that.

I wanted to go back to England pretty much the minute we got back on the plane to fly home.  I never studied abroad or anything (which is one of my biggest regrets in life) but I always told myself I would be back one day.

So last year, my Florida roommates and I had decided to go to to England.  We also decided to visit Ireland and France as well.  We pretty much had the entire thing planned and I even posted this picture on Instagram.

But then we all decided we wanted to move home.  So we figured we should save the money we would be spending on the trip and use it for moving purposes.  Thus the trip was cancelled and we were all very sad and depressed.

Fast forward to last month, I was telling Jenny all about this pretty much all planned and she said, "Well why don't we go.  But if we're gonna do it, let's go big or go home."

SO......I am very very very very excited, no ecstatic to announce that on July 16, 2015 I will be going back to London, England!! We be gone for 16 days and in total will visit 5 countries!!! AHHHHH!!!!!

Where exactly are we going you ask?  Well let me show you!

We will be hitting up England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy!!

We settled on going with a tour group because 1. it was cheaper and included airfare and 2.  the process of planning such an in depth trip was very difficult.  I tried for a few days and just couldn't do it.  Plus we figure it will be a tads safer this way.

We'll be using Go Ahead Tours and you can find more information on their tour options at their website,  But we did a bunch of research and they seem like the best option for us.

We will be spending about 2 days in each city and will have a ton of free time.  Which was something I was kinda worried about as I was researching.  I didn't want our whole day planned out, I wanted to be sure to find a company that helped us cover all the major highlights but left time for us to explore on our own too.

Best part is that Go Ahead Tours offers a payment plan.  So we have until May 8th to pay off the entire trip.  That helps so much because now we can budget properly over the next few months.  In fact I see many more "No-tobers" in the near future.

But AHHH!! Seriously every time I think about it I get super giddy with excitement and all these other emotions that I can't even name.  I'm also really excited to have something to look forward too, it will help the year (specifically the school year) go by even fast than it feels like it already is.

We are booking the trip tonight and putting down the down payment.  So there will be no turning back after that!  EEEKK!!!  Sorry, told you I get excited.

Obviously I will be sharing everything with y'all as we get closer and closer!  Also if you've been to any of the cities we will be visiting I would love to hear your list of must sees and places to eat and stuff.

The countdown begins....NOW!!! 275 days....(wow that sounds longer written down than it does in my head.) 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Online Dating: Episode 1

I've delved into the realm of online dating twice before.

The first time I paid for eHarmony, had a weird experience where I saw a guy I was just starting to talk to in the tunnels at work in the Magic Kingdom and totally wasn't prepared for said meeting so I panicked and cancelled my membership and got a refund.

The second time I didn't want to pay for the service so I decided to try OkCupid.  I got some completely disgusting messages (one guy told me he would pay all my bills if I let him watch me use the restroom, and I'm just not talking about going pee here people. blegh) and another said something so disgusting that I can't even re-type it because this blog is rated PG.  I did go on one date, but the guy ended up being about a foot shorter than me and wouldn't answer the waitresses question when she asked if it was going to be one check or two.  So that was the end my stint on that lovely site.

Fast forward to last month.  I told myself that once I had settled in Houston I would try my hand at online dating one more time.  Last year (and all the years) I lived in Florida were a complete bust in the romance department, and I cannot tell you how ready I am to be in a relationship.


I wanted to try a site that I hadn't tried yet, so I signed up for a 3 month subscription.

I immediately got a few likes, winks, and even messages.  But I told myself I needed to take an active role in this (especially if I was paying for it).  So I started browsing through profiles and started messaging a few guys I thought had potential.  There was one guy who was super attractive, so I messaged him, but didn't hear anything back.

I started seriously messaging another guy, who went to Texas State as well.  We messaged for about 2 weeks and then he asked for my number so we started texting.  We then moved on to the Facebook stage and that is where things fell off.  After he looked at my Facbeook page he completely stopped communicating with me.  No clue why.  Maybe he saw something he hated or was turned off by, who knows.

So then I found this guy who I thought had major potential.  I messaged him first.  I commented on a picture he had posted of him on a mountain skiing.  It was am amazing picture.  We hit it off pretty well, he liked my profile and a few of my pictures.  We messaged back and forth for about 2 and half weeks, then we exchanged phone numbers, and finally he asked me if I wanted to meet up for drinks.

I was pretty nervous but said yes.  Drinks ended up becoming dinner and a trip to Houston's comedy club to see Damon Waynes.  I had mentioned how badly I wanted to see a show at this Improv club I kept seeing and so he got us tickets.  I was beyond excited.  I mean this was my first actual date in forever!

We went on Saturday night and met at the restaurant, because hello, I was not about to let him pick my up at home.  I wish I could say I had a picture of my outfit and hair/makeup but I was too nervous to snap any pictures.  But my roommate said I looked perfect.  So I left the house feeling pretty confident, in my appearance at least.

