Happy Friday!

Oh Friday, you have never been more appreciated than you are today. It has been such a sucky week, I swear. On Tuesday, I was so sure it was Thursday. I walked around almost the entire day, secure in this false knowledge.

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper when I later realized it was only Tuesday.

But finally, finally, it's Friday. Rejoice! Today I'm going to the salon with my friend right after work so she can get her nails done and I can get my hair all prettified. I've been flirting with the idea of getting some nice, side-sweepy bangs, but I was also thinking of growing my hair out, all one length, so I'm not sure... Stay tuned.

After our salon visit, we'll most likely grab drinks and dinner before going to see our friend from work perform at a belly dancing show. How cool is that?! I wish I could belly dance!

Alas, Monsieur Boyf will not be joining me tonight because he is stuck at home with the mystery virus I had last week. Poor thing. Please send him some get well thoughts.

Before I close, here are my answers to Lauren's fill in the blank for this week. This time the theme is movies. Yay! :-D

1. My absolute favorite movie of all time is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." I knew, just 15 minutes into that movie, that it would be magical. And I was right.

2. My favorite movie as a child was the second "Indiana Jones" movie, the one with Shortstop and Kate Capshaw? Loooved that movie. I would watch it on TV every time they showed it.

3. The best movie quote ever is from "The English Patient" when Katherine writes a letter to Almasy that reads, "We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience." That part is so romantic, it never fails to make me cry.

4. My favorite actress is a tie between Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep. Love them both. My favorite actor is Ewan Macgregor. I lurve him. Like a lot. Especially in "Moulin Rouge," my favorite of his roles.

5. The movie I could watch over and over is any of the Harry Potter films. Those movies are addictive -- every time they come on TV (usually the ABC Family channel), I'm compelled to watch them, despite the fact that I own them all on DVD.

6. My favorite movie genre is romance. I'll watch anything romantic, even if it's got a tragic ending, though I like romantic comedies best.

7. A movie I'd like to watch this weekend is "The Young Victoria." I got it last week and it's been sitting all lonely and unwatched next to my nightstand ever since. I'm dying to see it!

 picture via we heart it

So what your plans for the weekend? I plan on catching up on some grading (and sleeping!).

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10 Confessions.

I love popping the bubble wrap that sometimes comes inside of packaging. It's somehow therapeutic.


Babies secretly scare me because they are so helpless. It almost makes me wish my future children would be born potty trained and fully mobile!


I sometimes give my students secret nicknames to help me remember their real names.


I hate shopping inside stores and malls, but I love shopping online.


Every night when I go to bed, I like to wrap myself with the comforter like a mummy. It's a leftover habit from my childhood days when I was afraid evil spirits would attack me in my sleep.


I had a habit in high school of deliberately falling in love with boys I knew would never reciprocate my feelings.


I tend to rely heavily on first impressions, not budging much on them unless the person does something drastic to change it.


While I'm not 100% sure if I believe in the presence of God, I happen to find comfort in prayer whenever I am upset.


I detest baby showers with a passion, especially the silly games they make you play.


Despite my pretty high friend count on Facebook and Twitter, I don't have that many "real life" friends I can count on, other than the boyf.

picture via we heart it

Do you have any confessions you feel brave enough to share?

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So I'm in love with a new band again...

... And their name is Broken Social Scene. Here is a preview of their new album, which comes out next Tuesday, May 4th.

 


What band are you in love with today? Let me know in the comments! 
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It's time... My Eclipse book discussion starts today!

As of today, the new Twilight Saga film, "Eclipse," is only 63 days away. Squee!!!! To celebrate (not to mention help pass the time), today I am beginning a book discussion on Eclipse, discussing three chapters a week every Tuesday from today until June 29th, the day before the movie premiers in theaters.

This first discussion just posted on my Twilight site, The Danger Magnet. Go join in the fun if you want to read (or reread) Eclipse with me! :D


 Do you want to receive an email notifying you when tickets for "Eclipse" go on sale? I just did it and it's super easy. Click on the button and follow the instructions. :-)

Be the first to know when Eclipse tix go on sale


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Lolcat of the Week

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

 Blarg, is it Monday already?! Oh well, here's to a speedy work week and a fast approaching weekend.

