This is making me happy right now...

One of my poems was published in an actual book! A book that you can actually buy! It was voted by my peers on to be part of a collection, and no one was more surprised about me being picked than me. This is the poem that was selected and you can purchase the book here.

This is the actual book with my actual poem. Cool.

And speaking of books, I am loving the heck out of my Mockingjay book. Yeah, I know I've been taking my sweet, sweet time reading it (for those of you who are following my Mockingjay tweets on Twitter). But I've enjoyed savoring it. I'm in the third (and last?) section of the book, about 60 pages away from finishing it. I can't wait to see how it all concludes...

Oh hello, addictive little book.

I may have whined and groaned about having to go back to my regular 6:00 AM wake up schedule during the week, but you know? It's been kind of cool getting up before the sun and making the most of the AM. (I can't believe I just wrote that either.)

I'm really digging my classroom layout this year. I feel like every year my design has been getting better and better. Sure, it sucked having to move into a new classroom -- AGAIN -- but I'm liking the change. Plus I'm liking my students, too. I'm teaching freshmen for the first time, and while they are SUPER high energy (picture chihuahuas hopped up on pixi stix), I'm enjoying the challenge. Here are some peektures of my new classroom (sans students):

What's making you happy right now?


And the winner of the Flapper Doodle giveaway is...

Using, I selected the following number:

And the reader with the lucky 12th comment was:

Congrats, Stockannette! Please email me at ASimon78(at) with your shipping address. And thanks again to Flapper Doodle for hosting this most excellent giveaway. Stay tuned for the next one... :-)


Lolcat of the Week

One of the downsides to beginning a new school year is how short the weekends suddenly seem. You blink and just like that, it's Monday morning again. (SIGH.)

With that being said, I'm really liking my classes so far. Once things calm down a bit, I'll be back to my regularly scheduled blogging.

Don't forget to enter my Flapper Doodle giveaway! I'll be randomly selecting a winner tomorrow.


Giveaway!!! {flapper doodle}

This next giveaway is sponsored by one of my favorite Etsy stores, flapper doodle.

Flapperdoodle specializes in 1920's flapper art and stationery. Ms. Flapper Doodle, aka Kate Gabrielle (who also writes the witty blog Scathingly Brilliant), has got some pretty sweet stuff. Here are some of my faves:

Flapper Doodle Anniversary Card
Flapper Doodle Bookplates

Print: Eloise takes a picture of Ramona on her polaroid camera

The giveaway prize this time is for $20.00 store credit to Flapper Doodle. Here are the rules for my giveaway:

1.) Visit Flapper Doodle's store and comment with your favorite item(s). Be sure to include your email address in this comment.
(1st entry -- mandatory!)

2.) Leave another comment if you are a follower of this blog. 
(2nd entry -- bonus entry!)

3.) Leave yet another comment if you tweet or blog about this giveaway (with link!). 
(3rd entry -- bonus entry!)

Please remember that multiple entries means multiple comments! I will be selecting a winner at random next Tuesday, August 31st at 5:00 PM (EST). Good luck! :-)

Lolcat of the Week

Happy Monday! For me, it's Back-to-School Monday. And apparently for this week's Lolcat, it's Back-to-Cool. *snaredrum*



I'm still alive, I promise...

I've just been so busy getting my classroom ready for Monday that I haven't had much time this week for blogging or visiting blogs. But I promise to blog (and comment!) more soon. I will even show you pictures of my lovely classroom! (For the 0.0001% of my readers who care to see it. ;p)

But for now I will share some of the pictures I took last Sunday at MoriKami. These are from their Kaiju exhibit:

What have you been up to this week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

And the winner of the Dinosaur Toes giveaway is...

Using, I selected the following number:

and the reader with the lucky 38th comment was:

Congrats, kiMbeRly! I will be emailing you shortly to let you know. And thanks again to Dinosaur Toes for hosting this most excellent giveaway. If you didn't win this time, remember that 25% of Dinosaur Toes's sales for August will be going towards the Humane Society. So I encourage you to buy before the end of the month!

Stay tuned for the next giveaway... :-)


Lolcat of the Week

I'm trying to be cheerful this week since I report back tomorrow for the new school year. (Sniffle, sniffle.) Oh well, at least this week's Lolcat cheered me up some.

Have a great Monday! :-)


Week in Review

Today is the last Sunday of my summer vacation, and a week from tomorrow, I will be greeting a fresh new batch of students. (Don't you love how I describe them like they're cookies? Awesome. But I digress.) On Tuesday I report back to work and start readying my classroom. And my vacation will be officially over.

