Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Women's Health Month

I can hardly believe it but we are already into the last full week of May.  Not that I'm complaining in the least since summer break is literally right around the corner but I do wish time would slow down just a tad.  Before I know it it'll be October, which means it will be time for my monthly doctors visit.

In case you didn't know, May is Women's Health Month.  The month specifically dedicated to bring awareness to women's health.  If you're like me, this is brand new information to you.  I had zero clue that there was a whole month dedicated to being awareness to Women's Health.  But the more I thought about it the more I realized how important it is.

Why?

Well, I had a nasty little scare a few years ago after my very first visit to the "lady doctor" as I like to call it.  It was the summer of 2007 and I was home from my first year away at college.  And because I was 18 my Mom said it would be a good idea to go ahead and start having my yearly exam.  I had met the doctor a few times, because my Mom wanted me to be as comfortable as possible when it was actually my time to have my first appointment.  Still though it was super uncomfortable and scary.  But I survived the actual exam like hundreds of thousands of women before me. And my doctor made me feel 100% comfortable.  (In fact each of the 4 doctors I've had, from El Paso, to Orlando, to Houston have been fantastic!)

 What I wasn't expecting was a call from said doctor that I had abnormal test results. (I'll never forget the actual date, 7/21/07, because it was the day that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out)  Now I'm not going to go into any details because it's not something that I feel comfortable fully sharing here.  But I will tell you that the next few months were the some of the scariest of my life.  I was a nervous wreck as more test were done.  Thankfully everything turned out all right.  But just the idea that my situation could have been worse is terrifying.  Even to this day.

More than anything it made me so grateful to my Mom for making me go for my yearly exam at the age of 18.  Now no matter what city I'm living in I make sure to have my yearly exam.  And so should you.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to stay on top of your health ladies.  It is not something you want to mess with.  

The friendly people over at Oscar Insurance have provided me with this very helpful info graphic that gives you a helpful reminder as to at what age you should get specific screenings.  If you're interested Oscar provides health insurance in New York and New Jersey, moving into California and Texas soon, with a handful of tools to make healthcare a simple, stress-free process.  Be sure to check out more on their healthcare plans here.

I've have a bunch of friends and family members who avoided major health problems because they made sure to get the proper screenings at the proper age, myself included!



In case you don't want to read the entire info graphic here are the highlights for women between the ages of 20-35 (because I feel like that is the key age group of women who read this blog) here are the basic highlights:

1. Start going for your yearly exam in your 20s (earlier if you become sexually active or just want to be safe like me).  At this exam your doctor will check your blood pressure, weight, etc.  And then give you a basic check up (including feeling your boobs for you!).

2.  Keep yourself aware of your own body and visit a doctor if you notice any irregularities.

3. Be sure to schedule your appoints every year. Or as suggested by your doctor.  Most insurances will cover your yearly exam, also known as your "Well Woman" exam.  If not then usually the most you'll have to pay is your co-pay. (That's what I had to do in Florida).

That is basically it y'all.  It's actually really easy to stay on top of and is something that you should definitely put at the top of your to-do list if you haven't already.  

I know I'm super glad I did and still do stay on top of my health.  And you will be too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Long Weekends Are the Best

Well the last long weekend for we teachers has come to an end.  Now I just have 8 days to get through and I'm home free for the summer.

I clumped Monday into part of the weekend since I didn't have to go to work thanks to Memorial Day.  And it's a good thing I did because I would have had a very boring weekend to report on.  In large part because I'm not allowing myself to do anything that costs money (well actually my bank account isn't allowing me too).  

Here were the highlights:

-Started a new book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  And I'm pretty sure by the time I finish it will be added to the list of my favorite books of all time.

- Had 3 glorious mornings of coffee in bed.  

- Cleaned the house (because it needed to be done and there was nothing else to do)

- Watched several documentaries on Netflix.  Including one called Fed Up about childhood obesity and where it came from.  Watch it. It's pretty eye opening.

-Ate my favorite go-to snack like 4 times.  It consists of avocado, salsa, and lime flavored tortilla chips.  Try it.  You'll love it.