P.S.) Today is my very good bloggy friend cutie's birthday. Go wish her a very happy birthday! :-)

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Week in Review

This was kind of a nonweek, as far as weeks go. For starters, I missed two out of my five workdays because I was sick. And then the two days I was sick kind of fell into this vacuum where things like lost socks and lost hours seem to go.

Tuesday and Wednesday were my lost days this week. Monday was a regular workday on which nothing big happened. Thursday I stayed home from work but started the recovery process, even venturing out to lunch with the boyf in the afternoon, and on Friday I was able to go back to work but came back so tuckered out, I wound up staying in bed all night and falling asleep at the positively ancient time of 11 PM.

Saturday I woke up at 6 AM (!) and stayed in bed reading and puttering about on the internet. I created one of my best "favorites" posts, at least according to Jenny. Oh, and I dyed my hair. The new (and detested) sprinkling of gray hairs I possess were getting out of hand. Then I had a date with le monsieur boyf and came home and fell asleep (again) at 11 PM. Yep, I'm turning into a granny all right!

Today I'm feeling like staying in my jammies all day, maybe seeing a movie. I've been dying to see "The Young Victoria," so maybe I'll watch that. Whatever I do, it will be relaxing for sure.

Here are some of my posts from this week that you may have missed:







 
picture via we heart it

I hope you have a great Sunday! :-) Oh, and if you want to enter a really cool giveaway for "bewitched bookworms" like me, click here!

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

I first heard about The Pioneer Woman on Twitter -- do you know how @Starbucks sometimes retweets people's tweets when it's related to their shops? Well, they retweeted her, and something about her name made me click on her Twitter feed, and from there I clicked on her blog, and well ... the rest, as they say, is history.

The Pioneer Woman writes on such diverse topics as Cooking, Photography, Home and Garden, and Homeschooling, but my favorite tab on her blog is her Confessions. This is where she blogs about her day-to-day life as "a desperate housewife" living in the country with her family and assorted livestock. Which I find fascinating. Mind you, I'm a city rat through and through, I can't even fathom living in the country 24-7 like she does. Milking cows and scooping up manure is not exactly my idea of paradise! But something about TPW's sparkling wit, plus her keen eye for capturing heart-stopping moments on film, makes the country seem like something I'd like to try. You know, for just a weekend or so. What makes her blog so interesting is that she was once a city rat, too, and yet she found herself sinking comfortably into her new life as a "pioneer woman."

If you want to check out The Pioneer Woman, I suggest you start where I did and read her swooningly romantic tale of how she met her husband (aka, "The Marlboro Man"), Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Warning -- you will need two hours and an industrial sized box of tissues.

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Headbands are my saving grace on bad hair days. No time to wash the greasy cowlick currently masquerading as your hair? Slap on a headband! Is the ponytail not dressy enough for your workday look? Slap on a headband! So you decided to curl your hair and now your head looks like a haystack gone wild? Slap on a headband! You get the point.

I'm not too fond of the headbands you can buy from big name brands (except for NY & Co.'s, theirs are okay), much preferring to buy from people who craft them themselves. Not only are the pieces more unique, but they have a certain homespun quality that makes them quite endearing. Here are some of my favorite headband artisans:

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I have never been one for yogurt. Sure, I'll eat it if it's drowned in chocolate sprinkles, granola crumbles, peanuts, etc. But yogurt by itself? Blech.

And then there was Menchie's. Yogurt so good, I can eat it by itself, happily. Yogurt so good, you can't believe it's so low in fat. So low in fat, in fact, that you don't feel the least bit guilty drowning it in chocolate sprinkles, granola crumbles, peanuts, etc.

If you are fortunate enough to possess a Menchie's in your vicinity, go today. If not, buy a plane ticket. I'm serious -- it's that good. My first time going was last Saturday and I was back again within the week (Thursday). And I just might sort of be perhaps wanting to go maybe again today. (Told you they were good.)