I know I should be sad that I'm all out of summer, but I can't complain. It's been an incredible summer. I finished my master's degree in English Literature. I saw lots of amazing movies with Ricky. (Toy Story 3! Eclipse! Inception!) We both ate more than our fair share of frozen yogurt. (Thank you, Menchie's and Yogurtland for being so amazing. You stay classy.) Season 3 of True Blood has turned out to be the best season of them all. And the icing on the summer cake of goodness is that I got to sleep in late, late, late. I will sure miss that on Tuesday morning when my alarm goes off at 6:00 AM. (Sob.)

This weekend was a great way to say goodbye to my summer. Ricky had a friend visiting from out of town, and on Friday we took him to one of our favorite bars, The Pub. Saturday we went to the Morikami Japanese Gardens and Museums for their Bon Festival. (Pictures will be forthcoming, as soon as I can locate my camera.) Today was a lazy day -- we took our friend to the airport, then we ate dinner with Ricky's family and I loafed at his house reading the fourth Harry Potter book.

Tomorrow I am going to be getting up at 7:00 AM in order to reacquaint my body with getting up at ungodly hours. (I know it's an hour later than what my regular work wake up time is, but tomorrow is  the last day of vacation.) After thoroughly caffeinating myself, I will hit the stores to buy some classroom supplies. I might even hit the mall, if I'm feeling up to it, because I was unable to visit it this weekend.

Here are my posts from this past week in case you missed any:

Here is a picture from Morikami's official website of the Bon Festival. My pictures will be posted later this week!

Hope you had a great Sunday! And for those of you who watched True Blood tonight along with me -- how crazy was tonight's episode? And how are we going to deal when the season ends after the next three episodes?!!


These are a few of my (current) favorite things...

Confession: I hate my flabby arms. Even when I was bone-thin as a young girl, I had flabby arms. I remember this boy in my high school used to make fun of my flabby arms, poking them and calling me flabby. He didn't live long. ... I kid! But seriously, it bothered me then and still bothers me to this day. Which is why I love quarter-length sleeves. I own about a million tees with these kind of sleeves. I especially like the ones from Old Navy. I think they present a more elegant look than regular tees and they help you look slimmer, too. Which is a win-win in my book. Next week I plan on looking for a prospective gym to get myself and my flabby arms in shape. I dream of the day (in the hopefully not-too-distant future) I can wear sleeveless dresses and sleeveless shirts without feeling self-conscious about my arms. Until then, I'll keep rocking my quarter-length sleeves.
This Urban Decay Naked Palette, I kid you not, is my new favorite toy. It took me foreeeeeever to get it because it kept selling out everywhere. I started searching in early July, but to no avail. Then I signed up on Sephora's e-mail notification list and waited with bated breath to receive my e-mail notification. I finally got the email about two weeks later and snatched it up online that same day, receiving my palette less than a week later. Final verdict? It's completely worth the hype. It brings 12 awesome neutral shades, a double-sided eyeliner in brown and black, plus Urban Decay's eyeshadow primer, which I swear by. What I like about the eyeshadow shades is that you can mix and match them all in different combinations, something I can't always do with other palettes. Plus the eyeshadow literally glides on and is a breeze to blend. The palette is called Naked because you can create very natural looks with the shades, but you can also build them up for more dramatic nighttime looks. I highly recommend this versatile palette if you're looking to upgrade your makeup.
I wasn't always a beer drinker. In fact, I'm not much of a drinker at all -- I get "tipsy" after just a drink or two, I'm such a lightweight. For years, my favorite drink was amaretto sour. But then my boyfriend, who is a beer connoisseur (aka beer snob) started encouraging me to step outside of my comfort zone and try some beers. After trying a few different types, I discovered that my absolute favorite type of beer is Guinness Extra Stout. I will drink any type of Guinness, but I especially love the creaminess and depth of the extra stout. I also love how it tastes just a tiny bit like coffee, something I tend to favor in beer. In my beer adventures, I also discovered my absolute least favorite type -- India Pale Ale. Yuck! Of course, that just happens to be my boyfriend's absolute favorite type of beer at the moment. He insists that as I develop my palate, I will eventually come to appreciate pale ales. To which I say, pass me my Guinness, please.
I have what I like to call "cereal crushes." I usually buy a different cereal every time I go grocery shopping since I tend to get sick of food really fast, but for whatever reason, I will sometimes love a cereal for an extended amount of time. For the past two months, I have been all about Frosted Mini-Wheats. I lurve them. I will eat them with milk and without, and even out of the box -- though my mom scolds me for doing this. I like that they taste decadent, with all that delicious frosting, but still manage to be somewhat healthy at the same time. That way, I get my vitamins in and get to satisfy my sweet tooth. Another close runner-up for my favorite cereal of the moment is Special K -- the one with strawberries.
I was recently introduced to the iPhone game Words with Friends, which is basically like Scrabble, except you can play with anyone else who has the app on their iPhone, iPod, or iPad. You can find people via their user names, which I've had great fun doing this week, plus you can even start games with random people that the game finds for you. I have no idea what I did with myself before this game -- it has consumed me that much in the past few days. If you have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad and would like to play Words with Friends with me, you can find me under my user name AnnieCristina.

