If Only: messenger bags

if onlyif only: messenger bags

1. | 2.| 3. | 4.

I’m starting a new series this week: my “if only” selections for whatever it is I would get “if only”…I had the endless cash flow to get it.

Monday marks the day three dirty little words officially, officially happen for me: back. to. school. Over the summer I was dabbling…taking an online class so I wouldn’t have to take it next spring, studying for and taking three state tests required for the program I’m entering–so I suppose I was getting a good preview, but on Monday there’s no escaping the “student” title. To ease the pain, I’ve been endlessly searching for a messenger bag to adorn my shoulder on my cross-campus treks. Senior year of my undergrad years, I vowed to banish backpacks from my life and I’m no way goin’ back as a post-grad student. I wore a grey messenger bag to shreds that year, toting ridiculously heavy English anthologies to and from class so I’ve been on the hunt for something new. They’re actually rather more difficult to find than I thought though!

If only money weren’t a, uh, rather large obstacle, that Alligator Burberry would be mine…so chic, I think it might even be Bacall-worthy. As it is, I guess I’ll be confronting student-hood messenger bag-less for now: I’d rather gather my books by the armful than strap on the too-painful backpack symbol of school-dom ever again.

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

– <3 A. 

Labor Day On Holiday

vmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyI always forget about the Labor Day holiday, but I won’t be forgetting after this year. I honestly think it was thrown in the vaca-mix for teachers completely shell-shocked by post-summer-traumatic-school-onslaught-syndrome. It really comes at precisely the right time: just a few weeks after the start of the school year, it’s sort of like a glorious little cat nap to refresh before the real Fall grind. I spent my cat-nap day re-visiting a few of my favorite spots from my undergrad years. It wasn’t nearly as chilly as I had hoped, but that didn’t make drinking coffee on the beach, lunch in the sun (btw blackberry, pomegranate, and ginger is NOT a good beverage combination), and dinner under twinkle lights any less wonderfully relaxing. That town is marked at every inch with memories good and bad and an annual trip never gets old reliving a few crazy years.

I sucked it up and paid my tuition a week early yesterday. I had to pick up my last textbook for the quarter and decided, hey, why not pay all the ridiculous overpriced fees all at once? (no of course not, I’m not harboring any kind of resentment.) School is getting way way more real now. My difficulty in accepting it I think is more astonishment at how I made this decision. I distinctly remember as an third year undergrad saying I would hate to be a teacher and be stuck in the school-year-schedule my whole life. What a nasty bubble apart from real life that life must be I thought. And here I am, going back to school to be a teacher and remain, forever more in one way or another, in school. But, I’ve got other plans up my sleeve that makes this step in no way a final one. I have aspirations that, once achieved, will let me continue my obsession with occupation roaming in a little bit more of a focused fashion. I think the need to explore is a creative’s biggest fail yet greatest success: being incapable of really settling into one path. There’s always new things to try, new interests to examine, and that ever present itch of being capable of much more. It’s dangerous if you let it distract you from a healthy sense of reality, but very powerful I think if you let it mix with your reality, pushing you to make real life better and when life isn’t all that great, letting you escape until perspective tells you sure, real life is, well, real, but it’s also not forever, most things aren’t that important, and even in the midst of the worst days, days like Labor Day…days that let you cat nap, daydream, and doze…will come again and THAT is worth going back to school for. 

 – <3 A. 

August Highlights

august blog highlightsaugust highlights

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. |

I’ve been feeling a little silly sketching out Fall posts, pondering pumpkins, trying to firm up my schedule for the new season, and thinking wistfully of how many more cool weather outfits I have than summer-I’d-rather-be-naked-than-wear-clothes-in-this-heat sad outfits I settle on, but with this the last weekend of August, I’m starting to feel like the change is coming: August was giant vegetables and beach weekends, icy treats, back to school to learn new things, and transitioning from a brain on summer-sleep to thinking about real issues. It was hot and busy yet held some pretty fantastic moments and of course, it was the month this new space was launched so in the end August was truly a great month!

I’m a little nervous about what the Fall will hold. I can’t wait for the weather to turn and the holidays to come, (how oh how are we already here!!) but with my schedule getting more tight, I’m trying to work out in my head how to squeeze everything in and I will have to admit that some things just might not fit. Forgive me in advance if it’s occasionally rather quiet here, I think once I have a few weeks behind me, the muddle in my brain will work itself out into a well-oiled machine—but I’m not there yet, it’s still pretty fuzzy and crowded and my brain minions are working some serious overtime to get everything back to a more organized state. I promised myself I wouldn’t print one single syllabus, mark one single deadline in my planner, or give one second of thought to my own looming back-to-school date until after this long weekend is over. I think that’s the difference between undergrad and post-grad. You finally learn where to draw the line between academics and life…but then, school hasn’t started yet so I may be speaking too soon.