I got to the restaurant first, we decided on a sushi place pretty close to the club.  When I saw him I was really pleased.  He was much cuter in person than in his pictures.  Now I'm not going to go into all the little details of the date, but it was fun.  Like really fun.  I had a fantastic time.  The flow of conversation was perfect and we never had any awkward pauses.  We laughed and overall had a great time.  Even the show was great.

At the end of the evening I told him I had a fantastic time, he said he did too, and we both said we'd love to do it again sometime soon.  I drove home feeling really good and excited.

And I haven't heard from him since.

Bet you weren't expecting that.  I sure wasn't.  I thought we had had a great time.  Obviously he did not.  I went ahead and bit the bullet and texted him once, last Monday.  But I got a one sentence response and nothing after that.

Not gonna lie, it sucked.  It still sucks.  Now I know it was just one date, with one guy.  And I know we weren't going to get married and live happily ever after.  But it would have been nice to get at least an explanation as to why he didn't feel the need to text me again or why we wouldn't be going on another date.

I guess he just wasn't that into me.

So it's on to the next one.  Sadly there hasn't been a next one yet.  I kinda lost my enthusiasm for the search last week. But I'm gonna jump back into it with fresh eyes this week.  I need to keep reminding myself that I just started this journey and it's not gonna happen overnight.

 I just need to be patient.

The pictures I've got throughout the post are the ones I have posted to my profile! What do you think? 

Monday, October 6, 2014


Hello friends!  I hope y'all all had a fantastic weekend! I had my very first date from this weekend! More to come on that later in the week though.  And the rest of the weekend was spent recharging my batteries for the week to come.  It's only Monday and I'm already ready for Friday.

Now on to the goods!

This month has officially been deemed "No-tober".  What does this entail you ask?

Well exactly what it sounds like.  I am saying "No" the whole month of October.  What that means is I am not spending any extra money on anything other than the absolute necessities.

The next obvious question is what are my absolute necessities.

Here is the list:
-Bills (electric, water, cable/internet, gas)
-Loans (student and car)
-basic groceries

I'm not going to divulge just how much all of this is when you add it all up.  But trust me it's a lot.  Damn you student loans!

Now for the list of "NOs":
-eating out (fast food/sit down restaurants)
-things for the house
-holiday decorations
Pretty much anything that is not on the "yes" list.

I would love to tell you that is has been easy peasey and I'm not at all concerned about making it through the rest of October considering we're only 5 days in, but y'all, THIS IS FREAKING HARD!!!

The other day I was starving and wanted nothing more than to stop and get myself some of those gross little 99 cent tacos from Jack in the Box with some curly fries and a Dr. Pepper.

To be honest I  also want Chick-Fil-A, Whataburger, Taco Cabana.....even McDonalds.  I am in desperate need of highlights and a haircut.  My manicure is 3 weeks old and looks like hell, as do my toes which need a pedicure like no bodies business.  Fall is in the air and I want new boots and some new fall clothes to celebrate.  I am dying to buy more Halloween decorations for the house then what I have, including about 4 pumpkin scented candles.  I'm also needing a new book to read, so I'll be making a trip to the public library sometime in the near future.  

(Side note: After reading through all these I realize how #firstworldproblems all of these things are and that I really don't need any of them.  Like at all.  But I still want them.)

Luckily my roommate Jenny is doing No-tober along with me.  Actually it was her idea in the first place.  She found this blog, Living Well Spending Less, the author went 30 days spending zero, only the necessities.  By the end of the month, her family had saved over $1,000.  Which is exactly what Jenny and I need to do, since we're planning this epic Euro Trip (come back later this week to hear all about that!).

Thank goodness we have each other to help us through the month.  She's been strong so far and I've been the winey/complainy one.  But I'm gonna stay strong!  I'm gonna keep up with our progress on here on the blog, that way I have another way of holding myself accountable and don't cheat.

5 days down........26 days to go.  Yikes! Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dear September

Once again I've been a horrendous blogger and have not posted in exactly a month.  This is especially annoying because I promised myself I was going to stay current and up to date.  And I have already failed.

But y'all, September was the most stressful month I've had in many many moons.  I honestly don't even know where to start.

So to get myself at least back in the saddle, I'm gonna do a quick run down of my month of September but writing a very special letter to the month of September.


Dear September,

I'm glad you're over.  You were stressful and annoying and I will not miss you.  I did have a few good moments and I'm thankful for those moments. But nonetheless I'm glad to see you go.   Here are the things that were fantastic about you and then again not so fantastic.  In no particular order:

- I've settled in quite nicely after my first full official month in Houston.  There is a ton to day in this city and it's been fun exploring.