What are your favorites this month?


Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

I'm happy it's Friday, even if it's the last Friday of my summer vacation (sniff, sniff). I feel good today, even though it's Friday the 13th (shudder). You know how sometimes you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, today I woke up on the right side of the bed. I'm just happy today. :)

One of Ricky's friends from law school is visiting us from Chicago this week. Yesterday we took him to get his favorite mushroom pizza at this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant near Ricky's house. Isn't it funny how sometimes the most hidden, unknown places are the best?

Today we're going to take him to The Pub, this British style bar and restaurant that Ricky and I really like. I love how they pour their Guinness there -- they always create a shamrock out of the foam on top. (What can I say? I'm easily impressed.) I hope we also get to see "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" tonight, since I've been looking forward to that all summer. I also kind of want to see "Eat, Pray, Love," despite the dismal reviews. I thought the book was pretty good, and I tend to like Julia Roberts' films, so I figure I'll like it.

Tomorrow we plan on attending the Bon Festival at The Morikami Museum, which I'm super excited for, since I've never been. I hear it's beautiful.

But for now, here are my answers to Lauren's fill in the blank for this week. If you want to play along, make sure you link back to her post. Oh, and don't forget to wish her a very happy birthday, too!

1.  Birthdays are:  my second favorite holiday after Christmas. I kid, I kid! But seriously, I love birthdays because I get to celebrate with my friends and family.

2.  My favorite birthday memory was  my 22nd birthday because it was the first one I spent with Ricky, and he positively spoiled me. I don't remember exactly what he got me, but I remember how appreciated he made me feel. Which is what it's all about, anyways.

3.  A birthday tradition I (or my family) has is  eating my birthday cake for breakfast. Awesome.

4.  If I had to choose one birthday meal to eat for the rest of my birthdays hence forward, I would choose The Roasted Pepper, this Italian restaurant that makes the most delicious raviolis known to man.

5.  My birthday is on  October 10th - I'm a Libra.

6.  If I could take a birthday trip I would go  to Paris. I would happily live there, too, if given the chance.

7.  The best gift I've ever received for my birthday was  my Nintendo DS, which Ricky got me a few years back. Best. present. ever. 

Me looking like a fool on my 30th birthday. ;)

Have a great weekend! Oh, and don't forget to enter my dinosaur toes giveaway! I'll be selecting a winner on Tuesday.


repeat mode

Today I am blasting music and dancing like a maniac in my room. Why am I acting like a teenager? Because I've got the house all to myself, and-and-and best of all, I woke up with no back pain today! I'm still a bit stiff, but I can actually bend down and touch my toes again. Success!

I am using my newfound stretchiness to de-clutter my closet today in preparation for the clothes I will be buying later this weekend to update my wardrobe for Fall. I cannot WAIT.

So what am I listening to as I clean out my closet? This song called "Cold War" by Janelle Monae that is the most addictive song in the history of ever. I've had it on repeat mode since my boyfriend introduced it to me this morning. I lurve it and I hope you will, too. Enjoy:



Falling for Fall

My absolute favorite season is Fall, not just because my birthday is in October, but because I love how the weather finally becomes more bearable, the hot and humid long days suddenly giving way to crisp and cool early evenings. And of course, I love Fall for the fashion -- the coats, the boots, the scarves. I love layering, and Fall is the perfect season to show off some pretty layers.

As a teacher, I feel like I've sort of fallen into a fashion rut. I have even taken to wearing the requisite polo shirts with my school insignia, just like the kids. As flattering as it is to be confused by the security guards for being one of the students, I think this year I want to kick my wardrobe up a notch. I might even wear something that shows my legs (gasp!), something I've never, ever done as a high school teacher. (I'm like a much less fashionable version of Katharine Hepburn, always in pants, never in dresses or skirts.)

I wanted to clean out my closet this week of items I no longer wear (and maybe some of those polos), but I pulled a back muscle and can only stare at my messy closet in frustration. To distract myself while I wait for my back to heal, I've been browsing some online stores and getting ideas of what I'd like to add to my wardrobe this Fall. Here are some of my inspirations:

coats via Anthropologie

 dresses via ModCloth

tights via Anthropologie

shoes via Anthropologie 

 accessories via Etsy

What's your favorite season?

P.S.) Don't forget to enter my dinosaur toes giveaway!!!