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This favorite won't surprise you at all, if you've been reading my blog this month. I began reading the book The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (one of my favey-fave writers) on  April 6th with my juniors and blogged about the experience the next day, when I recalled asking them who their five people would be.  Because I am of the belief that a teacher should never ask personal questions of students without being willing to answer them himself/herself, I promptly answered the question when one of my own students turned the question around on me. And I blogged about it, too.

What is this book about? It's about a man who dies trying to save a little girl from a horrific accident, not knowing if the last act of his life was triumphant or not. It's about a man who must meet with five people from his life who were important somehow, though they be strangers to him, before he can move on to his final resting place. It's about the power of hope, the importance of listening, and above all, the saving grace of love. I've seen firsthand how previously unmotivated students are blossoming in class now thanks to this book, but I don't just recommend it for young adults, because I think its themes are universal and should be read by all ages. No matter what your idea of heaven may be.

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Oh Cheerios, how I love you so. Thank you for being the one and only thing my heaving storm of a stomach could endure this week whilst I was sick, sick, sick beyond repair. Thank you for staying crunchy even when I douse you with a generous helping of milk. Thank you for staying fresh, even when I buy your ginormous box, open it, and then forget about you for a week. Thank you for being the one cereal my family does not like (and thus wisely avoid being so cruelly stolen by said family). Thank you for being one of the few cereals I never tire of eating, even after a second (or third!) helping. Thank you for being you, crunchy, sweet, delicious Cheerios. Early morning hurried weekday breakfasts would not be the same without you.


{all images found using Google image search}

What are your favorites this month, bloggy readers?


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Happy Friday!

Hey, you got two posts in one day from me, you lucky readers, you. (In case you missed it, I posted the new trailer for "Eclipse." You're welcome.)

I went back to work today after the flu from hell. I went to sleep last night feeling a bit sick to my stomach still, what with the food orgy I had yesterday afternoon when I mistakenly thought I was all cured, but I woke up a lot better. Not 100% myself, but better. To be on the safe side, I didn't eat much for lunch today -- just a cheese stick, one of those peel-away ones that are so fun to eat [ETA: I meant string cheese. Hello -- how could I forget that?! Thanks, Hanny!], and a jello cup. In hindsight, maybe that wasn't such a great idea, because I came home STARVING. Still, I will try to keep myself in check this weekend and not overdo the eating like I did yesterday. Indigestion = no fun.

For this weekend, I have planned a whole lot of nothing and that is A-okay with me. I just want to sleep. Is that so wrong?

Today's fill-in-the-blank fun is all about music, yay!  If you want to play along, make sure to link back to Lauren

1.  One song that always takes me back to my youth is  "Chiquitica" by ABBA.

2.  My first concert ever was   some concert a local radio station (Y-100) was giving to promote local artists. It was the mid 1990's and I was still in high school, and needless to say, it wasn't very memorable -- I can't even remember one artist .

3.  If I could create my dream music festival I'd want these bands to be there:   U2, Bjork, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Interpol, The New Pornographers, REM,  Grizzly Bear, The Cure, The Beatles (hey, it's a dream, right? :D) .

4.  The best make-out/"boot knocking" song ever is  anything Brazilian -- that country produces the sexiest music, hands down .

5.  The best concert I've ever been to was   U2, during their tour for the album All That You Can't Leave Behind. They played an awesome mix of new and old music and oh, it was just wonderful. I still get chills, remembering that show.

6.  A memorable musical moment for me was  seeing my favorite band U2 perform on TV for the first time. The song was "New Year's Day" and although I was a wee little slip of a girl at the time, I knew Bono was the man for me.

7. The song on my iPod that's getting the most play these days is "World Sick" by Broken Social Scene


picture via we heart it

Wow, practically all my answers were about U2... I guess you know who my favorite band is, huh? ;) So I'm curious -- who's your favorite band? Let me know in the comments and have yourself a great weekend!


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June 30, please get here faster...



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Just call me Lady Lazarus.

I'm ba-ack!