-Got woken up at 5:30am on Sunday morning thanks to a very loud thunder/lightening storm and an alarm on my phone telling me to take shelter because of a tornado.

-Stumbled on this quote on Pinterest that I really hope is true considering the current state of my bank account.



- Watched Game of Thrones with my best friend Ashtyn.  This was my favorite episode so far.  I feel like so much happened and was set up!  Cannot wait for next week!

- Sunday found me taking some pictures of Ashtyn and her Great Dane, Sullie at this Houston site.  Plan to share the pictures in a post later this week.
- This one isn't so much a highlight as it is just something that happened:  The severe thunderstorm that woke me up Sunday morning pretty much covered all of Central Texas.  The storms were so bad in San Marcos, Texas (where I went to college) that the rivers that run through the city completely over flooded a large part of the city.  Here are some pictures:



(Pictures taken from Google Images)


Thoughts and prayers go out to all the families affected!  

Pretty good long weekend overall.  During the school year I really wish we had more of these babies. Now to just finish out the last 8 days of the school year! 

Have a great Tuesday friends!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Oh Hey Friday!

It's the 2nd to last Friday of the school year AND we have a 3 day weekend!  I would say those are two very good reasons to be extremely happy that Friday is finally here.

So lets get right to my top 5 from the week!




[one] Monday, I saw this video on Facebook and it cracked me up for like 15 minutes.  (It's a 4 minute video)  But everything this guy is saying is 100% true.

[two] I was finally able to make a reservation at The Orangery at Kensington Palace for one of the afternoons we're in London.  Pretty sure this is one of the things I'm most excited for!
[three] We got out state testing scores this week.  I was slightly disappointed that more of my student's didn't pass.  But I was told that out of all the other teachers who teach the same level of students as I do, I had the highest percentage pass!  I was very excited when I heard that!  It means that even though its been rough year.....most of my students have learned something! :)

[four] Two excellent meals were eaten this week. Pork loin, salad, and broccoli.  And on Tuesday, in honor of her boyfriends birthday, Jenny made BBQ Brisket, Purple Potato salad, and creamed corn.  IT WAS AMAZING.  So amazing that I completely forgot to take a picture of it.  But I've eaten the leftovers for dinner the last two days.



[five] These quotes on Pinterest:





Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend lovelies!!  I plan too! (Well as much as I can, considering I have zero extra funds to do anything remotely fun.  Thank you, EuroTrip.)

Also linking up here:


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 8th Grade Me

With only 10 days of school left, I'm getting into the phase that most teachers get into at the end of the school year, reflection.  What did I do well this year?  What could I improve on?  What worked? What didn't work?  What will I do different?

All of these questions have gone through my head.  And I will be dedicating a full post to my thoughts on the school year before it's officially over.  But what I've really been focusing on is how different 8th graders today are from when I was an 8th grader.  

And being that it's "Throwback Thursday" I figured this was the perfect opportunity to share a few pictures from that most awkward of years and give you lovely readers a glimpse into the 8th grade me. 

Side note: I have Jenny to thank for the following pictures.  She and I became best friends in middle school and she put together a photo album of pictures from 2001-2002.  Sorry for the poor quality, I had to snap pictures of the pictures with my iPhone because our scanner wasn't working.


8th Grade Me: 2001-2002

I was a cheerleader.  And a flyer.  This lasted exactly 1 year and then I got too tall.


Cheer camp Summer 2001

9/11 happened.  A day I will never forget.

My friends and I went and got individual and group pictures taken like 3 times at the mall.   We went to those little studios in the mall, where you could pick your background.  Then we bought a bunch and passed them out to our friends with little notes on the back. 

Fall 2001 vs. Spring 2002

I wore braces.

I had bangs.  

N*SYNC was the best boy band around and still is.

I finally learned how to wear makeup.  (In 7th grade I thought it was super cool to wear really think white eyeliner as my eyeshadow.)

These girls were my best friends. 

Whitney, Jenny (my current roommate), Audrey, and me

I wore a school uniform and rocked khaki overalls.

My mom worked at my school.  It was embarrassing and great all at the same time.

I went to 8th grade prom in a limo with my best friends and our "dates".  

