Monday, April 17

this week's clicks.

get your week of to a colorful start...
LISTEN.
  • "Silver Lining" is the result of Oklahoma-born Americana singer-songwriter Parker Millsap wondering if he could write a pop song. Paired with a cute music video that features Millsap in a jumble of leading-man stereotypes, I'd say he did just fine.

SWOON.

SMILE.

FLASHBACK.

Tuesday, April 11

pinspiration: Easter in the garden

What are your plans for this weekend? I'm looking forward to Easter Sunday and getting inspired by floral maxi dresses and full-on garden party vibes. Hopefully it will be warm enough to fire up the grill after church and invite some friends over for brunch on the patio!



If there's one day of the year that a flower crown is acceptable in public outside of Coachella, let it be Easter Sunday.



Love this vintage-inspired garden sign from Ella Claire.



How pretty are these botanical painted eggs from The House that Lars built?

There's lots more Easter inspiration over on my Pinterest boards, and I'm working on a Spotify playlist to celebrate:



Monday, April 10

this week's clicks.

get your week off to a colorful start...
LISTEN.

  • Heard this song at the hair salon this morning and fell. in. love.


SWOON.

SMILE.

Monday, April 3

this week's clicks.

get your week off to a colorful start...
LISTEN.
  • Serena Ryder is a perennial favorite of mine, but I somehow missed this collaboration, which is really different from her usual bluesy sound and perfect for spring!

SWOON.

SMILE.

Friday, March 31

my march favorites.

my march favorites.

Here's what I've been loving this month...

1. American Shakespeare Center - Did you know that the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, the Blackfriars' Playhouse, is in Staunton, Virginia? I went with friends to see a production of the parody The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in college, but hadn't been since. My co-teacher's parents got tickets for our whole English team for Christmas, and we had a wonderful day driving up to see The Merchant of Venice and eat dinner at the Mill Street Grill.

2. The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima - Several of my male students had recommended this fantasy series to me, so I was surprised when I finally got around to checking out The Demon King from the library, with its super-masculine cover art, and finding out that one of the main characters is a feisty princess! The other MC is a streetlord who's basically a combination of Aladdin and Han Solo. These are definitely time-consuming books to read (each one weighs in at over 500 pages), but I really enjoyed getting lost in the unique fantasy world Chima has built, which includes a matrilineal society that feels medieval, an indigenous culture based on eastern Native American societies, and a magical college.

3. Old Navy Clover Necklace - I picked this dainty necklace up around St. Patrick's Day, but it's also perfect as a 4-H necklace for me :)

4. REN Evercalm Rescue Mask from Sephora - When I got back from my business trip to Indiana last month, my skin was a mess from staying in a hotel and air travel - I had acne on my cheeks, which is really unusual for me. I had a little sample bottle of this mask from Sephora, which is a little thicker than a normal day moisturizer. I used it morning (under makeup) and night (after washing my face) for about a week and it made a huge difference. The full-size version is a pricey product but I feel like it'll be worth it if used sparingly for skin emergencies!

5. Indoor Rock Climbing - The Bible study I've joined tries to have a fun activity in the community each month, and this month we visited a rock climbing gym in Roanoke. I hadn't done any climbing since I worked as a 4-H camp counselor in college and was surprised by how easy it was to pick back up. I didn't realize how much my upper body strength had improved since I've become a yoga junkie! It doesn't hurt the fun factor that the River Rock gym shares a building with Wasena Tap Room!

Tuesday, March 28

pinspiration: niagara blue

So far 2017 is shaping up to be such an exciting year in my life, and I keep feeling like so many of my little steps along the way have led me to precisely this season. In November, I was hired as the instructional coach and coordinator for a new school-within-a-school, the seeds of which were planted long ago. I would not have taken the chance to even apply for the job if not for the confidence I've gained from working with the most amazing team of all-new-to-8th-grade-English teachers this year. All the best things I've done in life have come from choices I've made when I had nothing to lose.


Two weeks ago, my forward momentum came to a grinding halt and balancing two jobs at once became too much for me to bear. Teaching has never been an 8:30-3:30 job for me - it's not just my job but my calling and passion and I am a self-identified workaholic. I love what I do. But adding a lot of research, paperwork, and tasks that delved into the PR and HR fields on top of planning three differentiated lessons a day for 70+ hormonal tweens, scoring 70+ essays on a regular basis, and dealing with all of the IEP progress reports, RTI forms, gradebook deadlines - oh, and being the 8th grade English department chair - my body finally said "nope." What I thought was just a good cry after a stressful conference call and one dropped ball on my part was actually the first sign that I was sick.

I woke up at 3 a.m. the next morning with terrible pains in my stomach. A few hours later, it became abundantly clear that I had norovirus - fever, chills, and all. I had to miss two days of work and lived on saltine crackers and Pedialyte for a week. Through it all, my team - the 5 beautiful ladies I've been mentoring this year - were there for me, helping make sure that my substitutes had the right plans and materials, that my students were behaving and on track, and, once I returned to work, that I really had talked to the powers that be about my workload.


These girls - our group Snapchat name is "Teacherladies" - aren't just my coworkers. They've become some of my dearest friends. I was so heartbroken about my old English team breaking up, but I don't think I've ever connected with a new group of people so quickly. One of the greatest gifts this group of women has brought me has been the invitation to a Bible study consisting of a handful of English teachers, several young pastors, and a handful of other folks in their late 20's and early 30's from a variety of denominations. Oh man, has this group been a blessing for Mr. Q and I. Sitting in a friend's living room last night, arms still sore from an indoor rock climbing adventure we shared this weekend, talking about Jesus and taking communion and cuddling with dogs, I was just so thankful that the Lord restores my soul - even if it takes getting knocked down by my immune system to know that restoration needs to happen.

Monday, March 27

this week's clicks.

get your week off to a colorful start...

SWOON.
Topshop via Refinery29

SMILE.

FLASHBACK.

Monday, March 13

Monday, March 6

Monday, February 20

Monday, February 13

this week's clicks: ovaries before brovaries.

get your week off to a colorful start...
LISTEN.
  • My typical move for this week would be to put a sweet, sappy love song here - BUT today is February 13th, Galentine's Day, a holiday that as far as I know was created by my fictional idol, Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. Here's the newest bit of sass from Ingrid Michaelson, featuring a cool ASL video.

SWOON.

SMILE.

FLASHBACK.