Didn't think I'd be back this soon, didja? Yeah, me neither. It looks like the flu from hell decided to speed up its exit. Which is great, seeing as how I was afraid it would spoil my weekend.

Even though I called in sick for work last night, my body still woke up me at 6 AM on the fricking dot today. Even though the alarm was not set. So much for looking forward to sleeping in! But at least I had a full night of sleep and I woke up feeling a lot better, if not 100% myself yet. The stomach issues are gone, as are the joint aches, but in its stead I'm left with an aching, stuffy head and an on-again/off-again pain in my right ear. But still, I'm loads better. To celebrate my better-ness, Ricky took me for a celebratory lunch of cheeseburgers (Five Guys) and frozen yogurt (Menchies -- yes, again). As I tweeted shortly after lunch, I'm not sure if my body was ready for so much food goodness after 48 hours of semi-starvation. I had to choke down some Tums when I got home, but you know what? The food goodness was totally worth the indigestion.

Tomorrow I go back to work. Which sucks. But at least it will be Friday. Which decidedly doesn't suck. Yay?

Before I close, the lovely Emma Jade posted this meme on her blog, which I thought was neat, so I thought I would play along, too:

If I was a month, I'd be October, my birth month -- I've always loved the transition from summer to fall.

If I was a day of the week, I’d be Friday, half-work and half-play (story of my life!).

If I was a time of day, I’d be midnight, because I'm at my most creative at this time.

If I was a planet, I’d be Venus, because I am drawn to beauty.

If I was a sea animal, I'd be a dolphin, because I admire their grace and their intelligence.

If I was a direction, I’d be South, because I am a tropical baby and can't imagine living anywhere else.

If I was a piece of furniture, I'd be a rocking chair.

If I was a liquid, I'd be Amaretto.

If I was a gemstone, I’d be Turquoise.

If I was a tree, I’d be an elm.

If I was a flower, I’d be a gardenia.

If I was a kind of weather, I’d be 70 degree weather with a clear blue sky -- a perfect day.

If I was a musical instrument, I’d be a violin.

If I was a colour, I’d be pink.

If I was an emotion, I’d be contentment.

If I was a fruit, I’d be a kiwi.

If I was a sound, I’d be a giggle.

If I was an element, I’d be air.

If I was a car, I’d be a Mini Cooper.

If I was a food, I'd be chicken (because I eat it so much others joke I will turn into one).

If I was a place, I’d be the library.

If I was a material, I’d be lace.

If I was a taste, I’d be tart.

If I was a scent, I’d be freshly washed laundry.

 
Want to play along? Post your answers on your blog and come back to leave the link so I can read them, too! Oh, and for the other wanna-be poets out there like me who actually got the oblique Sylvia Plath reference in this blog title? You rock.

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Sick.

So yesterday I came home feeling like complete and utter crap. I thought it was because it was "my lady time," but when I lay down on my bed to rest a spell, and the complete and utter crap feelings weren't going away but rather intensifying, I knew it had to be something else.

Turns out I have a flu. Or something. I don't know. It began yesterday afternoon with a bad headache, then pains in my joints (mostly my knees and lower back) and bad chills, then a bad stomachache, so bad I was actually sick to my stomach (and I hate being sick to my stomach, blech!). Today the stomach and joint pains are mostly gone, but I've still got the headache plus some congestion now.  Plus I'm weak -- like really, really weak. Newborn kitten weak.

I stayed home from work today, staying all day in bed reading. I began reading Hush, Hush today and finished it in a couple of hours -- I was so hooked on the story, it almost made me forget how sick I felt. And then I had a visitor come visit me in my bed, which also made me feel better.

Whatever the flip this is, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I already called in sick for tomorrow, but I really hope I'm better by Friday. I can't remember feeling this sick in a whiiiiiile. So if I don't blog that often in the next few days, you know why.




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Lolcat of the Week


I just had to post this Lolcat, being a huge Beatles fan and all. I think John Lennon would have liked this one.

