Category: other

20 Things I Learned from my Mom

1546023_10153002254948940_1454609887939616400_nAwhile back I wrote a post about all of the things I learned from my dad. I knew then that I wanted to write one about my mom, but I was having a tough time coming up with a list. My dad is the lecture type (think of your typical TV sitcom dad), so it was easy to come up with twenty lessons. Thinking about what I learned from my mom required a bit more effort, but it was well worth it! I feel so lucky every day to have such amazing, loving parents.

  1. Be kind to everyone. You never know what someone else is going through.
  2. It’s never too late to try again.
  3. No matter what kind of job you have, always give it your best effort.
  4. Cake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast (…..and lunch and dinner).
  5. Life is short. Buy the shirt/shoes/bag/etc.
  6. Animals are a good judge of character. Be wary of people that dogs/cats dislike.
  7. Dance like no one is watching.
  8. Do the dishes as soon as you’re finished eating (your future self will thank you).
  9. It’s okay to choose to stay in when everyone else wants to go out.
  10. Clean with music on.
  11. Follow the big red bus (a.k.a. when the obstacle seems too great to overcome, don’t underestimate the power of distraction).
  12. Telling someone you understand what they’re going through because you have been through it too can make a world of difference.
  13. Take care of your elders.
  14. Be thoughtful – something as simple as buying someone their favorite candy bar or magazine can really make his/her day.
  15. You’re never too old to learn new things.
  16. Say what you’re feeling, but be ready to accommodate other people.
  17. Driving in the city isn’t as scary as it seems (driving at night is, haha).
  18. Crying is sometimes the best medicine.
  19. Paper planners are essential.
  20. Amazing things can happen when you put everything you have into achieving your goals.

I love you, mom!


Three Things I Love This Week

I have been wanting to write about book clubs, but being that it’s the last week of school, book clubs are the last thing on my mind. Instead, here’s a “light” post (written in the middle of the day because school is over *happy dance*!).

1.  BOOKSTAGRAM!  I found this sub community of instagrammers a month or two ago, and I have been hooked ever since. By simply searching the hashtag #bookstagram, you step into a world of book lovers (who take the prettiest pictures). It’s fun to browse, but it’s also great for finding your next read! The picture below is from @bookishjourney.

image1 (1)

2.Vegucated. Documentaries always have a big effect on me. I watched Food Inc. six years ago and became vegetarian, I watched Tapped and became passionate about getting rid of plastic water bottles, and a few months ago I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and started to research juicers. So, Vegucated, a documentary about being vegan, was no exception. For the six plus years that I have been vegetarian, I  frequently wondered what it would be like to take the next step and become vegan, and I always felt a bit guilty that I was still benefiting from the harmful treatment of animals. However, being that pizza and ice cream are some of my favorite foods, I tried to ignore these guilty feelings…but I can’t anymore. What they do to these animals for meat, for milk, for cheese, is not okay. The animals on factory farms, which make up about 99% of all farms, live awful, dark lives and when it’s their turn to go they do not get the liberty of a peaceful death. We torture and kill thousands of animals everyday for what? A burger? A piece of pizza? Is it worth it? I don’t want to be a part of that anymore, so I’m going to try to cut all animal products out of my diet. I’m not ready to say I’m fully vegan just yet, but it’s a step in the right direction.

3. The Bucket List Family (#goals?) This family sold all of their belongings (and a million dollar app) and is now travelling the world as a family. They’ve been to places like Thailand, Australia, Singapore, and Bahamas – all while taking care of their two kids, keeping a blog/vlog, and working out! I can’t even find time for the gym on a normal day!


What’s on your favorites list this week?




I am finally back…and quite ashamed that I haven’t written since October. I could make a millions of excuses about why I haven’t updated, but if I’m being completely honest, I was discouraged. I started to feel like it wasn’t worth the time- why keep up with a blog that no one is reading (especially when there’s so many other things I need to be doing)?

I didn’t tell myself that though, of course not. I told myself I was too busy to write and I ignored the tiny voice in the back of my head that would, every so often, remind me about this space that I created. Then came College Prepster’s recent post, “Why Writing is Good for Your Soul, and I realized just how much I missed writing, and how much I missed this blog. It doesn’t matter if nobody reads it – it’s mine. I scrolled through old posts and I got to read about how my first week  in my own classroom went, and how much I loved the food in Key West, and the music in New Orleans. I can read about old lessons, relive my trip to California, and remember exactly how I was feeling on a particular day. Sure, I can go on Facebook or Timehop – but nothing beats your own space with your own writing. So with all of that being said, I’m glad to be back!

Here’s a few notable events to bring this blog up to date!

1. I became an aunt! I love him so much – more than words can explain.


2. My dad came to visit from Florida! We went to Storm King Art Center (an awesome day trip!), spent hours in the 9/11 Memorial Museum (if you haven’t been, go!), and saw a Yankees game (they won!).