- Unfortunately my job is another story all together.  I'm miserable at my new school.  I could ramble on and on about this but I'll be dedicating a whole post to this topic so that's all I'm gonna say about it for now.  Plus it's depressing to think about.

- I finally experienced Painting with a Twist, it was so fun!  I highly recommend it!  Especially the class my roommate Jenny, my friend Ashtyn and I did.  We sent in pictures of our beloved pets and the artist teaching the class drew out pictures onto canvas and then we painted them!  So Sadie is now forever immortalized in a painting painted by MOI!!

Here is the finished product!  Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

- I joined  EEEKKK!!  I told myself that when I got settled in Houston I would make the plunge and go for it.  Again don't want to get into too much detail because obviously this too is whole post of its own worthy.  But I will tell you....I HAVE A DATE ON SATURDAY!!!

- I started working out last month.  And I'm not just talking about a few runs on the treadmill, I'm talking personal trainer with two friends.  Now THAT is serious business my friends.  In fact it's so serious that by the time some of you read this I will already be up and working out at 5:15 in the morning!  Yikes. Who the heck am I.

- I miss Disney.  Like a lot.  More than I thought I would.  Especially since Epcot's Food and Wine Festival aka the best time of the year is here.  So is Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Sad face.  I miss my Disney family most of all though.

- The month of September also saw the official decision to GO TO EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes on July 17 I will find my self starting a 16 tour of 6, count em 6 different European countries!!!  I believe that deserves a mulitide of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!! Obviously more to come on this too!

Lastly because of the this trip to Europe and in an effort to be more money conscious.  The month of October is officially dubbed as "#Notober".  What does that mean?  Basically it means that other than the essentials, IE. rent, bills, basic foods.  We are not doing anything that requires spending extra money.  This too will be documented on le blog.  So far so good.  But then it is only Oct 2.

Well there ya have it, September.  I suppose there weren't as many things wrong with as I thought when I started this letter to you.  But still, I'm glad to see you end.  Here's to hoping October is a better month.  Because I WILL be blogging from now on.  Since work blows I need something to help distract me from the fact that I hate going to work everyday (well most days anyway).

See ya next year September,

Thursday, September 4, 2014


After a thoroughly exhausting and sucky Wednesday, I'm very glad to see Thursday.  And I'll be even MORE excited to see Friday.  Gotta love 4 days weeks.  
So last night I needed a little cool down before I went off to dream land and I remembered that I had seen an easy breezy little "Hey, answer these 50 questions just because" post over on Juliette's blog at The Other Juliette and I thought perfecto!  Exactly what I need! So thank you Juliette for posting this so I could steal it later.  