Have a great Monday, everyone! Oh, and Brown Paper Packages exchange partner of mine? I'm sending out your package today, so watch your mailbox! :-)

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Week in Review

This week has been so crazy, I can't believe it's only been 7 days long. It began last Monday with a teacher's strike in protest over SB6. I had a tough decision to make Sunday night -- to go in to work or not to go in? I decided to go in because I didn't want my students to fall behind and also because I personally didn't think I myself was proving a point by not going in -- even though I completely and 100% back up every teacher who called in sick last Monday.

That same Monday, teachers organized a rally at Tropical Park in protest against SB6. It was amazing being there -- the energy was almost palpable, the sense of hope contagious. There were more than 6,000 teachers, students, parents, and concerned citizens there. We came out on the news and even our governor, Charlie Crist, acknowledged that he'd never seen so many people in FL organized for such a fight. He kept making comments all week like this, giving us hope... I didn't want to get my hopes up, knowing that he had until Friday to decide whether or not to veto the bill. But the more days I waited, the more optimistic I became, especially since Crist kept referring to the teachers in such a positive light.

Teachers protesting last Monday in Tropical Park, Miami against SB6.

Tuesday and Wednesday passed by in a blur -- I kept myself busy with grading and lesson planning, and by the time Thursday rolled around, I was a nervous wreck. Would he veto it or not?! He finally took all us teachers out of our misery on Thursday at noon when he gave a press conference to declare that he had decided to veto the bill. I almost cried tears of joy when I heard the news -- at last I could feel some measure of security as an educator living and working in Florida again, although I know the Florida Senate and House may very well sneak in this or a similar bill in the future. We must remain vigilant.

Thursday afternoon, I went with a friend to get mani/pedicures and then we went back to school to watch our students perform in a Fashion Show. We alternated between laughing hysterically at the sight of our students parading like peacocks across the stage (mostly the males) and feeling proud of our kids for putting on a much better show than anticipated. Great job, Hialeah High!

On Friday, Ricky and I hung out with some good friends we rarely get to see and braved the crowd (and the rain!) at a bar in Coral Gables called Novecento. It was only okay. My favorite part of Friday night was going to this amazing Chinese restaurant called Mr. Chu's that served super authentic Taiwanese dishes. I got to try fried seaweed for the first time, which I ended up loving, to my very great surprise.

Last night I had the most delicious meal I've had in a whiiiile. For dinner, Ricky took me to Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich shop. Ricky had some Italian style sub and I had a club sandwich with applewood ham. Delicious! While we were nomming on our delicious sandwiches, we noticed some fireworks outside the shop's window. They wound up being from a nearby fair in town, but personally I think they were in celebration of our awesome dinner. Seriously, I have never had a better sandwich. If you like sandwiches, run -- don't walk -- to Jimmy John's.

As if the dinner wasn't yummy enough, dessert was so good it threatened to equal, if not surpass, dinner. Ricky took me to this frozen yogurt shop called Menchie's where I had the best yogurt I've ever tasted. The cool thing about Menchie's is that you can customize your own yogurt, from the mix of yogurt flavors that you can swirl together, to the great variety of toppings that you can sprinkle on top. Oh, and they let you try the yogurt before you buy it. Amazing! Ricky had a tart yogurt swirled with a praline yogurt plus some strawberries, kiwis, and mochi balls on top, while I swirled country vanilla with praline and topped it off with walnuts, Reese's Pieces, and Twix.

Because I fail, I forgot to bring my camera last night and so I was unable to take pictures of this deliciousness. But don't worry -- that just means I'll  have to go back soon to take photographic evidence. Which my stomach appreciates muchly. ;)

On the agenda for today: dying my hair, grading a stack of essays, and cleaning my room, which looks like a tornado passed by to say hello. It's raining cats and dogs, been raining that way since I woke up a couple of hours ago, so I think I'll probably stay in today.

Here are some of my posts from this week that you may have missed, and after the jump are some pretty pictures of rain to help us remember that April showers don't have to be such a bad thing after all...









all pictures via we heart it

I hope you have a great Sunday! :-)

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Happy Weekend! {an apology & an update}

Forgive me, bloggy friends -- I've been a bad blogger this week and haven't been posting as regularly as I always do.