 3. I booked a trip to Europe (through EF College Break again!). I’ll be going to London and Paris for eight days with one of my best friends!


 4. I went to Boston to visit a college friend I hadn’t seen in two years! I didn’t take many pictures, so this average one of the Charles River will have to do.


 5. I started an instagram (@postgradprep) – I mostly post books (I’m a little obsessed with  #bookstagram), but I also post teaching stuff. image1

California Road Trip Day 4 & 5: Monterey to Cayucos

We were having coffee Friday morning in Mill Valley (innocent enough) when the worst happened- my mom spilled coffee all over my iPhone. I wish I could say that I took it lightly, that I realized immediately that it’s ‘just a phone’, that I didn’t worry about not having it. But that would be a lie. I stuck my phone in a bag of rice and wallowed about it for the rest of the day. I felt lost. What if someone is texting me? How many likes did I get on my Facebook post? What is the weather like in Monterey? How do I get to Monterey?

IMG_3805.JPGAll jokes aside, it was a bad way to start the day, but we did manage to turn things around with a stop at the Golden Gate Lookout. How can anyone be upset while looking at a view like that? It’s impossible. After a long drive and a trip to the Apple Store we didn’t spend too much time getting to know Monterey, but we did get to see a few seals in the bay while enjoying coffee at a cafe on the dock. Pretty cool.

Day 4 was perfect. On our way to Cayucos we stopped in the town of Carmel, which is basically dog paradise. The dog to person ration was probably about 2:1 and every dog looked like they were smiling as they walked along the beach. Before leaving this picturesque town we did the 17-mile drive, a scenic route along the Pacific coastline. I won’t even try to put into words how beautiful this was. We stopped the car at nearly every vista point.
IMG_3835.JPGOur final destination brought more beautiful sights, but of a different kind. We stayed at an Airbnb located on a 1200 acre cattle ranch in the hills of Cayucos, yet only a fifteen minute from the beach and town. We drove up to the ranch on a dirt road and were greeted by three energetic dogs and two horses. Staying on a ranch was one of the best experiences I have ever had and it was exactly what my mom and I needed after The iPhone Tragedy (just kidding…sort of). I took advantage of being in nature and went on a short hike. I stopped midway, took in the rolling hills, and remembered just how small I am compared to the world (it’s good to be reminded sometimes). Later, my mom and I watched the sunset from the comfort of our small cabin and we woke the next morning to the fog sitting in the hills and the dogs wagging their tails, genuinely happy to see us. Out of all the places we stayed so far – we were the saddest to leave here.



Thank you, Airbnb, for an unforgettable stay. 



Review: Samsung Chromebook

Six months ago my Macbook kicked the bucket; the keyboard stopped working correctly and everything became frustratingly slow. When an Apple technician told me it would be about $700 to fix the keyboard alone, I knew it was goodbye. So, I began my hunt for a new laptop, but I was iffy about PCs (due to past experiences) and I knew I didn’t want to hand over close to 1,000 image3dollars for another Apple product. Sadly, those days are over (trying to make grown-up decisions here). As a result of my uncertainty about each system, I discovered the Chromebook. I was wary of the Chromebook’s “internet only access”, but after a lot of research I came to find that there were more pros than cons. I finally took the plunge (aka clicked “add to cart”) when I found the Samsung Chromebook on sale for $199 at Staples….with a 14 day return policy! I figured why not give it a try? The price was right and I had the option of returning it as a safety net.

The 14 days came and went and my Chromebook is still here; I LOVE it. Before purchasing the Chromebook I used Chrome for web browsing and I stored my pictures and videos on Google Photo, so it was an easy transition to the “internet only” laptop. Here’s a quick rundown of the Samsung Chromebook:


  • Extremely lightweight (comparable to the Macbook Air)
  • Sleek look (again, comparable to image1Macbook Air)
  • Everything is in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about the hard drive crashing (Still not sure how the cloud works. Will we ever know?)
  • Quick start-up
  • Customizable browser and desktop
  • Quality speakers*
  • Long battery life (big plus!)
  • Doesn’t get hot when you use it for long periods of time
  • No risk of viruses (even bigger plus!)image2
  • Menu bar makes everything accessible with a single click (mail, apps, videos, files, calendar, etc.)
  • Small amount of memory on the laptop (16GB), in case you do need to save something.


  • I’ve sometimes found that it has trouble running multiple tabs at once, depending on what I have open. For some reason Tumblr always seems to slow it down just a bit.
  • You can’t use Microsoft Word. Google Docs is an alternative, but definitely not the best (however, I have a feeling they’ll be improving it as Chromebooks become more popular).
  • *The speakers are good quality, but they aren’t super loud.This isn’t a problem for me, because I don’t usually listen to anything loudly, but if you’re big into music you might want to give the speakers a test run before buying.

Bottom Line: If you use the computer lightly (web browsing, email, watching movies, creating simple documents), and you are looking for something that won’t cost you too much money, the Chromebook is a good option for you.