Here are the answers to 50 totally random questions. You're welcome

1. What are you wearing?  PJs.  This is being typed up before I hit the hay because I have to be up at 5:30am.  Blegh.
2. Ever been in love?  Sadly no.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I'm gonna go with bad.
3. Ever had a terrible breakup?  Nope. Again not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I'm gonna go with good but at the same time bad because I literally have zero experience in that department so when it DOES happen I have a feeling I'm gonna be a 100% totally messed up.
4. How tall are you? 5'7" ish.   
5. How much do you weigh?  Like I'm gonna give a real number.  But I will divulge that this is the most I have weighed in my ENTIRE LIFE!!!!!  So home girl needs to fix that shiz, A-SAP.
6. Any tattoos? No, but if I did get one, it would be the Deathly Hallows symbol from Harry Potter. #nerdalert
7. Any piercings?  I used to have my belly button pierced but I lost one of the little balls cleaning it once and it closed by the time I got another one.  
8. OTP (one true pair, favorite fictional couple)? Lucas and Brooke (One Tree Hill), Claire and Phil Dunfy (Modern Family), and Meredith and Derek (Greys).
9. Favorite show? Like I can pick just one.  The Tudors, Game of Thrones, One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Girls, Modern Family
10. Favorite bands? N*sync....that's about it.
11. Something you miss? Disney World and all my friends there.  A lot.
12. Favorite song? Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman by Bryan Adams
13. How old are you? 26 years old.
14. Zodiac sign? Pisces
15. Quality you look for in a partner? Humor, honesty, confidence....oh we were supposed to just say one. 
16. Favorite quote? Shit Happens and When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade.
17. Favorite actor? LEONARDO DICAPRIO!!!!!!
18. Favorite color? pink
19. Loud music or soft? Depends on my mood. 
20. Where do you go when you're sad? My room
21. How long does it take you to shower?  About 10 minutes.  I brush my teeth in the shower so that makes it about 4 minutes longer.
22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? About 40 minutes.
23. Ever been in a physical fight? Never have. Never will.
24. Turn on? Confidence
25. Turn off? Rudeness
26. The reason I started blogging?  To chronicle all the places I was going during and after college.  I wanted to keep track of my life.  I skipped a whole year and that bothers me. Trying to stay on top of things this time around!
27. Fears? Crickets, getting stranded on the side of the rode in my car at night, and ending up alone.  
28. Last thing that made you cry? My shitty Wednesday morning (yesterday).  It was a very off day for me and I cried. I'm such a girl.
29. Last time you said you loved someone? Last night to my roommate.  She's the best and I love her.
30. Meaning behind the name of your blog?  I stole it from the Dr. Suess book because I figured it was appropriate for the purpose of the blog.  I wanted to keep track of all the "Places I Will Go".
31. Last book you read? The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure.  SO GOOD!!!!!!!
32. The book you're currently reading? The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
33. Last show you watched? Full House on Nick at Night as I typed this post.
34. Last person you talked to? Jenny, the roommate.
35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted? Last roommate in college/sorority sister Ashtyn.  She was very thoughtful and asked why I was having a bad day! Love that girl.
36. Favorite food? Sandwiches.  I could eat them all day, e'ery day.
37. Place you want to visit? Prince Edward Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. and pretty much every country in Europe.
38. Last place you were? School.  
39. Do you have a crush? Not at the moment.  But I hope to have one soon!! :)  
40. Last time you kissed someone? So long ago can't even remember.....2 years, 6 months, 17 days.
41. Last time you were insulted? No clue.
42. Favorite flavor of sweet? shortbread cookies.  Is that a flavor?  This question confuses me.
43. What instruments do you play? I used to play the clarinet....does that count?
44. Favorite piece of jewelry? The ring my mom gave me for graduating college.  It never leaves my finger and I get a TON of compliments on it.  
45. Last sport you played? BAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!!! Funny.  
46. Last song you sang? Shake it Off by the lovely T-Shift.  Man that song is catchy! 
47. Favorite chat up line? Hey?  Again I'm confused by this question.
48. Have you ever used it? Yes?  
49. Last time you hung out with anyone?  Yesterday. 
50. Who should answer these questions next?  Anyone who wants a pre-written post where all you have to do is answer a bunch of questions that I'm 99% sure no cares the answers to NOR will anyone actually read them.  In fact IF you get to the end of the me a huge favor and take 5 secs to actually comment on it. 
 Just to see what happens! :) 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How I Spent My Labor Day Weekend

Well it's September!  Which means it's almost the holiday season! (Unless of course you live/work at Disney World in which case the holidays started yesterday with the first Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  It's the first time I'm missing it in 3 years.  Tear.)

Anywho, the 3 day weekend went by entirely too fast.  That could be because I had a pretty eventful weekend.

After school Friday I drove to the other side of Houston for a sleepover with my best friend Monica and her adorable little angel Charley.  We lounged and talked and cuddled this sweet baby.

She is just the sweetest in the whole world.

Side note: While I was gone Jenny sent me this super cute picture of Sadie.  She was trying to find her on Friday night to give her a little attention and make sure she was ok and she couldn't find her.  Then she went looking for her in the guest bedroom and found her hiding between the pillows.  Can you find her sweet little face?

On Saturday morning we lounged a little more and I headed home around noon.  Then Jenny and I went for a quick lunch at BJs Brewhouse, where we had the tastiest pazookie in all the land.  In case you have no clue what a pazookie is, its a cookie baked in this pan thing with vanilla ice cream served over the top.  We chose a peanut butter smores pazookie.  YUM.

After that I finally purchase myself a new mattress!  Now i'm really not living like a crack head.

Sunday was a 100% LAZY DAY!!  Finally tried out the new breakfast menu at Taco Bell.  Pretty darn tasty if you ask me.  I'm about to start eating mega healthy so I totally had to savor it.  After the Taco Bell I literally laid in bed all day long and read.  I haven't done that in FOREVER.  If you're looking for a good book to read I highly recommend The Paris Architect.  It is phenomenal!

Monday was spent out and about in Katy.  Lunch, had a much needed mani/pedi (which I haven't had since May!  That's what happens when you put yourself on a strict budget. Thank you first paycheck from the new job!), and visits to World Market and Target.  Both of which were very fruitful!

We finally found chairs for the living room and for the office.  We could only bring 1 of the chairs home because they only had 1 of the chairs featured above in stock and none of the office chairs in stock.  So in about a week or so we can head back to World Market and pick up the other three.  But we absolutely LOVE the way this chair looks!  Can't wait to get the other three in the house and see what they look like!

The weekend wrapped up with The Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion Part 2 and The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.  Which was not so fantastic.  Especially the actors.  Give me the real Zack Morris any day.

See pretty eventful Labor Day, right!  Now it's on to the second week of school.

Is it sad that I'm already counting down the days to the weekend.  Cuz I am!