I even missed yesterday's fill in the blank fun at Lauren's blog. For shame. (You can find my answers at the bottom of this post. Better late than never!)

Plus my cat ran away from me in Petville because I neglected to feed her for two whole days. (Gasp!)

It's just that my bed has been so cozy and the book I am reading has been so good, I haven't been able to tear myself away from either.

But no matter -- I am back, at least for now. What else have I been up to, you ask? Weeeell, in between the feverish reading and snuggling under the covers during rainstorms (is there anything better than napping during rainstorms? I think not), I got to hang out with some old friends I rarely get to see and enjoy some amazingly authentic Chinese food. I was also a responsible adult and put ALL of my income tax returns into my savings account (who are you, strange adult version of me???). Plus I've been sniffling uncontrollably due to allergies brought on by all the nefarious pollen suddenly hanging over Miami,  and oh, and I've been grading essays (what else is new).

Did I mention there are now only 7 weeks left in the school year? (Yes, that shriek of joy you just heard was me.)

Tonight I have a date with my lovely boyf. I think he's taking me to get some yogurt at this great new place that allows you to put such crazy toppings as gummy bears and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Clearly, the folks who own this fine establishment are good people. Expect pictures of yogurty goodness in a forthcoming blog post. In the meantime, enjoy this awesome article from The New York Times all about the volcanic ash currently swirling in the ether over Europe -- and how you might recognize it in a very familiar painting.

picture via we heart it


1.  The first thing I do in the morning is hit the snooze button at least once.

2.  Every night before bed  I  check my alarm, dock my iPhone in its charger, and talk to my boyf until I get sleepy.

3.  My favorite thing to do when I'm having a bad day is  crawl into bed with a good book and a cup of tea.

4.  Something that makes me cringe is  confrontation -- especially when it's leveled at me. There's nothing that makes me more uncomfortable than having someone yell at me.

5.  Social situations  make me nervous most of the time, but I'm okay so long as I know at least one other person there.

6.  I like to collect  anything Hello Kitty! I love that little cat, what can I say .

7.  Weekends are for renewing my body, mind, and spirit. Which includes lots and lots of sleep, but of course.

What are your plans for this weekend? Let me know in the comments! Whatever you do, I hope you have an awesome time! :-)

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My First Favorite Book.

Do you remember your first favorite book? I still remember mine: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It's about a little British girl growing up in India with her father who has a seemingly charmed life -- she goes to an exclusive school, has an adoring father, and is admired by all her friends and teachers. But when her father dies and she is left orphaned and at the mercy of her headmistress, her charmed life quickly takes a turn for the worse, and she must learn to rely on her inner strength and ingenuity to persevere.

I was so captivated by this book growing up, that I even remember rereading it from time to time, just to experience that feeling of being swept away by the story. I love the lessons it taught me as a little girl  -- the importance of friendship and family, of hope despite the odds, and of not taking your blessings for granted, because you never know how long they will remain yours.

This is the book cover my version had:



What was your first favorite book?

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Happiness is... (and a giveaway winner!)

Happiness is...

surprise hugs

curling up under the blankets while it rains outside

doodling in the margins of pages

singing along to the radio

receiving a new magazine in the mail

reading in bed at night until I get sleepy

sharing a delicious dessert with a friend

 picture via we heart it

What is happiness to you?

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for -- the winner of this month's giveaway is...


Congrats, Jennie Smith! Please contact me via email ASAP so we can arrange shipping details. And if you are sad you didn't win, remember you can always order directly from jessicaNdesigns! She added some new designs to her store, so be sure to check it out. I think I'm going to order the sweethearts necklace... What are you thinking of getting?

Thanks to Jessica for graciously offering her Etsy store for this month's giveaway and also to everyone who participated! I'll be announcing my next giveaway in May, so stay tuned... :D

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Lolcat of the Week


I think it's so funny how cats seem to think they own everything they touch. Including your chair. ;)

Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

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Week in Review

And just like that, another week has come and gone. Where does the time go, seriously? *shakes head*

This week was a good week, despite my initial reluctance to go back to work after a long, luxuriating spring break. It was good in large part because of my English III students, with whom I began reading our first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. If you've been following along with me on the blog, you know that I think this book is wonderful and I'm so, so happy that my students are starting to agree with me, too. I love seeing their eyes light up when we discuss the book, and this from students who are self-professed "nonreaders."