Happy three-day weekend everyone! This week also marked the third full week I’ve been at this new space. I honestly haven’t had much time to explore, learn, and tweak a few things, but I’m ok with it. This next year is going to be about juggling and if I have to throw one ball up higher and let it float a bit before catching it again, well, that’s just how it’s going to be. I’m a list-crosser-offer. Seeing strong black lines striking through all my to-do’s is a thing of beauty and when a to-do gets carried over to the next week instead of struck down in the last week *gahhhh!*  it’s truly rather painful. Adaptation I think will be September’s word of the month. I’ve got a whole week of chocolate recipes waiting in the wings and the cutest DIY I’ve done yet so wait and see!

– <3 A. 

Last Day of Summer

last day of summervmmv photographylast day of summeredited3editedvmmv photographyvmmv photographylast day of summerSweet, sweet summer, why did you run away so suddenly? Any last remains of lazy freedom from this past weekend at the beach house with my ladies, definitely evaporated instantaneously Monday: there’s nothing like a 108 degree first day of school and a fourth grade room full to capacity to smash those moments.

Those moments really were so very glorious though: cinnamon rolls every morning, the most girly of girly movies and a little terrifying Cillian Murphy thrown in with four ladies smushed together under blankets on the most comfortable couch in the world; **How do couches get so much more deliciously soft on vacation?** A nap on the beach; Having nothing to do at any certain hour, and doing anything a heart could desire at every hour; Laughing until we cried over spritzers and too much coffee, and a slightly completely horrible decision to rent a four-person bike and utterly terrorize the tiniest of tiny beach towns with our screams. They didn’t really deserve that…

…just as a tip, if there’s four ladies, four sets of pedals, and four seats but only one steering wheel and one brake, any way you add or subtract those numbers, they create a really, really bad solution: We squealed our way up and down that town, argued over how close we were to parked cars and how we would survive through a busy intersection. We apologized to the people we nearly ran over, gave pleading, pitiful glances to the cars we cut off, and, to appease irritated, strolling vacationers by appearing as if we were as annoyed with ourselves as they were with us, we feigned anger and disgust at our brake that began, about half-way through our rental hour, to screech at a pitch I didn’t know could be reached. At last, we returned our four-seated machine of terror twenty minutes early, slightly wet with the sweat of nerves, and fear, and with aching quads unprepared to propel four girls up streets that threw off their disguise of being flat while we had walked them on foot and suddenly reared up to San-Fran-like street angles as soon as we were strapped to a bike. Whew. Lemony Snicket has nothing on that ride, we were a series of unfortunate events…but on wheels.

Perhaps the tension mixed with laughter, the terror mixed with joy, and the feeling of being out of one’s element while simultaneously feeling completely natural on our bike ride was preparing me for the new school year. It’s a very similar mix of emotions that come with entering a classroom, and while I at times want to get off the bike/run out of the room, and at other times I feel like I could ride forever/feel so at home with the students, it’s always a new adventure, a new challenge, and I’m very excited to see what a new year brings. My last day of summer came and went this year but guess what? Biggest teacher bonus in the world: endless summers to come in the future.

 – <3 A. 

Reel Women: Desk Set

desk set1. Derah Blouse | 2. Leather obi belt | 3. Pencil Skirt | 4. Macey Pump | 5. Desk Set via

I’m going back to school.

*initiate gusty sighs, pouty face, empty wallet, angry-future-study-sessions* As much as I didn’t want to, and as much as it feels like this decision is propelling me backwards instead of forwards from my  final first college graduation…I am doing it. And, as much as I hated announcing that decision, because, by announcing it, it made it real, I’m actually rather relieved at again having a “plan.” Besides all of that, no longer being an undergrad also lends a tinge of sophistication to student-hood. I reiterate incessantly to myself that tiny compound word that makes being this type of student somehow better: “post-grad, post-grad, post-grad, (it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok).”

If I’m really honest with myself, I actually really love being a student anyway. After I had finally made the ultimate decision and even went so far as to meet with an adviser, I walked into a bookstore that same afternoon and the smell of coffee, the aura of quiet, and the sense of studiousness brought a wave of nostalgia back from my very recent undergrad years when, despite all my huffing and puffing, complaining and moaning, there were moments (just moments, ok?) during personal study sessions where I was unimaginably happy. In some way, you may call it sick, and I may agree with you, but I thrive off of creating study guides, examining meaning from snippets of reading, meeting the challenge of my own expectations, and checking off classes from my degree plan with a little tingle at every check-mark.

So, it’s true, I’m returning to school and again becoming one of the desk set—and, don’t misunderstand, I’m already looking forward to my last day of my last class– but, in the meantime, I’m going to tackle this new goal, embrace this rediscovered study-head, and not stop wearing pencil skirts for, student or not, the first thing you notice in a person is “whether the person is a male or female” and I have no desire to confuse that impression.

– <3 A.