I remember being totally in love with my dress.  It was light purple and white and had a lace up back and a small train.  My mom still has it hanging in her closet.

 Going to the mall and walking around on the weekends was the "thing" to do.  We did it pretty much every weekend.

I was in 2 different Quinceanera's.  Here's the picture to prove it.  Look at that hair.



I thought I was so cool because I went to 3 different concerts.  No Doubt, N*SYNC, and a radio concert called the Power Jam.  My mom didn't know I went.......I may have fibbed about where I was going that night.  

 During Homecoming week we had "dress up" like this one.....Pajama Day, Twin Day, etc.  I was obsessed with the shirts with sayings on them.  Like this one.



I competed in a Lip Sync competition to Britney Spear's "Crazy" and won.

I won Ms. CMS.  An awarded voted on by all the teachers for the best all around girl. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was released in theaters and we went as an 8th grade class to see it.  Then our English teachers held a "sorting" ceremony for the 7th graders because they were reading it in class and I got to be Prefect for Ravenclaw.

Clearly I was super cool in the 8th grade.  Much cooler than all the 8th graders I teach anyway.  The problems, emotions, and worries are pretty much the same though.  And I for one would not want to go back and relive my 8th grade year.   Unless it was to listen to N*SYNC again and not have to pay bills.  Then I would do it in a heartbeat.

Now I'm dying to know....what were y'all like in 8th grade? :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Your Next Favorite Book: 3 in 1

I have been powering through book after book these last few weekends.   That is when I find I have the most time and desire to sit and read a book.  When I get home from school most evenings I just want to lose my self in trashy TV.  But on the weekends I want to savor and enjoy the time with a cup of coffee and my current read.  So that is exactly what I've been doing.

Now I'm sharing 3 of my most recent books.

I read all different genres of books.  And these 3 books could not be more different.  But I really enjoyed each of them.




Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson



Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice. Solomon persuades attorney Catherine Lockhart to take his case, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's own family only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man?

Once We Were Brothers is Ronald H. Balson's compelling tale of two boys and a family who struggle to survive in war-torn Poland, and a young love that struggles to endure the unspeakable cruelty of the Holocaust. Two lives, two worlds, and sixty years converge in an explosive race to redemption that makes for a moving and powerful tale of love, survival, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit.
 

My thoughts: I'm a huge fan of historical fiction.  Mixing real life events with fiction is a great way to be entertained and learn a little history.  And although they are usually really heavy and cause endless amounts of tears, I enjoy reading books about World War II.  This book does an amazing job of mixing that history with a fiction story.  At times when I was reading I didn't realize that it was a fiction book.  The story is told with such a great voice and with so much detail that you actually feel like you are in Poland.  I totally wish our EuroTrip was taking us to Poland.  Guess that will be on my next trip!



The Promise of Star Dust by Priscille Sibley




Synopsis on Goodreads:

Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, seventeen when he first kissed her under a sky filled with shooting stars, and thirty-three when he convinced her to marry him. Now in their late 30s, the deeply devoted couple has everything-except the baby they've always wanted.

When an accident leaves Elle brain dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear the thought of life without her, he knows Elle was afraid of only one thing-a slow death. And so, Matt resolves to take her off life support.

But Matt changes his mind when they discover Elle's pregnant. While there are no certainties, the baby might survive if Elle remains on life support. Matt's mother, Linney, disagrees with his decision. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive on machines. Linney is prepared to fight her son in court-armed with Elle's living will.

Divided by the love they share, Matt and Linney will be pitted against each other, fighting for what they believe is right, and what they think Elle would have wanted resulting in a controversial legal battle that will ultimately go beyond one family . . . and one single life.

My thoughts:  Oh my gosh this book.  This book was deep and loving and thoughtful.  It made me question so much about my beliefs and made me realize how powerful having faith is.  Faith in yourself, in your family, and in the Lord.  This was definitely another tear jerker and has some of the prettiest language and dialogue that I've read in along time.  Definitely read this book and be sure to have a box of Kleenex waiting beside you.  It also made me want to be an astronaut.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica


Synopsis on Goodreads:

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend, but when he doesn't show up, she leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand, but following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

My thoughts: This book took me about 50 pages to really get into.  But I'm so glad I stuck through it because I really liked it.  It's a thriller that will have you wanting to get back to the book as soon as you can to see what happens.  At least that's what it did for me.  It is told from the perspective of 3 people , which at first I thought was going to be annoying but in reality it made the telling of the story so much more interesting and intricate.  And the last few chapters really do make the story!