If I don't talk a lot about the other two groups of students I teach, SAT/ACT Verbal Prep and AP English Lang, it's because their needs are not as desperate as those of my English III students. These kids are desperate to pass the FCAT and be able to graduate next year, and they were placed in my class so that I can help them improve upon their reading comprehension skills. They are juniors, but many of them are reading far below their grade level. Which is why it's so rewarding as a teacher to see them connect with a book the way they've connected with The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

So that pretty much was my work week. Friday night, Ricky and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. He had chicken fried steak and I had catfish, which is very unlike me since I'm not that much into fish. But it was delicious, as were their biscuits and cornbread. Sometimes I think I would cheerfully murder for their biscuits and cornbread. (Just kidding. I think.) Other than their sinfully delicious food, I also quite like the decor of Cracker Barrel, especially their cool old advertisements hanging on the walls!


After gorging ourselves, we waddled back home and watched Pride & Prejudice -- his first time, my 3rd or so. He laughed and sighed at all the right parts, and when I cried like an ever-loving fool at the end (like I always do), he hugged me and told me he loved the movie. I knew there was a reason I picked him. ;)

On Saturday, I posted two book reviews on Examiner (I'm their Miami Books Examiner) after a long hiatus: The Hunger Games Series and Twilight the Graphic Novel: Volume One. I did some more research for my thesis and then lazed around the house a bit before Ricky came to get me so we could buy a gift for his cousin's baby shower. Then we drove up to this restaurant in Broward called Smokey Bones and had the BEST. BARBECUE. EVER. Seriously, Smokey Bones makes the most delicious pulled pork I've ever had.

All in all, it was a relaxing weekend. I enjoyed it muchly. (Hello, my name is Annie and I like to make up words.)

Well, I'd better go unplug myself so I can get ready. Today my boyf's cousin is celebrating her baby shower, and I sincerely hope this means I won't have to play those silly baby games. *shudder*

Here are some of my posts from this week that you may have missed:






I hope you have a wonderfully relaxing Sunday! :-)

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{Review} "Twilight: The Graphic Novel (Volume 1)"

While I am a big fan of the Twilight Saga on page, I felt the films left much to be desired. So when I found out a graphic novel adaptation was going to come out, I got excited, hoping it would do it justice. And when I first saw the cover, I got giddy, because of how beautiful it looked.


Beautiful, right? So I finally got my paws on the graphic novel last month and I just finished writing my review for two sites, Examiner and Bewitched Bookworms. Please read them and let me know what you think in the comments! Oh, and I'd be much obliged if you became a follower on the Bewitched Bookworms blog -- we only need 7 more to reach 100.

Have a wonderful Saturday! Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a custom designed necklace! I'll be selecting a winner on Tuesday. :-)

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(Not So) Happy Friday!

When I first woke up today, I was so happy. It was Friday! The weekend was finally here! Hooray! And so forth. But then I got these really bad stomach cramps for some reason and that distracted me from all my hooray-ing. And the stomach pains were only a precursor of the bad day to come...

You see, reader, when I checked the news this morning, it was to learn that Florida passed SB6/HB7189 last night at 2:30 AM. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, this is the bill that wants to remove seniority and professional development from teachers in favor of basing half of our pay on student performance on standardized tests. I've already written about how I'm so against this bill. I think it is bad for students, bad for teachers, and may mean the end of public education in Florida as we know it today. Does our educational system in Florida need reform? Yes, I do believe it does. But we need change for the better, not the worse.

Okay, enough about that. *steps off soapbox* It's Friday, so it's time to take our mind off our troubles and focus on the wonderful weekend we have ahead of us! How about some fill in the blank fun to properly kick off our Friday? Lauren has given us TEN this week to make up for not posting one last week, and reader, I think these questions are the best she's ever written. 

Enjoy and click here if you want to play along!


1.  The strangest thing I've ever eaten was   alligator -- it tasted like chicken! (Doesn't everything taste like chicken when it's brand new to us, though? It's strange.) .

2.  My best friend is  also my boyfriend -- we were friends first and that didn't change when Love entered the room.

3.  If I could live in a different era it would be    the 1800's because I really feel like I'm from that time -- something about the dresses, the romantic sensibility of the time, just appeals to me so much. Oh, and I hate driving, so there's that, too! I'd rather ride a horse. ;) .

4.  I like  when people take me by surprise -- in a good way, of course.

5.  If you only know one thing about me it should be  that if you are my friend, I will be loyal to you forever, so long as you never betray me or do anything to damage our relationship. Once I'm your friend, I'm yours for life .

6.  My favorite book of all time is   The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. If you think the film is amazing, try reading the book! I'm writing my thesis on it. :) .

7.  The one beauty product I couldn't live without is   my foundation. I had super clear skin as a teenager, but now that I'm 31, I suddenly, inexplicably, have acne. Lancome foundation is my saving grace! Covers up all those ugly spots .

8.  Blogging is   a great stress reliever for me! I love writing about my days, my thoughts, what I'm feeling and hoping and dreaming. But the best part of blogging is reading your comments! Thanks for making blogging worthwhile, reader .

9.  If I could star in a movie with any actor/actress I would want to work with   Meryl Streep. I think she is the best actor of our generation, and she's just such an inspiration to me as a onetime wanna-be actor myself.

10.  One of the best feelings in the world is   waking up on a day when you have absolutely nothing planned at all -- it's like having the freedom of a big white page and knowing you can color it however you like .

 
picture via we heart it

So, my lovely bloggy readers, how are you planning to "color" your weekend? I've got a baby shower planned on Sunday, but tonight and tomorrow are wide open, which makes me very happy indeed. :D

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These are my five.

As promised yesterday, here are the five people I think I would need to meet before entering heaven. (I'm not including all of my immediate family because I'm working under the [hopefully true] assumption that everyone I love will be in heaven.)

This is a hard blog post for me to write, reader. So please respect where it's coming from. And if you didn't get to read yesterday's blog post, please do so first as you may not understand this post otherwise.

Okay, deep breath. *inhales, exhales* These are my five...  (click to read more)

Who are your five?

Yesterday I began reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven with my juniors. I was very excited because it's the first time all year I get to read a novel with them, since we've been focusing on the FCAT nonstop since day one. Now that that nonsense is over and done with, we can finally get on to the stuff that really matters. Like reading. (Ironic, n'est c'est pas.)

I chose this book because I wanted something that would be an easy sell for both boys and girls, plus I just really love the story. If you've never read it before (gasp), I'll try to tell you a little bit about it without ruining it for you. It's about a man named Eddie who discovers upon dying that he must meet with five people from his past and resolve particular issues with them before he can pass on to his eternal reward. It's such an interesting study of heaven and earth, of life and death, of love and hate, and everything else that comes in between -- all of the intangibles that are so hard to put into words. The author Mitch Albom has that rare gift of putting those intangibles into words.

Before first cracking open the book with my students, I asked them the following short response question: If you had to meet five people before entering heaven, who would your five be and why?

Their answers were largely predictable -- my mom, my dad, my boyfriend, my girlfriend, etc. But one answer took me completely by surprise -- a girl in my class asked, Miss, what if it's a person whose path I haven't crossed yet? Would that be okay? I looked at her for a heartbeat and a half, then decided to go with my gut. Sure, hun, that's fine, I told her. Then I whirled back around and asked, What if I were to tell to tell you that your paths would never cross in life. Would you still want to meet this person in heaven? She looked me right in the eye and gave me a blinding smile. Oh yeah, she said. I couldn't help but smile back.


 picture via we heart it

Who are your five? I'm curious to know your answers, reader. Share them with me in the comments. I'll share mine tomorrow. Oh, and in case you missed yesterday's post, don't forget to enter my giveaway!


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