Like I said, each book is SO different that I can't say that I liked one more than the other.  They each were great reads for their own reasons.  And y'all should totally read each of them!

Happy Reading Friends! :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Weekend


Hello friends! And hello to another week.  We are now only 12 days away from the end of the school year, have only 1 Monday left, and are 60 days away from EuroTrip 2015.  

This weekend was slightly more eventful then the last few.  That is what happens when you decide to go on a huge trip like the one I'm going on.  You have to sacrifice a few weekends in order to pay for it.  Totally worth it though.

Here were the highlights:

-Saturday was spent working.  Every year the middle schools in our district complete in a History Challenge.  The competitions are everything from essay writing to the History Bee.  Think Spelling Bee only with History questions rather than vocabulary.



- One Hundred and One Dalmatians (the Disney version) was on ABC Family this weekend.  So I watched it.....twice. Def one of my favorites.

-Went to a birthday dinner for some friends.  It was a Mexican fiesta complete with fajitas and margaritas.  I fully intended to take my fancy camera and snap some pictures and I totally forgot.  #badblogger  I didn't even take any with my iPhone.  #reallybadblogger

-Had some cuddle time with this little cutie.  He's getting so big!!



-Watched Game of Thrones.  It is literally getting better and better as the season goes on.

-Realized that all my favorite TV shows are ending!  :(  So ready for summer but NOT ready for my favs to go away for 4 months.

- Got excited for some of the summer TV shows that are coming.  Including: Real Housewives of Orange County and The Astronaut Wives Club.




-Watched the rain rain, come down down down.  (Points to whoever recognizes  where the quote is from).  It was pretty nice waking up to rain hitting my window yesterday morning.

- Finished this book this weekend.  Expect a review on it later in the week.


Thankfully we have a three day weekend coming up.  Then just a few days to wrap up the year and we teachers are home free!

Hope y'all had a great weekend and a super Monday.

Linking up with Biana!



Till tomorrow!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh Hey Friday

As you've probably noticed I was pretty absent from my little space of the internet this week.  Save for my amazing analysis of Naked and Afraid. Which you can read by clicking here. I just didn't have the motivation to blog much this week.  However, the week itself was VERY eventful.

And I am extremely happy to see Friday!  Obviously.  Who isn't happy when it's Friday.


Here are my top 5 for the usual link up!





[one] This was my favorite outfit from the week.  Everything you see in the picture is from Old Navy and will be coming with me to Europe.  It's they perfect comfy, casual walking around Europe outfit.  



[two] Brady got his little boys snipped on Wednesday.  I was supposed to try and prevent him from running, jumping, and using litter.  But none of those things were successful.   He is probably the most playful kitten I've ever met.  And I love it.

[three] I finally got my passport in.  I say finally but it actually came in really quickly.  It got to the agency on April 22 and was delivered to me May 13.  Pretty much 3 weeks...when the processing time on the State Department website says 4-6 weeks.  Win for me! :)  



[four] On another travel note...I am officially done paying off my trip!!!!  It is such a good feeling.  Because now all my money can go towards saving for actually being in Europe!  Plus it means the trip is like really happening! EEEKKKK!!!!!! 



[five] I went on my first Tinder date last night!  It went well.  The guy was very nice and friendly and a total gentlemen the entire time.  And he paid!  The conversation was good but I did find out that we don't have too much in common.  There wasn't really a spark.  And he reminds me of this guy I worked with at Disney who I did not care for at all.  So not sure if there will be another date.  But it was still an evening well spent.  

See eventful right!  And did I mention there are only 13 school days left?  Because there are.  

This weekend will find me working at a History Challenge and attending a birthday dinner.  Both of which I'm really looking forward to!  

Have a great weekend friends! :)